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Recycling Makes Sense--Sometimes

Recycling seems to have taken on an almost religious meaning, with the faithful wrongly assuming that "disposable" is bad and "recycling" is good, without regard to costs and disruption of markets.

Medical Savings Accounts Would Control Health Care Costs

Informed patients are better suited to make decisions about the trade-offs between money and health care expenditures. Encouraging personal medical savings accounts would help control today's spiraling health costs.

A Closer Look at Proposals A and C

The two property tax proposals on the November 1992 Michigan ballot provide a glaring distinction: one is a property tax cut and the other is not. Proposal C, despite one drawback, represents the best hope in years for real property tax reduction.

A Defense of Term Limits

Term limitation is no panacea, but it is a needed structural reform that will break the stranglehold of special interests on the electoral process. If politicians know that they must return to the private sector, they will think more carefully about the long-term effects of the programs that they impose upon the country.

The Future of Social Welfare May Be Just Down the Street

Private initiatives in meeting the needs of the poor deserve attention and encouragement. Two such efforts in Michigan, one in Grand Rapids and the other in Harrison, are helping people who were cut from the General Assistance Welfare rolls in October 1991.

Wastewater Should Be a Private Matter

The treatment of municipal wastewater doesn't have to be an expensive duty of local government. In fact, it's increasingly being thought of as something the private sector can handle better and at lower cost, with the city of Alpena, Michigan, providing a showcase example.

Selling Off the Accident Fund

State government's error in taking over a workers compensation insurer in 1989 should be undone by privatization.

Educational Choice Requires New Ways of Thinking

Though educational choice works in countries like Holland and Canada, it is being stymied in the U.S. by the idea that preserving the current system is more important than educating children.

Global Warming: Can Politicians Take the Heat?

Public policy on the environment should not be driven by "bad" science or the absence of good science. Politicians must weigh the evidence and reject emotion, propaganda, and hidden agendas in the global warming debate.

Mixing Government and Garbage

A Michigan House Republican Task Force on Recycling and Waste Reduction proposes a series of interventionist solutions to problems that would not exist if the state weren't already deeply involved in managing solid waste.

Privatization in Michigan Works--When We Let It

Contracting out government services to private sector providers-the most prominent form of "privatization"-is on a roll in Michigan, especially at the local level. With the removal of certain barriers erected in Lansing, it could advance much further.

Health Care: Solving the Administrative Costs Question

A better way to cut health care administrative costs than copying Canada's socialized system would be to introduce the innovative ideas of Medisave accounts and health care debit cards.

Dan Quayle: Correct But Not Politically Correct

Vice President Dan Quayle was right to criticize the television show Murphy Brown for promoting the idea that single working motherhood is any kind of model for healthy development of children. All social science points to quite the contrary view.

Tiger Stadium Tax is Unconstitutional

An act passed by the legislature to allow certain cities and counties to tax restaurant, hotel, and rental car customers flouts the Michigan Constitution.

Public Housing Beset with Scandals

The Detroit Public Housing Authority's scandalous record of mismanagement is typical of many big city PHAs across the country. Tenant management is the most promising reform.

Back to the Drawing Board for Schools-of-Choice

What once offered the hope of dramatic reform has now become simply another burdensome state mandate to local school officials; genuine choice requires more fundamental measures than what the legislature authorized in 1991.

Protecting the Political Freedom of Workers

Hundreds of thousands of Michigan labor union members need the protection promised them by the Supreme Court's landmark 1988 Beck decision.

Trucking in Michigan: Cartel or Market?

Special interest regulations have created a trucking cartel in Michigan that raises consumer costs, makes many Michigan firms uncompetitive with those in neighboring states and even increases air pollution.

Repeal the Sunset (of No-Fault Insurance Law)

Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law was working just fine until the state government in 1985 decided to tinker with the system.

Child and Family Services in Michigan: Privatization Works!

A vibrant network of private agencies is providing a wide range of important social services and ought to be encouraged.

As Values Collapse, Government Grows

America's ethical crisis is fueling both a war on freedom and the growth of excessive government.

User Fees and Taxes: What's the Difference?

User fees, when they are genuine, are not bad ideas, but Lansing is full of proposals to raise taxes and misname them "user fees."

State Government Competes Unfairly With Private Firms

Universities, prisons, and other state-run or subsidized entities are invading the domain of taxpaying private firms in Michigan.

Michigan Shouldn't Copy Canada's Health System

A proposal for Michigan to implement free, universal health care is based on the misconception that Canada's model is one we would want to emulate.

The Government's Role in Assessing Cancer Risks

The methodology that the EPA uses to determine cancer risk borders on the ridiculous and should be reformed.

Government Pension System Needs Reform

The state's treasurer should not be investing state employees' pension monies in risky initial public offerings in the stock market.

School Funding and Student Performance

States where the local governments, not state governments, make up the vast bulk of school finance produce the best results.

The Property Tax Cut Debate

A perspective on why high property taxes are detrimental.

Hang Up on Vote-by-Phone

The proposal to allow voters to register and vote by telephone might encourage more voting, but it won't preserve democracy and improve government.

