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An Evening with the Mackinac Center

SAVE the DATE

Join us for an evening of fellowship among friends of liberty.

My Story ... Your Future?

The Real-life Story of a Venezuelan Asylum Seeker

Jorge Galicia had to leave his life in Venezuela after an oppressive regime crippled the economy, caused widespread starvation, blanketed the nation in blackouts, and silenced and jailed those who dared to speak out and criticize the government. Join us at Spring Arbor University, as Jorge provides an eyewitness perspective and answers the questions: How did a country with so much wealth and promise completely collapse? Could it happen in the United States? His answer will surprise you!

My Story ... Your Future?

The Real-life Story of a Venezuelan Asylum Seeker

Jorge Galicia had to leave his life in Venezuela after an oppressive regime crippled the economy, caused widespread starvation, blanketed the nation in blackouts, and silenced and jailed those who dared to speak out and criticize the government. Join us at Northwood University, as Jorge provides an eyewitness perspective and answers the questions: How did a country with so much wealth and promise completely collapse? Could it happen in the United States? His answer will surprise you!

A Conversation with Legal Insurrection’s William A. Jacobson

Issues & Ideas forum

Professor Jacobson joins us in Lansing for a wide-ranging conversation about matters such as free speech on college campuses, life as a conservative academic, the intersection of politics and law, and the evolution of the right-of-center blogosphere.

Planning for Life Workshop

Grand Haven, Michigan

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2021 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Emergency Powers and Pandemic Mismanagement

Mackinac Center Policy Forum - Portage

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took unprecedented actions in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state banned certain businesses from operating and even required the entire population of Michigan to stay in their homes under penalty of law. The constitutionality of these actions was questionable, and some were struck down by the Michigan Supreme Court. Now that the pandemic emergency has ended, it is time to assess the state of Michigan’s emergency actions both in terms of their effectiveness and their propriety.

Seven Principles of Sound Environmental Policy

Mackinac Center Policy Forum - Rochester

At this Policy Forum, Jason Hayes will discuss how seven basic principles can start legislators and regulators off on the right path by ensuring private property rights are protected and the productive and creative abilities of free markets are maximized.

Free Markets and Free People Policy Forum

Traverse City

The Mackinac Center Policy Forum is a half day devoted to public policies that matter greatly to friends of free markets and free people. Join us in Traverse City as we provide an update on recent legislative action and discuss such timely topics as the future of Line 5, pandemic policies, and education and worker freedom.

Planning for Life Workshop

Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2021 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Emergency Powers and Pandemic Mismanagement

Mackinac Center Policy Forum - Livonia

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took unprecedented actions in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state banned certain businesses from operating and even required the entire population of Michigan to stay in their homes under penalty of law. The constitutionality of these actions was questionable, and some were struck down by the Michigan Supreme Court. Now that the pandemic emergency has ended, it is time to assess the state of Michigan’s emergency actions both in terms of their effectiveness and their propriety.

Planning for Life Workshop

Frankenmuth, Michigan

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2021 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Planning for Life Workshop

Petoskey, Michigan

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2021 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Are Lockdowns Effective?: How to Measure the Impact of COVID-19 Policies

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

Assessing whether unprecedented lockdown policies were worth the costs is complicated, but two economists from Michigan universities will explain how to approach the problem and present their own research findings on the effectiveness of lockdowns.

Texas Energy Crisis a Wake-Up Call for Michigan

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

The unreliability of renewable energy like wind and solar contributed to the problem that led to the Texas blackouts this past winter. What lessons could Michigan learn to prevent a similar problem here?

The Captured Economy: How Government Rules Slow Economic Mobility

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

Socialists on the left and populists on the right increasingly blame the free market for a host of issues: poverty, middle-class stagnation, income inequality and more. Further regulating the market is often the proposed solution, but sometimes its government rules themselves that stifle innovation and block people from moving up the economic ladder.

Why College Costs So Much and What States Can Do About It

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

Do you need a college degree to be successful? Why does college cost so much? How do we ensure higher education is flexible and affordable? Come hear a nuanced discussion about college costs and what states and the federal government should do about it. Join us at 11 am EST. Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Featured panelists will be Jason Delisle, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Jeremy Horpedahl, assistant professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas, and Jarrett Skorup, director of marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center.

