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Results 1 to 135 for the year 1999
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  1. Microsoft Did Nothing Wrong
  2. Leave Business to the Businessmen
  3. Government Can Harm the Environment Too
  4. Union Members' Trump Card
  5. Trade Liberalization: The North American Free Trade Agreement's Economic Impact on Michigan
    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is six years old. Has it benefited Michigan's economy? Or has it destroyed jobs and hampered prosperity, as predicted by many who participated in the national debate that raged for two years prior to its ratification? The verdict is in, and the available data clearly show that free trade is proving to be a significant boon to Michigan businesses and citizens. This study analyzes five years of import and export figures to show that the tariff cuts enacted by NAFTA have led to significantly increased Michigan exports to Canada and Mexico. The study concludes that while some businesses may have been hurt by NAFTA, on balance, removing government barriers to trade has been a positive step toward increasing the prosperity and standards of living for Michigan citizens-and citizens throughout America, Canada, and Mexico.
  6. IMPACT! Winter 2000
  7. 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.
  8. Deauthorization: The Union Workers' Trump Card
    Private-sector workers can hold an unresponsive union accountable by voting to withhold their dues payments.
  9. EPA's Bad Science Targets Michigan Farmers
    Federal anti-pollution edicts based on faulty data could threaten the state's agriculture industry.
  10. Internet Access: Government Intervention or Private Innovation?
    The Internet has transformed our way of life; and new "broadband" technologies promise even greater benefits through high-speed Internet access and communications. Unfortunately, because major cable companies currently have the capacity to provide this technology to their clients, other Internet service providers (ISPs) are crying foul. They are calling the cable companies' "head start" unfair and forming alliances to get the government to force cable companies to make their high-speed broadband lines available for use by all ISPs on equal terms. This study explains why this government intervention would be a terrible idea. It analyzes market trends and technological possibilities to show that "forced access" would significantly increase costs for consumers with no benefit to show for the added expense. The study concludes that "forced access" would stifle the innovation that naturally emerges from the free play of market forces. It shows why government should not only refrain from interfering with broadband technology, but should allow competition between local cable providers in order to maximize the potential of this exciting new technology.
  11. Forbes to Deliver Major Policy Address on November 30 at Mackinac Center
  12. Privatization In The Balance
  13. Congress Should Stop Taxing Seniors Who Want to Work
  14. Shattering the Myth of the "Glass Ceiling"
  15. Freedom, Not Favoritism, Is the Key to More Jobs
  16. Anti-Jitney Laws Take People for a Ride
  17. Anti-Jitney Laws Take People for a Ride
    Detroit and other cities that outlawed "jitneys"-low-fare transportation service providers-at the urging of higher-priced taxi and bus companies should repeal their bans and let jitneys legally serve poor citizens who need a ride.
  18. Why Punish Senior Citizens Who Want to Keep Working?
    The Social Security "earnings test" discourages senior citizens from working past age 65 by decreasing their benefits if they do. Why do this at a time when employers are desperately seeking experienced workers?
  19. Economic Freedom, Not Government Favoritism, Brings Jobs to States
    Companies base their decisions about where to create new jobs not on government programs that offer them selective subsidies or tax credits, but on the overall freedom of a state's business climate.
  20. Shattering the Myth of the "Glass Ceiling"
    Women are said to be held back from positions of corporate leadership by a discriminatory "glass ceiling," but factors other than sex discrimination help account for fewer female executives compared to males.
  21. Michigan Education Report (1999-04)
  22. Time for Another State Tax Cut: It's the Law
  23. School Choice: It Works!
  24. Organ Donation: Incentives Could Save Lives
  25. Private Food Service: Michigan School Districts Eat up Savings
  26. The Crash of 1929: Could It Happen Again?
  27. Get Government out of Our Bathrooms!
  28. Organ Donation: Saving Lives through Incentives
    Medical demand for transplantable organs in Michigan far exceeds the number of people willing to donate them. An incentive-based system that encouraged more people to donate organs could save thousands of lives each year.
  29. Time to Repeal the Politically Correct Toilet Law
    In 1992, Congress banned the standard 3.5-gallon toilet in favor of "water-saving" 1.6-gallon toilets. Seven years later, it is clear the new toilets not only don't flush properly-they don't even save water.
  30. The Crash of 1929: Could It Happen Again?
    The 1929 stock market crash and subsequent Great Depression caused widespread suffering in Michigan. Could such economic disaster happen again today? Only if government pursues the disastrous policies of the 1920s and 1930s.
  31. School Choice Has Been Tried —
    And It Works!

