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Toward a Civil Society

(The Mackinac Center first published a version of this commentary in July 1996. As the 2000 presidential election approaches, its re-issuance is especially timely.)

Mandatory Reporting of Medical Errors: Sound Prescription or Policy Malpractice?

Proposed new government mandates on doctors and hospitals could actually harm patients by making care less accessible.

A Reform Idea for Detroit Schools: Charter Them!

Converting Detroit's public schools into charter schools would free parents, students, teachers, and principals from a paralyzing education bureaucracy and allow them to take responsibility for making their particular school work.

Limited School Choice Is Improving Michigan Public Schools

Competition for students within the public education system is prompting many public schools to embrace reforms that they might not otherwise have tried.

Keep the Internet Tax-Free!

A plan supported by Governor John Engler would invade consumers' privacy and severely hamper the fledgling Internet economy that is leading the way to growth and prosperity.

The Census: Inquiring Minds Want to Know . . . A Lot

The U.S. constitution requires the federal government to conduct a national head count every 10 years, but many Americans are wondering why census officials ask so many nosy questions.

Are Americans Tax Slaves to the Government?

Americans today are in desperate need of relief from punishing taxes, which consume an incredible 38 percent of the average family's gross income.

Socialized Medicine Leaves a Bad Taste in Patients' Mouths

Canada's socialized health-care system ensures that everything-including hospital food-becomes fodder for political battles. U. S. policy makers should resist calls to further socialize America's market-oriented health system.

Don't Raid Michigan's Unemployment Fund to Pay for Family Leave

President Clinton wants states to use unemployment compensation to provide paid leave for parents staying home to care for their newborn children. Lawmakers should instead allow workers to negotiate "comp-time" arrangements to handle family needs.

Farm Worker Legal Services Encourage Law of Unintended Consequences

Two government-funded programs aimed at helping Michigan farm workers are actually working together to make it harder for poor laborers to find housing.

Lower Taxes, Less Regulation Key to Twenty-First Century Economy

For Michigan to compete in the twenty-first century economy, policy makers must continue to cut taxes and remove regulatory barriers to the information-based businesses of the present and future.

Government "Economic Development" Handouts Rob Peter to Pay Paul

One state program is using tax dollars to lure an out-of-state firm to Michigan to compete with third-generation, family-owned Koegel Meats of Flint.

Fear of Segregation Is No Argument against School Choice

Private schools, which parents choose, offer more racially integrated student populations than do public schools, where students are assigned based on where they live.

Where Are the Omelettes?

Freedom brings the greatest human happiness and prosperity, as the bloody history of Russia, Cambodia, and other centrally planned societies shows.

Celebrating Free Enterprise and One Hundred Years of Kodak Moments

With the introduction of his Kodak Brownie camera in 1900, entrepreneurial genius George Eastman put photography within reach of average Americans for the first time.

Land Trusts: A Private Solution to Protect Michigan Farmland

Dozens of private land trusts are helping to preserve 70,000 acres of Michigan wetlands, wildlife habitats, scenic views, forests, and farmland.

Defeated Watershed Proposal Would Have Drained Taxpayers' Wallets

Michigan property owners should beware of continuing efforts to raise their taxes in the name of "watershed management."

Leave Internet Access to the Market

Government "forced access" proposals would stifle innovation, limit competition, and raise prices in the growing market for Internet access.

What Is Real Compassion?

The original meaning of the word emphasizes personal involvement with the needy, not impersonal and ineffective government programs.

MEGA: Real Jobs or Smoke and Mirrors?

One state program takes credit for 74,000 jobs, but a closer look reveals its claims to be greatly exaggerated.