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Planning for Life Workshop

Frankenmuth, Michigan

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2020 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Planning for Life Workshop

Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2020 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Virtual Event: Environmental Climate Change, Contagion and Cataclysm

Can free markets still provide the energy we all need?

Join us May 27th at 11 am EDT / 8 am PDT, as we host three energy and environmental policy experts to discuss what energy could (and should) look like in a pandemic and flood-weary country.

Virtual Town Hall: A Tale of Two States

How a Small Town’s Experience Illustrates the Real World Consequences of States’ COVID-19 Reopening Policies

Join the Mackinac Center for a virtual town hall with two leading lawmakers representing two states making very different policy decisions in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

EVENT CANCELLATION: An Evening with the Mackinac Center

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

Virtual Event: How to Re-Energize Michigan's Economy in 2020

Join us for this online event as we hear leaders of both the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Mackinac Center discuss ways Michigan can reopen its economy, while maintaining public safety.

Virtual Event: "Crisis and Leviathan" in Light of the COVID-19 Crisis

Join us for this online event as Robert Whaples, professor and chair of the department of economics at Wake Forest University and the managing editor of the Independent Review, discusses the classic Robert Higgs book "Crisis and Liviathan" in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Virtual Policy Forum: Education

Join us for an online policy forum on education policy featuring Mackinac Center’s director of education policy Ben DeGrow, Dr. Michael McShane, director of national research at EdChoice, and Robert Pondiscio, senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Virtual Policy Forum: Labor

Join us for an online policy forum on labor policy reforms featuring guest speakers F. Vincent Vernuccio and Joseph G. Lehman.

Virtual Policy Forum: Healthcare

Join us for an online policy forum on healthcare.

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.

Tax Cuts, Regulatory Freedom and More – in Washington and the 50 States

A Conversation With Grover Norquist

The Mackinac Center is pleased to host a Q&A with Grover Norquist to discuss these issues and more. The conversation will cover tax, regulatory and political changes at the state and federal level and what big issues are on the horizon.

Planning for Life Workshop – Charlevoix, MI

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2019 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Friends of Freedom

Featuring Michigan Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter

Friedman Legacy Day

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Northwood University Forum for Citizenship & Enterprise cordially invite you to join us in celebrating Milton Friedman Legacy Day 2015.

Money in Politics: How Much Should Be Disclosed?

The Mackinac Center’s Arthur N. Rupe Foundation Debate

The Mackinac Center’s Arthur N. Rupe Foundation Debate will address the question of whether individuals who donate to nonprofit organizations or political issues should be able to maintain their privacy.

Is Big Business a Danger to Economic Liberty?

Please join the Mackinac Center for Public Policy for a Club Mackinac event in Grand Rapids, as we welcome Timothy P. Carney, senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of two books: The Big Ripoff, and Obamanomics. 

National School Choice Week at the Capitol

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy and partner organizations cordially invite you to join us in celebrating National School Choice Week with an event from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2015, at the Capitol.

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.

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.

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.

State-led Health Care Reforms

Facing seemingly endless paralysis on health care reform from the federal government, a growing number of states are starting to consider reforms that they could enact to improve the provision of health care for their residents. Although federal laws and rules dominate health care regulations, there are still several worthy reforms that states could pursue that would have the effect of lowering costs and expanding choices for patients.

Raising the Age: Should 17-Year-Olds be Eligible for Juvenile Justice in Michigan?

Michigan is one of five states where 17-year-olds are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, rather than the juvenile justice system. Following a trend in several other states, some Michigan stakeholders have begun a “raise the age” campaign to adjust the age of adult criminal liability to 18, the age of majority for all other purposes. The Legislature introduced bills to that effect last year, but opponents of the campaign warn that shifting 17-year-olds into the juvenile system will be an expensive burden on resource-strapped counties. Reformers counter that the move will ensure better outcomes for teens in the long run. Join us to hear expert panelists discuss the costs and benefits of raising the age.

Do Michigan Charter Schools Get More Bang for the Buck?

The past year’s rise of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education has brought more attention to the performance of charter schools, both nationally and in her native Michigan. Charter schools are tuition-free, state-funded schools of choice that tend to operate with fewer dollars than other public schools. How well are charter schools doing with the resources they have?

Is This Working? The Effects of Occupational Licensing on the Workforce

Working a job — any job — is connected to lower poverty, better income mobility, lower crime rates, fewer children born out-of-wedlock and a host of other positive results. But today, the right to earn a living is becoming more difficult. In 1950, only around 5 percent of workers needed an occupational license – today, more than one out of every five workers in Michigan is required to have this special government permission to work. This typically includes mandated educational degrees, hours of training, upfront fees, testing, continuing education, and limits of people with criminal records.