    Allowing parents greater freedom to choose the schools their children attend will lead to educational disaster, claim defenders of the status quo. But examples of school choice in modern-day and historical America show otherwise.
  32. Freedom To vs. Freedom From
  33. Center Refutes MEGA Job Numbers as Official Lashes Out, Apologizes
  34. IMPACT! Fall 1999
  35. Failure of Anti-Strike Law to Deter Teachers Calls for New Measures, Analyst Says
  36. Economic Freedom among the States: How Does Michigan Compare?
    A recent report ranked the 50 states according to how much economic freedom each government allows its citizens to enjoy. How free are Michigan citizens?
  37. Michigan's Prevailing Wage Act: Will Common Sense Prevail?
    Michigan's Prevailing Wage Act mandates that artificially high union wages be paid for all state-financed construction projects. Repealing the law would save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary construction costs each year.
  38. A Ferry Tale of Two Cities: Lansing and Muskegon
    Does it make sense for Michigan taxpayers to subsidize a Wisconsin-based Lake Michigan ferry business so that it can unfairly compete with an unsubsidized, Michigan-based, ferry service?
  39. Business Subsidies: A Ferry Tale from Lansing
  40. Lesson for Michigan: Freedom and Prosperity Go Hand-in-Hand
  41. School Choice Integrates Students of All Races
  42. Prevailing Wage Law Wastes Taxpayers' Money
  43. Why Are Detroit Teachers Striking Now? Look at "New Dynamic," Analyst Says
  44. Michigan's Prevailing Wage Law and Its Effects on Government Spending and Construction Employment
    Michigan's Prevailing Wage Act of 1965 requires contractors to pay artificially high union wages on all state-financed projects from road repair to school construction. This study examined the performance of Michigan's economy for two 30-month periods prior to and during the law's suspension by a federal district court and found that taxpayers could save hundreds of millions of dollars annually if the law were permanently repealed. The study also reveals prevailing wage laws' negative effect on job creation in the construction industry and their discriminatory impact on black and other minority workers. 21 pages.
  45. Prevailing Wage Law Hurts Workers, Economy, According to New Analysis
  46. New Labor Resource Available for Michigan Workers and Employers
  47. Michigan Labor Law: What Every Citizen Should Know
    Michigan is one of the most unionized states in the country, with a long and sometimes troubled labor history that powerfully affects every citizen in the state from blue-collar factory workers to suburban soccer moms. Yet few understand how modern labor unions and state and federal labor laws operate. This study clearly and concisely explains the history of organized labor in America, how government unions affect the democratic process, how compulsory unionism interferes with workers' rights of free speech and association, and much more. Several recommendations for reform point the way toward restoring a more balanced, government-neutral approach to Michigan labor relations.
  48. Michigan Education Report (1999-03)
  49. Privatization In Education
  50. Privatization Saves City from Bankruptcy
  51. Competition Among Professors Would Help Parents Afford College
  52. And Now a Word from Our Sponsors-Your Local Public Schools
  53. Michigan's Accident Fund: Five Years of Privatization
  54. Michigan's Russell Kirk and the Roots of Liberty
  55. Privatization Brought Ecorse, Michigan, Back from Bankruptcy
    Michigan's first-ever bankrupt city government was a tragic example of mismanagement and unaccountability, but privatization of numerous city services put the Detroit suburb of Ecorse back on the path to financial health.
  56. One of the Century's Major Books: Kirk's The Roots of American Order
    Michiganian Russell Kirk's quarter-century-old book, The Roots of American Order, has become one of the most important explanations of America's unique rise to greatness and warnings of the erosion of her freedom and prosperity.
  57. "Jobless Ph.D. for Hire: Will Teach Students Who Cannot Afford College"
    Permitting Ph. D.s to provide instruction for college credit in independent, off-campus settings would ease the glut of underemployed doctoral degree holders and make higher education much more accessible to poorer students.
  58. School Choice in Michigan: A Primer for Freedom in Education
      School choice--the right, freedom, and ability of parents to choose for their children the safest and best schools--has moved front and center in the debate over how to improve education in Michigan. This three-part primer equips parents, educators, and policy makers with the facts they need to understand and advance market-based reforms that will help all Michigan schools perform at higher levels of quality and efficiency.
      The primer examines the history of government-funded and operated schooling, explains why nonmarket-oriented school reform efforts ultimately fail, and describes various school choice proposals including charter schools, inter-district choice, vouchers, tax credits, and universal tuition tax credits. Helpful appendices explain ways for grass-roots citizens to help advance school choice.