Prevailing Wage Act Harms the Poor

If Michigan citizens were serious about assisting poor people, they would support repeal of the Prevailing Wage Act.

Should Taxpayers Finance ESOPS?

Lansing once spent taxpayer dollars subsidizing employee stock ownership plans, a program that was of dubious value at best.

"Arts Ogres" and Killer Bees

The vocal art subsidy lobby in Michigan shows its elitism and intolerance by trashing those who oppose massive subsidies.

Bad Ideas for the Gasoline Market

Proposed regulations on the marketing of gasoline in Michigan would put vindictiveness in place of sound economics.

Michigan Says No to High Tech

A tax on computer software would drive a number of businesses out of Michigan.

Corporate America Feeds the Hand that Bites It

Many business people say that they're for free enterprise while simultaneously undermining it by aiding its opponents.

Cutting Spending-Not Raising Taxes-Is Responsible

Washington shouldn't even think of raising taxes when the problem is overspending.

New "Civil Rights" for the Handicapped

Efforts to help the handicapped with legislation requiring employers to reconfigure their worksites are another example of good intentions producing bad results.

Where Does Economic Development Come From?

It doesn't come from government subsidies; it springs from incentives and free markets.

It's Time to Abolish HUD's Block Grant Program

Scandals rocking HUD programs in Oakland County point out the need for abolition of block grant handouts.

Minimum Wage is Lousy Economics

Raising the minimum wage prices the least-skilled out of the labor market-raising Michigan's minimum above the national figure is economic suicide.

Michigan's Prevailing Wage Act: A Disaster for the Taxpayers

This special interest legislation was designed to help unions. The result is that costs are higher than necessary, and taxpayers are helping pay the tab.

Thoughts on America's "National Cancer Policy"

Common sense and good science should replace scare talk and poor policy when it comes to something as serious as cancer.

It's Time to Deregulate Michigan Trucking

Counterproductive regulations are raising intrastate shipping costs and making the Michigan trucking industry uncompetitive with firms in neighboring states.

TV Peddles Anti-Business Themes

Are businessmen a set of ruthless connivers, bent upon stepping over anything and anyone that gets in their way, even to the point of murder? To watch their portrayal on primetime television, one would think so.

Ecorse's Grand Experiment

When Lou Schimmel was made court-appointed receiver of this small Downriver Detroit community of 12,180 residents, he straightened out its finances through budget cuts and widespread privatization.

We Consume Because We First Produce

The notion that Americans are economic pigs because we are just 7 percent of the world's population and consume 40 percent of the world's wealth is based on economic ignorance.

The Fallacy of Comparable Worth

If Michigan adopts and enforces comparable worth, the result would be a legal and economic nightmare.

New Economic Climate Requires New Responses from Auto Makers

A change in the tax code in favor of savings over consumer spending has hit the U.S. auto industry hard, especially since the economics of the situation mean auto makers should lower prices, something they are loathe to consider.

Let's Take Another Look at Government as an Investor

Economic development schemes promoted by government usually amount to nothing more than thinly disguised subsidies for people with political clout. Flint, Michigan, is a case in point.

The Imminent Demise of Michigan's Private Workers' Compensation Insurance Industry

A recent decision of the Michigan Court of Appeals has placed the survival of the state's private workers' compensation insurance industry in serious danger.

Privatization Works for Social Services Too

In the area of social welfare, government isn't the only game in town. Communities around America are setting good examples for private sector involvement.

Runaway Federal Spending Tramples Michigan Taxpayers

The way to deal with the federal budget deficit is not to raise taxes but to control runaway government spending. One way to do this would be to enact a spending freeze, which could give us a budget surplus in just three years.

Environmental Bond Issue Needs to be Cleaned Up

Michigan leads the nation in tart cherry production. Some producers are lobbying the government to limit future production. Artificial controls on cherry production will retard development of new cherry markets and products essential to the industry's growth.

Privatizing Corrections: An Opportunity for Michigan

Many states and counties around the country have good track records in this area. It's time that Michigan gave it serious consideration.

Product Liability Reform: Better Late Than Never

There is no need for the states to wait for the federal government to act; liability reform is long overdue.

New Directions for Rural Solid Waste Management

The solution when local solid waste disposal systems jam or break down is not necessarily more government, but greater cooperation between homeowners, businesses, private investors and local, county and state governments.

Sales Tax on Services: A Bad Idea

Michigan should learn from Florida's failed 1987 attempt to extend its sales tax to cover services. If done, it would disadvantage small businesses which compete with large firms and boost the state's administrative costs.

Cities Which Choose Death

Cities and towns die, many times, as victims of technological advance and failure to adapt to abrupt change. But other times, they die because they refuse to acknowledge the realities of the marketplace and try to impose prosperity through politics.

Mandatory Benefits Aren't Free

It would be a mistake for Congress to require employers to provide benefits that a tight federal budget won't permit the government to engage in.

The Perils of Predicting

It's no wonder that economists are notoriously inept at predicting the economic future-virtually all the measures commonly used, such as the Index of Leading Economic Indicators, include or exclude factors that skew the results.

A Public Housing Success Story

Cochran Gardens in St. Louis, Missouri, teaches lessons about tenant management and privatization of public housing from which Michigan could learn.