Laws of Evidence: How Sound Forensic Science Policy Can Help Prevent Wrongful Convictions

The Innocence Project is a well-known nonprofit organization whose goal is to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. Forty-six percent of its cases involved misapplied forensic science — meaning that a method, technique or analysis was conducted incorrectly. There have been 17 exonerations in Michigan involving misapplied forensic science. Now, in partnership with the Reason Foundation, the Innocence Project is calling for improvements to forensic science and for better transparency and quality control in crime labs. Panelists from the Innocence Project and Reason will discuss how the application of forensic science to criminal prosecutions can be improved by policy change and public education.

The New Fight for the Right: Where the Conservative Movement is Going

The Republican Party fully controls most states and at the national level has captured the House, Senate and presidency. By many measures, the party has more power than it has had in many decades. But will that control last? And, more importantly, what policy priorities are coming about from these political victories?

Home Sharing: Michigan’s Next Property Rights Battle

Renting out the family summer cottage is a common practice in Michigan, but with today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever, empowered by companies like AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO and more. These short-term rentals mean vacationers can find a place much more easily and inexpensively, while owners can earn some extra money. It seems like a win-win.

Fighting for Free Speech on Michigan University Campuses

Some institutions of higher education have cracked down on free speech. Even in Michigan, universities have speech codes that restrict students’ speech, campus groups have prevented speakers from delivering talks and administrators have stopped individuals from handing outcertain literature.

From the Model T to Driverless Cars: How Michigan Can Lead in Transportation Innovation

You may not have seen them on the highway yet, but autonomous vehicles are here. The potential benefits of this and related technologies are immense. But they also present new and unique regulatory and infrastructure challenges for state and local governments. Brent Skorup of the Mercatus Center has written extensively on these issues and will lay out the principles and practices policymakers should pursue when determining how to regulate these new technologies.

Why Trump is Wrong About Trade

There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, will make the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

After Obamacare: How Michigan Can Deliver on Patient-Centered Health Care

Michigan’s health care choices in a new political environment

Obamacare repeal-and-replace is underway, and regardless of whether it passes or fails big, changes are coming for Michigan’s medical services and insurance industry, and the state’s social welfare system, especially Medicaid.

Foot Patrol Policing: Engaging Michigan Communities One Step at a Time

Issues and Ideas Forum

As police departments seek to reduce crime, restore trust in law enforcement and improve the strained relationship between officers and civilians, many have begun shifting to more community-oriented operations.

Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit

Issues and Ideas Forum

A “bottlenecker” is someone who uses the power of the government to limit competition in the market and artificially boost their own profits. Bottleneckers use a variety of methods to achieve their goals, including tax loopholes, regulations, occupational licensing requirements, minimum wage laws and many more. The end result when these special interest bottleneckers succeed is fewer choices and higher prices for consumers, fewer job opportunities for workers and less innovation throughout the economy.

Worker’s Choice: Freeing Unions and Workers From Forced Representation

Issues and Ideas Forum

Unionized workers are forced to accept union representation whether they want it or not, even though Michigan is a right-to-work state.  Right-to-work takes away a union’s ability to get a worker fired for not paying them. However with the law unions are still given a monopoly to represent all workers on a job. They must provide representation even to those not paying them. While unions like their monopoly they still complain about what they call “free riders” – those forced to accept their services but not paying for them.  Unions have brought legal challenges in several states claiming right-to-work violates constitutional takings clauses because of this so-called free rider issue.

How Pensions Are Bankrupting Cities and States and How to Fix It

Issues and Ideas Forum

Retiree benefits are a national crisis, but some cities and states have made significant reforms that are saving money and preventing liabilities being pushed off onto future generations. This event will discuss the scope of the problem and what Michigan should be doing to solve it.

The Boundaries of Educational Choice: Surveying Michigan's Private School Landscape

Issues and Ideas Forum

Nonpublic schools serve tens of thousands of Michigan elementary and secondary students, yet a clear understanding of the state's diverse private education landscape has been lacking. While most states (including those on our borders) have enacted some kind of publicly funded choice program, Michigan private schools fight in the Legislature for a small share of funding to cover the state’s health and safety mandates. In order to expand choice, Michigan must overcome a stringent constitution, as well as some popular misconceptions about private schools.

Free Market Solutions to Problems in Health Care

Issues and Ideas Forum

The Affordable Care Act dramatically changed the healthcare market throughout the United States and expanded the control of the federal government over healthcare policies. Despite this fact, there are still reforms that states can make that could expand the access and reduce the cost of medical services. This event will feature several experts who will discuss reforms that Michigan policymakers should consider if they want to improve healthcare services in this state.