Pandemic Policies and the Michigan Economy: Scholarly Research and Writing

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

State mandates put in place to temporarily limit the spread of COVID-19 created widespread, ongoing economic ramifications. Economists and others are working to estimate the full costs of these actions, but the task is difficult considering how unprecedented and broad these state mandates have been. This virtual event will discuss sound economic theory and practical suggestions for initiating research, locating data and producing good, original scholarship. Join us at 6:00 pm EST. Sponsored by the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation, and presented in conjunction with Northwood University, our presenters will be Michael LaFaive, senior director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center, and Northwood University department chair Dale Matcheck. This event will be moderated by John Gustincic, director of the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise.

Flex Learning: A Customized Approach for Michigan Students

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

The need for greater flexibility in the state's K-12 education system has been underscored by recent experiences with pandemic restrictions and remote learning. The Mackinac Center proposes a new Flex Learning model that would bring about needed changes. Join this virtual event at 11:00 am EST as our featured speakers discuss an educational plan that would give students and families across Michigan the ability to craft combinations of virtual and in-person learning opportunities, as well as choose dual-enrollment courses and career apprenticeships. Our presenters will include Ben DeGrow, the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy, Phil Janis, principal of the Morey FlexTech High School in Shepherd, Mich., and two experts from ExcelinEd – a leading national education reform organization – director of educational opportunity Cara Candal and Midwest regional advocacy director Zach Eckert. Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, will provide opening remarks.

The Consequences of COVID Lockdowns

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

This virtual event will assess and discuss Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s unprecedented actions in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us at 6:00 pm EST. Sponsored by the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation, and presented in conjunction with Northwood University, this panel of three experts will cover the legal questions, as well as the economic consequences for entrepreneurs and the broader economy. Moderated by John Gustincic, director of the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise, our featured panelists will be Northwood University department chairs James Hop and Dale Matcheck, as well as Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s director of research, Michael Van Beek.

Talking Michigan Taxes: Potential Increases and Reforms in 2021

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

This online event will give a general overview of how Michigan's tax system compares to other states, how the 2020 election affected taxes and what the tax policy conversation will look like in 2021. Join us at 11 am EST / 8 am PST. Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Featured speakers will be Janelle Cammenga, policy analyst with the Tax Foundation's Center for State Tax Policy, and James Hohman, the Mackinac Center’s director of fiscal policy.

Alcohol Reform – Give Me Liberty and Give Me a Drink!

Virtual Event

This event will feature author C. Jarrett Dieterle, and Michael LaFaive, senior director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, as they discuss Mr. Dieterle's recently released book Give Me Liberty and Give Me a Drink!, current alcohol regulations and what reforms should be made to change them. Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Join us at 11 am EDT / 8 am PDT.

Wildfires, Wild Theories, and Extinguishing these Fiery Threats

A Goldwater Institute Conversation with Jason Hayes – Virtual Event

This Goldwater Institute event will feature Mackinac Center's director of environmental policy Jason Hayes as he discusses his new report on wildfires and what steps we can take to take control of them before they start. Join the Goldwater Institute at 2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT.

Planning for Life: An Introduction to Estate Planning

Virtual Workshop

Please join our Planning for Life workshop to learn more about designing a will or estate plan that reflects your values and your heritage. Whether you are just beginning to think about your legacy plan, or need to update existing documents, you will leave our presentation equipped to move forward. This virtual presentation will begin at 11:00 a.m. on September 29th.

State Economic Development Programs: Why Feed Sparrows Through a Horse?

A Joint Policy Forum with National Review Institute – Virtual Event

Join the Mackinac Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative and National Review Institute on September 22, 2020 for our Virtual Policy Forum, “State Economic Development Programs: Why Feed Sparrows Through a Horse?” Join us at 1 pm EDT.

Making Common Sense Changes to Government Regulation

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

This event will feature Campaign for Common Good's founder Philip K. Howard and the Mackinac Center's director of research Michael Van Beek as they discuss the Campaign, making the case for a government reboot no matter who wins the presidential election. The event will be moderated by Lindsay Killen, the Mackinac Center's vice president for strategic outreach and communications, and opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Join us at 11 am EDT / 8 am PDT.

