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Bad Science Fuels Environmental Policies

The obvious disconnect between environmental policy and science is hardly surprising given the political pressure to act on climate change.

Beach Affront

We should not happily accept the erosion of one of the pillars of our society — the right to own property, which necessarily includes the power to exclude.

The Unvarnished State of the State

Someone once said that politicians will do the right thing, but only after they have exhausted every other option. Michigan may have reached that point.

Automotive Production Expands – Elsewhere

Michigan has carefully built and continues to maintain a culture of decline that is overtly hostile to outsiders and fearful of their competition.

Let the Union Buyer Beware

On average, union employees spent 41 percent of their time representing members, according to their own report.

Michigan Needs Worker Freedom of Choice

Ultimately, voluntary unionism is not anti-union. It is decisively pro-worker. It encourages unions to be more accountable and responsible.

Migration Trends, Indiana Campaign Show Need for Policy Changes in Michigan

Indeed, if the state’s economic landscape doesn’t change soon it may need to change its official motto from “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you” to “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, move to Florida.”

State Budget Is Business as Usual

The just-concluded budget saga demonstrates that the real priority is to preserve the government status quo, quite literally at all costs.

School Boards Empowered to Save Insurance Dollars

The real answer to reducing the cost of health care for teachers and school employees is for school boards to utilize the advantages of competition.

Water Agreement Not Right for Michigan

It would be bad for this state and bad for the Great Lakes were Michigan lawmakers to ratify Annex 2001 in order to placate the other Great Lakes states.

Supreme Court Decision Complicated, But Correct

Ironically, the Michigan Supreme Court is being criticized for a “political” result when that result comes from applying the long-recognized standing doctrine that is meant to keep the courts from engaging in political activity.

Budget Savings Can Replace Recent Tax Hikes

In the short term the need is for immediate savings to allow repeal of the destructive $1.3 billion tax increase adopted as the capstone to this year’s state budget debacle.

Tax Increases Harmful to Michigan’s Health

The budget agreement that passed in the dead of night on Oct. 1 will raise taxes on Michigan residents, businesses and service providers to the tune of $1.358 billion for the coming fiscal year.

Governor and Legislature Appear Unable To Judge Priorities

Sadly, however, the Legislature has ignored judicial recommendations that would promote meaningful long-term change.

The Love of Power vs. the Power of Love

I resolve to learn more about the principles of love and liberty so that I can convincingly defend them against the encroachments of power.

Sweet Home Alabama

If the trend of the last five years holds, a majority of right-to-work states will have higher per capita disposable incomes than Michigan by 2010, at which point Michigan will be the real right-to-work-for-less state.

The Not So Good Life

By the standards of the last century, air quality today is excellent — notwithstanding the claims of environmental activists.

Used-Car Dealer Regulations Kill Small Businesses

This law authorized a regulatory taking of the livelihoods of hundreds of small business owners who can no longer use their property in the way they had done previously.

Survey 2007: School Support Service Privatization Rises

Competitive contracting continues to be a popular management tool for improving services and for saving money, which can then be reinvested into classrooms. All indications are that it will continue to grow in popularity.

Workers’ Paychecks Need Further Protection

In order to prevent misuse of nonmembers’ money, right-to-work laws or an end to compulsory unionism is needed. Paycheck protection laws are better than nothing, but they certainly are not optimal public policy.

School Support Service Privatization: Getting it Right

Done right, privatization remains an effective management tool for school districts across Michigan.

Time to Reform Teacher Compensation in Michigan

Under the system defended by unions, an excellent teacher, whose students demonstrate significant learning gains, earns the same amount as the teacher who clocks in and then checks out.

Intermediate School Districts: Innovations that are Past Their Prime

A far more substantive reform would be for Michigan to join a cadre of states that provide specialized services by giving parents greater options.

Michigan Needs Environmental Science Board

The MESB consists of an executive director and nine members appointed by the governor. The board has no paid staff and all members serve voluntarily.

Money Well Spent?

When government employees are involved, there is a case to be made that agency fee is something that ends up costing taxpayers.

What Really Determines School District Spending?

Professional advancement in a bureaucracy comes from increasing one’s budget, not from achieving more with less as it does in the private sector.

The Tax Hiker's Shopping Guide

If state lawmakers and the governor consider Michiganians more than mere cash cows, they should stop reading the “Tax Hiker’s Shopping Guide”...

Say YES! to Right to Work!

Today’s labor markets look nothing like those of 75 years ago.

Court Ignored Sound Science in Carbon Dioxide Ruling

Consensus is actually antithetical to the proper conduct of scientific inquiry.

Paying More to Protect the Privileged

The dirty little secret is that Michigan pays too much for the government it gets.

Fast-Growth States Have Lower Taxes — Not More Grads

The 10 states with the lowest tax burdens are growing at an average rate of 2.6 percent — almost double Michigan’s growth rate and 34 percent faster than the national average.

Taken For a Ride

It bears noting that any park or other amusement facility that must rely on tax dollars, rather than private investment, is by definition not viable and thus unworthy of taxpayer support.

Bigger Taxes or Smaller Government — Let the People Decide

Many suspect that the political establishment has elevated government and school employees into a privileged class to be protected at all costs from economic changes that affect everyone else.

State of Michigan: Best-Run or Best-Protected?

The yearly cost of policing the state’s highways could be reduced by more than $60 million by switching state police patrol duties to local sheriff’s deputies.

Renaissance Center Brought No Renaissance

Despite all of the glitz and lofty rhetoric associated with major building projects, people continue to flee the city.

Road Funding: Time for a New Direction

The best option for finding new road money is for the Legislature and governor to get serious about spending a lot less on things in state government that are far less important.

Doom for Whom?

When politicians and their lieutenants prophesy doom if spending is cut, it pays to question what they define as “doom,” and for whom.

Legislators: Listen to Detroit Parents

Parents and community groups must play an important role in increasing support for charter schools.

A Movie No One Should Miss

Wilberforce endured and overcame every obstacle imaginable, including ill health, death threats, derision from his colleagues and defeats almost too numerous to count.

The People’s Power: Defending Representative Government

The arguments both for and against the OFIS rulings indicate that these decisions involve a genuine policy debate — something that should, under the Michigan Constitution, be decided in the Legislature.

From Worst to First: The Best Business Tax is None

For every dollar that employers must pay in corporate taxes to the state, they have one dollar less to disburse as wages to workers or as investment in growth.

Stop Punishing Michigan Investors

What’s unique about state business taxes is the manner in which they target a narrow and highly desirable group — persons willing to invest in the state.

Property Owners Hit by Regulatory Takings Deserve Compensation

Regulatory takings occur when the government enacts a regulation or law that diminishes the value of the property but does not take ownership.

Time to Get Serious About School Employee Pension Reform

Private-sector employers are realizing defined-benefit systems like MPSERS do not serve today’s aging and mobile workforce.

The AFL-CIO Picks the U.N. Over the Constitution

How we interpret our labor law, or any other law for that matter, is for us to decide, not a foreign dictator or world body.

Bold Changes Needed in State Permitting

Even if a company or individual can bear the cost, they may not be able to afford the time delays associated with agency demands for new data.

Public Bans on Private Actions

Liberty is more often eaten away one small bite at a time than by one big gulp.

Arrest Pontiac Police Costs

Reforms need to be made that take Pontiac beyond the point of simply keeping its fiscal head above water.

Get Rid of the Labels

Ideas worth supporting are those that are tested and found worthwhile because they produce results, not rhetoric.