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Hope in State Graduation Standards Misplaced (Viewpoint on Policy Issues)

Given state bureaucrats’ lack of success implementing the law’s one existing requirement, we should not place much hope in an additional mandate to fix public education or improve the economy.

Public Pension Plans Need To Reflect Reality

When it comes to defined benefits, corporations and municipalities have seen the warning signs and are changing course to avoid getting burned. Public school employee unions and their allies in Lansing would be wise to do the same.

Can Detroit’s Problems Be Corrected by an Emergency Financial Manager?

Making changes to Act 72 would be essential for an EFM to have the necessary tools to deal with the city of Detroit’s management and fiscal problems.

Globalization: What a Wonderful World

Despite Michigan’s recent economic woes, in 2004 it exported $35 billion worth of goods and services to the world, ranking it fourth among the states, up from sixth place in 1998.

Insurance Demagoguery Drives Rates Higher, Not Lower

Like all such proposals, the only thing these bills would do is make insurance unavailable at any price.

Is There a Statesman in the House? (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

Perhaps we should all take a moment to thank our great-grandchildren yet unborn. If we lack statesmen in this generation, we will still have our disaster relief, our pork and our politics — and they will pay for much of it.

Federal Regulations of Mercury Emissions Appear Adequate

Great Lakes mercury levels are declining, and to the extent that mercury remains a human health threat in Michigan, the federal program is a more sensible first step in addressing it.

Does the Headlee Tax Cap Need To Be Tightened? (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

So has Headlee restrained tax and spending growth? The answer is an unequivocal "maybe." In its 26-year history, the cap was exceeded just three times, and only once by enough to trigger a rebate.

Decisions About Great Lakes Drilling Should Be Left to the States

The Michigan Environmental Science Board concluded in 1997, “(T)here is little to no risk of contamination to the Great Lakes bottom or waters through releases directly above the bottom hole portion of directionally drilled wells. …”  The one small risk was contamination at the wellhead, far from the water’s edge. But wellheads, too, are regulated by the state.

"Poor Choices" Yield Better Education

The implications of Tooley’s findings are profound. Opposition to parental choice programs has often hinged on the belief that they would hurt the poor. In the wake of these results from Africa and India, it is difficult to imagine how that belief could be sustained.

An Agenda for the Next Mayor of Detroit (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

Real reform can’t be postponed. If Detroit’s decline persists and the city’s financial problems continue, the state may be forced to appoint an “emergency financial manager” to run the city under Public Act 72 — an ignominious end for the mayor and Detroit itself.

Improving Michigan’s Regulatory Environment

If businesses or consumers are forced to spend too much money to obtain a permit or to carry out their business, it is the same as taxing their money away — and sometimes worse, since they lose time as well.

Tuition Hikes at Michigan Universities Demonstrate Need for Reform

Private for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix operate at dramatically lower cost per course, offering a product well-liked by students (enrollments are growing 20 percent annually), taught in comfortable but not opulent surroundings.

Michigan Supreme Court Ruling on “Beachwalking” Erodes Property Rights

The court’s ruling now exposes Great Lakes waterfront landowners to new risks and intrusions. Do the landowners have a duty to make the area beneath the high-water mark safe for walkers or wheelchair users? Can people fish all day below the high-water mark?

Supreme Court Ruling Shows Telecom Regulation Should Be Abolished

The ruling’s outcome is all well and good. Yet the FCC’s distinction between “telecommunications services” and “information services” is, in fact, imprecise and arbitrary — a regulatory invention that has no place in today’s telecommunications market.

The Sound of Freedom

In the summer of 1965, my mother announced one day that she was taking me to see a film called “The Sound of Music.” I knew nothing of it other than that a lot of singing was involved, and to my mind, that was a good enough reason to stay home. I went reluctantly — and was enthralled.

Survey: School Outsourcing Grows

According to Loock, the district went from paying a $100,000 subsidy to the food program to posting a profit of up to $25,000 after Chartwells took over.

Granholm’s Task Force Report: Wrong Prescription, Critical Disease

In the four states with a long-term care insurance partnership program, around 180,000 long-term care insurance policies have been sold — a purchase rate far higher than in other states. Of these policyholders, only 86 have had to resort to Medicaid.

Bad Food at a Good Price!

Imagine a restaurant with second-rate food, surly waiters, slow service and high prices. When the manager sees a customer getting restless, he rushes over and offers a 15 percent price cut.

Responding to Michigan’s Population Slide

No serious analysis can argue that redistributing the tax burden or putting the state deeper in debt so it can pick winners and losers could possibly make Michigan better off.