EVENT CANCELLATION: Planning for Life Workshop

Grand Haven, Michigan

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

EVENT CANCELLATION: Planning for Life Workshop

Frankenmuth, Michigan

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

EVENT CANCELLATION: Planning for Life Workshop

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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

Gov. Whitmer’s Unconstitutional Executive Orders

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

This event will discuss the health and economic harms from Gov. Whitmer's executive orders and the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation's lawsuit against the governor. The event panel will feature Dr. Randal Baker, a general surgeon in Grand Rapids whose practice was largely shut down from the executive orders, and Patrick Wright, vice president for legal affairs at the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Join us at 11 am EDT / 8 am PDT.

EVENT CANCELLATION: Planning for Life Workshop

Grosse Pointe, Michigan

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

School at Home: The Educational Options In Michigan This Fall

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

In light of COVID-19, what do families need to know to make informed decisions about homeschooling, virtual schooling and other unconventional options? What will this disruption mean for Michigan’s K-12 education landscape? Join us at 11 am EDT / 8 am PDT. Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, and featured speakers will be Leanne Van Beek, a practicing homeschooler and consultant, Deana Garcia, mother of a student at a virtual high school and Ben DeGrow, the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy.

Seven Principles of Sound Environmental Policy: How can markets help protect our natural environment?

Mackinac Center Policy Forum — Virtual Event

Join us at 2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT. After opening remarks by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, experts Jason Hayes, director of Environmental Policy at the Mackinac Center, and Todd Myers, director of the Center for the Environment at the Washington Policy Center, will discuss how the seven basic principles presented in their new publication can start legislators and regulators off on the right path by ensuring private property rights are protected and the productive and creative abilities of free markets are maximized.

Mid-Michigan dam failures: What happened and where do we go from here?

Mackinac Center Policy Forum — Virtual Event

Join us for this online event as we look into the recent failure of two mid-Michigan dams. What caused the failures, and how can we begin to repair the damage? Opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, followed by featured speakers David Kepler, owner of TCP Investments, and Jason Hayes, director of the Mackinac Center's Environmental Policy Initiative.

Virtual Event: Gov. Whitmer's Unprecedented Use of Emergency Powers

Join us for this online event to hear opening remarks by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, followed by the Mackinac Center's Patrick Wright, vice president for legal affairs, and Michael Van Beek, director of research, who will discuss Gov. Whitmer's use of emergency powers, what Michigan law allows and the Center’s legal challenges to the governor’s overreach.

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.

Miss Virginia Movie Premiere

Miss Virginia is based on the true story of Virginia Walden Ford, a single mom from Washington, D.C., who turned the fight for her own son’s education into a parent army that brought private school choice to the nation’s capital. Her story is an inspiration to families everywhere who need a way to access effective education options for their children.

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.

Communism, Socialism and “Democratic Socialism”

What’s the Deal and the Difference?

Dr. Paul Kengor, a historian and professor of political science, will talk about the forgotten history and legacy of communism and socialism and their effect on society and political conversations today.

An Evening with the Mackinac Center

Join us for an evening of fellowship among friends of liberty.

Planning for Life Workshop – Holland, MI

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

Making Waves with the Mackinac Center

Join us for a sunset cruise and a free market discussion on the current budget and taxes debates.

Featuring: Michael LaFaive, senior director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center and James Hohman, director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center.

Auto Insurance in Michigan

Mackinac Center Policy Forum - Portage

Michigan’s auto insurance premiums have been the highest in America for the last six years – in large part because our state’s unique combination of no-fault regulation and unlimited personal-injury benefits has caused medical costs from auto accidents to surge out of control. However, in May, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature agreed on a significant reform package that should provide Michigan motorists with significant relief as soon as next summer.

Mackinac Center Policy Forum

Traverse City

The Mackinac Center Policy Forum is a half day devoted to public policies that matter greatly to friends of free markets and free people. Join us in Traverse City as we discuss such topics as government internet, free market environmentalism, the state budget and related tax debate, education reform and recent legislative action.

Planning for Life Workshop – Charlevoix, MI

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

Protecting Your Property Against Abusive Governments

Mackinac Center Policy Forum - Troy

For too long, Michigan law has made it easy for certain local governments to confiscate your property through dubious means, with some Southeast Michigan agencies being some of the most egregious offenders. However, the tide is starting to turn and provide Michiganders with a greater level of legal protections against such overreach. A new state law prohibits local law enforcement agencies from taking your personal property without first convicting you of a crime, while a pair of lawsuits are challenging the practice of practice of home equity theft by government.

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.

