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Why College Costs So Much and What States Can Do About It

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

Do you need a college degree to be successful? Why does college cost so much? How do we ensure higher education is flexible and affordable? Come hear a nuanced discussion about college costs and what states and the federal government should do about it. Join us at 11 am EST. Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Featured panelists will be Jason Delisle, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Jeremy Horpedahl, assistant professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas, and Jarrett Skorup, director of marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center.

Pandemic Policies and the Michigan Economy: Scholarly Research and Writing

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

State mandates put in place to temporarily limit the spread of COVID-19 created widespread, ongoing economic ramifications. Economists and others are working to estimate the full costs of these actions, but the task is difficult considering how unprecedented and broad these state mandates have been. This virtual event will discuss sound economic theory and practical suggestions for initiating research, locating data and producing good, original scholarship. Join us at 6:00 pm EST. Sponsored by the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation, and presented in conjunction with Northwood University, our presenters will be Michael LaFaive, senior director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center, and Northwood University department chair Dale Matcheck. This event will be moderated by John Gustincic, director of the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise.

Flex Learning: A Customized Approach for Michigan Students

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

The need for greater flexibility in the state's K-12 education system has been underscored by recent experiences with pandemic restrictions and remote learning. The Mackinac Center proposes a new Flex Learning model that would bring about needed changes. Join this virtual event at 11:00 am EST as our featured speakers discuss an educational plan that would give students and families across Michigan the ability to craft combinations of virtual and in-person learning opportunities, as well as choose dual-enrollment courses and career apprenticeships. Our presenters will include Ben DeGrow, the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy, Phil Janis, principal of the Morey FlexTech High School in Shepherd, Mich., and two experts from ExcelinEd – a leading national education reform organization – director of educational opportunity Cara Candal and Midwest regional advocacy director Zach Eckert. Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, will provide opening remarks.

The Consequences of COVID Lockdowns

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

This virtual event will assess and discuss Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s unprecedented actions in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us at 6:00 pm EST. Sponsored by the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation, and presented in conjunction with Northwood University, this panel of three experts will cover the legal questions, as well as the economic consequences for entrepreneurs and the broader economy. Moderated by John Gustincic, director of the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise, our featured panelists will be Northwood University department chairs James Hop and Dale Matcheck, as well as Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s director of research, Michael Van Beek.

Talking Michigan Taxes: Potential Increases and Reforms in 2021

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

This online event will give a general overview of how Michigan's tax system compares to other states, how the 2020 election affected taxes and what the tax policy conversation will look like in 2021. Join us at 11 am EST / 8 am PST. Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Featured speakers will be Janelle Cammenga, policy analyst with the Tax Foundation's Center for State Tax Policy, and James Hohman, the Mackinac Center’s director of fiscal policy.

Alcohol Reform – Give Me Liberty and Give Me a Drink!

Virtual Event

This event will feature author C. Jarrett Dieterle, and Michael LaFaive, senior director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, as they discuss Mr. Dieterle's recently released book Give Me Liberty and Give Me a Drink!, current alcohol regulations and what reforms should be made to change them. Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Join us at 11 am EDT / 8 am PDT.

EVENT CANCELLATION: Helping Families Access Choice Schools with Student Mobility Scholarships

We regret to inform you that this event has been cancelled.

EVENT CANCELLATION: Overregulated: The Full Cost of Licensing Laws in Michigan

We regret to inform you that this event has been cancelled.

Are There Better Options for Underperforming Schools?

A panel of leaders with relevant experiences overseeing schools in troubled urban communities will share their experiences and ideas at this event.

Putting a Price on Life: The Coming Fight Over Government Rationing of Medical Care

Dr. William S. Smith will discuss quality-life measurements, compare the difference between the government and private insurance when determining treatment and talk about the push for rationing of medical care by federal and state governments.

The Price of Auto Insurance

A Barrier to Economic Mobility

How does Michigan insurance compare to that of other states? Why is insurance most expensive in Detroit? What fiscal impact does this have on the average household and also on the low-income household? Answers to these questions and more were recently addressed in a report published by Poverty Solutions, a research initiative at the University of Michigan, and these findings will be presented at this event.

Local Control or Too Much Control? Balancing the Rights of Citizens and State and Local Governments

What’s the right balance between local, state and federal control? What about the rights of citizens — should these vary widely based on where one chooses to live? This panel will feature a lawmaker, policy expert and local government advocate to talk about what is happening in Michigan and across the nation on these issues.

Civil Asset Forfeiture in Michigan: The Case for Reform and How to Get it

Seizure and forfeiture are important parts of the criminal justice system. In principle, this process is helpful for taking away assets from criminals and goods obtained illegally. But it’s easily abused, and Michiganders deserve to have their property rights protected. This panel will feature points of views from law enforcement, researchers and legislators. The discussion will be on why Michigan should continue to reform its civil asset forfeiture system and how to get it right.

How Criminal Justice Works in Michigan

Criminal justice reform will continue to be a hot topic in Lansing this year, as lawmakers on the left and right advance various proposals for reforming the system. But in order to properly evaluate the potential for successful change, it’s important to understand the nuts and bolts of how the system currently operates.

Economic Freedom: What it is and Why it Matters

Public policy choices can have profound consequences on the decisions individuals make about their own opportunities — where to live, work, invest and raise families. What can government leaders do to influence those choices? Respect economic freedom.

Bail Reform: Improving Pretrial Release to Benefit Defendants and Taxpayers

Michigan’s system of bail and pretrial release is ripe for reform, but any changes to this complex structure require a thorough understanding of current practices and how they diverge from best practices. Analysts at the Mackinac Center and the ACLU of Michigan both published papers to inform the public about bail in our state, which they will present jointly.

The New Face of the FCC: Q&A with Chairman Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, but his philosophy is a bit different than many regulators. Pai’s regulatory philosophy values consumers, competition and markets over regulation, bureaucrats and central planning. His principles include being aware of “regulatory capture,” a free and fair system without dispensing favors and special treatment, flexible rulemaking, and rules which respect the laws of Congress.

Smart Regs for Smart Tech: How Government Can Allow Next Gen Internet Networks to Flourish

This panel will discuss issues related to the future of internet networks, including 5G cell service, “net neutrality” and broadband infrastructure. Panelists will also offer guidance on what governments at all levels — local, state and federal — should do (or not do) in relation to the future of internet connectivity and the spinoff technologies it makes possible.

Beer Glut: The Overregulation of Alcohol in Michigan

Michigan’s rules about alcohol production, distribution and sales are complex. The state has restrictions on what can be produced, a strict monopoly system for distribution and imposes price controls on sellers. Many of these regulations were originally crafted some 80 years ago in the post-Prohibition era.

Why Prescription Drugs Are So Expensive and What the State Can Do About It

In recent years the price consumers pay for many brand name prescription drugs and even some generics has increased. There are several factors behind these increases. One has to do with the type of the drugs being developed today and the smaller number of patients they target. Another involves middlemen that absorb many of the price discounts provided by drug makers. And a third has to do with the regulations coming from both Washington and the states.