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School Boards Should Fix Problems in Collective Bargaining

Politicians promise to help children learn better by passing new laws and spending more money, but Michigan school districts could improve education themselves simply by negotiating better contracts with teacher unions.

In Wake of Daimler-Chrysler Merger, Michigan Needs Labor Law Reform

Competition for jobs among states and other countries is heavy in the global marketplace, but Michigan's labor market is burdened by a policy of compulsory unionism that damages the state's long-term potential for prosperity and economic growth.

Teachers and School Choice

Increased competition among schools would not only improve education for all children, it would reward dedicated teachers who excel in the classroom with good benefits and greater job satisfaction.

The Injustice of Environmental Justice

The Environmental Protection Agency's latest edict on "environmental justice" discriminates against poor minorities by discouraging industries from bringing good-paying new jobs to the disadvantaged residents of inner city neighborhoods.

Take Out a Contract on Detroit Metro

A nationwide survey of air travelers recently ranked Detroit Metro Airport dead last in quality and convenience. Contracting out the airport's management to a private firm-as other cities have done-could solve Metro's woes.

Dow Didn’t Sue Powerful Competitors; He Outsmarted Them

Government interventionists argue that antitrust laws are needed to protect the public from Microsoft, but a lesson from Michigan history shows that brainpower and some old-fashioned free-market competition can break even the most powerful cartels.

Home School Heroes

Children whose parents take an active role in their educations are among the most academically successful. The thousands of Michigan parents who teach their children at home should be applauded for demonstrating the ultimate in parental involvement.

Market-Oriented Approach to Farmland Preservation Best Bet for Michigan

Over ninety percent of Michigan is rural, yet environmental alarmists want government to restrict the use of land to curb the loss of farm acreage, creating a solution far worse than the perceived problem.

Teachers Deserve Good Benefits; Schools Deserve To Know What They Cost

School districts being manipulated by union-controlled health insurance providers should look instead to less expensive alternatives to providing their teachers with high quality health care benefits.

Time to Change Michigan's Revenue Sharing Program

Each year, over one billion dollars in state sales taxes are divided among Michigan municipalities. Why are cities with the highest tax rates rewarded with the lion's share?

Do Dollars Equal Scholars?

Eighty-three percent of all spending on public education goes toward employee salaries and benefits, but over half of Michigan school employees never set foot in a classroom.

Minimum Wage Causes Maximum Pain

The minimum wage hurts low-skilled workers by pricing them out of the labor market. Sixty years ago, New England textile workers afraid of Southern competition were counting on just this fact.

Government's Hidden Bite out of Michiganians' Take-Home Pay

Hidden payroll taxes are one reason Michigan ranks twelfth from the bottom nationwide in take-home pay. Workers should be informed of the full cost that government imposes on their pocketbooks.

Property Doesn't Commit Crimes, People Do

American citizens are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but when government accuses their property of criminal activity, it's a whole new ball game.

Michigan to Washington: Privatize Social Security or Let Us Opt Out!

The looming bankruptcy of Social Security threatens the retirement security of millions of workers. Michigan lawmakers should call on Congress to either privatize the system or let states design alternate plans.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Is No Simple Task

President Clinton is telling Americans they must reduce carbon dioxide emissions to comply with the unratified Kyoto treaty, but he has yet to say how this will be done without sacrificing jobs.

Pay Up, Michigan: Using Tax Credits to Subsidize the Sunbelt

President Clinton wants to curb "greenhouse gas" emissions by encouraging solar energy use through tax credits. Those in sunny states would enjoy blue skies and lower taxes as Michiganians went without both.

A Tax Credit Is Not a Voucher!

Opponents of school choice for Michigan's children are misrepresenting tuition tax credits in order to recycle their shopworn anti-voucher arguments.

Senator Arthur Vandenberg: A Profile in Courage

While 1930s Washington was abuzz with interventionist bureaucrats and politicians, Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg championed the free-market economy and was rewarded-by being elected to four terms.

Urban Sprawl: Michigan's Bogeyman of the 1990s?

What policy makers term "urban sprawl" may actually be a sign of social progress. Lowering tax burdens, not restricting growth, is how to lure people back to our cities.

Union Workers: Know What Your Rights and Options Are!

Recent court decisions have limited the ability of labor unions to compel membership and dues money for their political causes. Rank-and-file members should be aware of their rights.

Michigan Resists the New Deal

The sixty-fifth anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt's inauguration is a good time to recall how two prominent Michigan businessmen upheld free market competition against the government's massive economic intervention.

The Rediscovery of Booker T. Washington: Lessons for Black History Month

Booker T. Washington's formula for entrepreneurial success-strong character and an "I can do it" attitude-is undergoing a revival among black inner city students.

Berry Gordy and Motown Records: Lessons for Black History Month

The story of how Berry Gordy borrowed $800 and built his Detroit home-based business into a multimillion-dollar music empire is a powerful reminder of what black entrepreneurs can achieve in America.