Planning for Life Workshop – Birmingham, MI

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

The Policy Circle: Start the Conversation

Free Enterprise

Please Join Sylvie Légère, President and Co-Founder of The Policy Circle, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy for a Policy Circle Conversation to discuss Free Enterprise.

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.

Lessons from Ronald Reagan

from the 1980s to Today

Join us to hear Dr. Larry Schweikart speak about his new biography title Reagan: The American President.

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.

How Criminal Justice Works in Michigan

Criminal justice reform will continue to be a hot topic in Lansing this year, as lawmakers on the left and right advance various proposals for reforming the system. But in order to properly evaluate the potential for successful change, it’s important to understand the nuts and bolts of how the system currently operates.

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.

National School Choice Week

Student displays, performances and testimonials will showcase the value Michigan families receive when they exercise choice to meet their educational needs.

Brews and Views

Join us for a panel discussion on the role of private efforts to protect and conserve natural areas and resources.

Planning for Life Workshop – Farmington Hills

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2018 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Bail Reform: Improving Pretrial Release to Benefit Defendants and Taxpayers

Michigan’s system of bail and pretrial release is ripe for reform, but any changes to this complex structure require a thorough understanding of current practices and how they diverge from best practices. Analysts at the Mackinac Center and the ACLU of Michigan both published papers to inform the public about bail in our state, which they will present jointly.

The New Face of the FCC: Q&A with Chairman Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, but his philosophy is a bit different than many regulators. Pai’s regulatory philosophy values consumers, competition and markets over regulation, bureaucrats and central planning. His principles include being aware of “regulatory capture,” a free and fair system without dispensing favors and special treatment, flexible rulemaking, and rules which respect the laws of Congress.

Little Pink House Screening

Join the Mackinac Center for a private screening of the compelling film about small town heroes who challenged one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical corporations and an overreaching government all the way to the Supreme Court.

Making Waves with the Mackinac Center

Join us for a sunset cruise and a free market discussion on energy and property rights.

Featuring: Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

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.

Planning for Life Workshop – Bay Harbor Yacht Club

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2018 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Planning for Life Workshop – Midland, MI

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2018 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

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.

An Evening with the Mackinac Center

Join us for an evening of fellowship among friends of liberty.

Pump the Brakes: Michigan Should Rethink Driver's License Suspensions

In 2010, Michigan suspended over 475,000 licenses – one for every 15 drivers. Over 95 percent of those suspensions were for offenses unrelated to driving. Today, 86 percent of Americans use a car or motorcycle to get to work, meaning that a suspended license puts them at serious risk of job loss and other hardships.

A Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism

For decades after the end of the "Great War," communism was on the march. Bolshevik Russia expanded its territory into large segments of Eastern Europe, Chairman Mao took China, and one-party rule dominated in much of Asia, Latin America and Africa. Cuba, a close U.S. ally merely 100 miles from Florida, launched a communist dictatorship that is now nearly six decades old.

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.

Smart Regulations for the Coming Driverless Car Revolution

As you read this, a future that features driverless cars on city streets, interstate highways and maybe in your driveway is steadily unfolding. But before this future fully arrives, policymakers need to think hard about how to properly regulate these new technologies. Regulations, after all, are powerful and often blunt tools — they can be used to foster innovation, competition and economic growth, and they can be used to prevent change, snuff out invention and slow technological advances. The predicted benefits of autonomous vehicles to society are large and widespread, and Michigan needs to be ensure that its residents can take full advantage of these upsides.

Planning for Life Workshop – Southfield, MI

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2017 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

An Evening with the Mackinac Center

Join us for an evening of fellowship among friends of liberty.

What Can We Learn from Michigan Parents Using School Choice?

An increasing number of Michigan families are exercising choice within the public education system. More than 300,000 students attend either a charter school or another public school across district lines, most often through Schools of Choice. While there has been much debate about how school choice is working in Michigan, the voices of parents seeking educational alternatives have largely not been included in the discussion.

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?

Planning for Life Workshop – Traverse City, MI

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2017 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

Planning for Life Workshop – Grand Rapids, MI

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announces our 2017 Planning for Life Workshops around Michigan.

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.

Children of Monsters: The Strange Lives of Children of Dictators

Featuring Jay Nordlinger

Please join us at Northwood University as Jay Nordlinger, senior editor at National Review, presents his book "Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators."

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.