School Choice: 1998 is the Year!

More than 65 percent of Michigan citizens favor allowing parents to choose the schools their children attend. Which political party will have the courage to take the lead on educational choice initiatives?

Consumers Should Be Wary of "Securitization"

Electricity deregulation lowers prices by offering consumers a choice of service providers. But Michigan's big monopoly utilities want you to pay them for the privilege of shopping around.

Applying the "Kaitlyn Test" to Recycling

An inquisitive four-year-old tests the proposition that recycling is always the best way to preserve precious resources.

Governor Groesbeck: Road Builder and Defender of School Choice

In the 1920s, a daring three-term Michigan governor took bold stands against unfair taxation and the Ku Klux Klan's anti-school-choice efforts.

When the Telegraph Came to Michigan

Even more than e-mail today, the telegraph changed the way Americans communicated with each other in 1847. Michigan's first telegraph line, from Detroit to Ypsilanti, was a free market triumph.

Boosting Savings and Growth through a Flat Tax

Savings are the "seed corn" of the economy. A flat tax would improve the savings rate and promote economic growth.

Tickets As Taxes: A Cautionary Tale from California

As voters resist tax increases, municipalities turn to increased traffic fines for funding. Should exorbitant fines be used to fund local government?

Beware the Global Warming Treaty

The existence of man-made global warming is highly uncertain, but the climate treaty's potential negative effects on Michigan's economy are clear.

Charter Schools: A Reform That Deserves Support

An audit that found flaws in Michigan charter schools suggests the need for more education reform, not less.

Changing Michigan's Constitution: An Idea Whose Time has Come

Other states are racing past Michigan in improving education by giving parents freedom to choose schools. A Universal Tuition Tax Credit and constitutional amendment can keep Michigan from lagging behind.

Are the Merits of Wind Power Overblown?

Wind power farms are noisy, land intensive, unsightly, hazardous to birds, and uneconomical despite massive government subsidies. Do their benefits outweigh these costs?

Private Sector Schools Serve the Difficult-to-Educate

Nonpublic schools and organizations are helping thousands of students with special needs, laying bare the myth that private schools only "skim the cream" and leave the toughest kids to the public schools.

Term Limits Are Constitutional

Michigan citizens voted in favor of term limits in 1992 but lawsuits may derail the referendum-if the courts choose to recraft the state's constitution.

Michigan and the Fantastic Federal Fur Failure

In 1822 the nation's first experiment with a federally subsidized industry-the Michigan fur trade-showed how entrepreneurs can succeed where government fails.

Michigan Cigarette Policy Ignores Lessons of History

Since Michigan tripled its cigarette tax in 1994, smuggling has become big business in the state, exactly as it was before in Britain and Canada. Michigan can learn from their history.

Why Does the Michigan House Want Schools to Waste Money?

Outsourcing noninstructional duties saves money and improves quality for schools and taxpayers, but the Michigan House of Representatives voted to make doing this more difficult and costly for the state's school districts.

Corn Flakes and Greatness

From "dim-witted" dropout to one of the century's wealthiest Americans, Will Kellogg reminds us that personal and economic freedom encourage great achievement from even the most unlikely individuals.

Union Racial Discrimination is Alive and Well

Unions have a long history of petitioning government for special protections from competitive nonunion industries. The result has been a kind of institutionalized racism.

A Free Market in Electricity: Will Michigan Get It Right?

With Michigan on the verge of embracing choice in the electricity market, one big question remains. Will competition be killed in its cradle, or will consumers realize the benefits of a free market?

A Grand Rapids Success: Helping the Homeless Help Themselves

Goverment antipoverty programs can provide a check, but not the incentive and nurturing to change a life. Mel Trotter Ministries is an example of how the poor are better helped by private charities.

Let's Swap the Income Tax for a Sales Tax

The onerous federal income tax system is anti-jobs, anti-savings, and anti-worker. Replacing the IRS with a national sales tax would be an improvement.

Tocqueville and the Michigan Mosquito

Vicious insects and their wetlands habitat once threatened to make Detroit the "Malaria City" instead of the "Motor City." Does today's wetlands policy balance human health and economic needs?

Does Michigan Tax Itself Enough for Roads?

A federal "level of effort" test would return money to states based on state tax and spending levels. States with high taxes and wasteful spending would be rewarded most.

Road Reforms Are Critical to Michigan's Infrastructure

Michigan's rough roads need more than money. The governor's plan would use existing funds more effectively, but the proposed gas tax increase should be offset with other tax cuts.

Joe Louis vs. the IRS

The heavyweight champion's toughest opponent was not a boxer; it was the IRS. Louis' tragic story shows why we should replace the current income tax with a low, flat rate.

Michigan Should Enforce the Rights of Workers

Most union workers are unaware that they can not be forced to pay for their unions' political, social, and ideological activities. The state should help workers understand their rights.