  59. Picking Winners and Losers with Tax Credits is Unnecessary and Unfair
    The state's four-year-old MEGA program discriminates against many businesses when it doles out tax credits to a few favored companies. The legislature should eliminate this costly, unfair, and ineffective program.
  60. Cost of Government Goes Up While Costs of Living Go Down
    Government taxes, spending, and regulation gobble up roughly half of the average American's earnings. Lawmakers must work to rein in Leviathan's out-of-control growth.
  61. Ernest Hemingway and Art Subsidies: A Farewell to Alms
    The one-hundredth anniversary of famous author and former Michigan resident Ernest Hemingway's birth serves to remind us that art is too important to depend on government.
  62. School Employee Unions Oppose School Choice to Protect Their Turf
    A study of union membership rates among Michigan public, charter, and private, school teachers reveals that unions have powerful political and financial incentives to oppose school choice proposals.
  63. The “Who Pays?” Test
  64. Unions Have Financial Incentives to Oppose School Choice
  65. The High Cost of Government
  66. Ernest Hemingway and Government Art Subsidies: A Farewell to Alms
  67. MEGA Deserves No Credit for Good Economy
  68. Study: School Choice Threatens School Employee Unions’ Financial and Political Clout
  69. The Impact of School Choice on School Employee Labor Unions
      As school choice heads for the 2000 ballot in Michigan, it is important for citizens to understand how proposals including K-12 vouchers and tuition tax credits will affect the school employee unions that exert such a powerful influence on the state’s public school system.
      This study examines union membership rates among Michigan’s public, charter, and private school teachers and found that while teachers in every public school district are represented by-and pay dues to-a union, only 5 out of 139 charter and 2 out of over one thousand private schools employ unionized workforces.
      The study concludes that school employee unions-including the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Federation of Teachers-have powerful political and financial incentives to spend millions of dollars to prevent more parents from being able to choose non-unionized charter or private schools for their children.
  70. IMPACT! Summer 1999
  71. Are High School Economics Textbooks Reliable?
    A review of the 16 most-used high school economics textbooks in Michigan reveals that many contain gross errors and dangerous myths about the market economy and the proper role of government.
  72. Disability Discrimination: Good Intentions Can Produce Bad Law
    Laws intended to help disabled people find and keep jobs have encouraged anyone with a personal problem to file frivolous lawsuits in the hopes of winning huge cash awards from employers.
  73. Detroit's Reform School Board Would Be Wise to Privatize
    Detroit should join Chicago, Philadelphia, and other big-city school districts to contract with private firms to save money and improve the quality of such support functions as busing, custodial, and food service.
  74. Do Economics Textbooks Make the Grade?
  75. Who's Next in the Litigation Lottery?
  76. Privatization Can Teach New Detroit School Board a Lesson
  77. The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Law of Unintended Consequences
  78. Most Michigan High School Economics Texts Do Not Prepare Teenagers for 21st Century, Survey Finds
  79. How Reliable Are Michigan High School Economics Textbooks?
      A strong knowledge of sound economic principles is not only important in the twenty-first century global marketplace, it is essential for the maintenance of a free society. Are Michigan high school students being taught what they need to know in order to succeed and prosper?
      This review of 16 of the most commonly used economics textbooks in Michigan high schools uses 12 criteria-including issues of trade, taxation, and the role of government-to evaluate which texts are and are not effective at presenting students with a balanced and accurate perspective on the modern market economy. Each text is graded, from A to F, on its ability to clearly instruct students in the "economic way of thinking."
      An abridged 27-page written copy of the report may be ordered normally, or the full reviews of each textbook may be downloaded at no charge via
  80. Privatizationville: Privatization at the Local Level
  81. "Living Wage" Law Is Public Policy at Its Worst
    The people who push these cockamamie ideas never seem to ask why any employer would hire someone at $8.23 if that person's services are only valued in the marketplace at, say, $5.00.
  82. What's Wrong with the Progressive Income Tax?
    President Franklin Roosevelt proposed a 99.5 percent marginal tax rate on all incomes over $100,000. After that proposal failed, Roosevelt issued an executive order to tax all income over $25,000 at the astonishing rate of 100 percent.
  83. No Taxation Without Respiration!
    Over time, eliminating the estate tax would actually increase federal revenues above current levels.
  84. Taxation by Litigation Threatens Every American Business
    The Clinton administration that is contemplating a new lawsuit against tobacco companies is the same administration that has denied veterans' requests for coverage of diseases thought to be related to smoking.
  85. Buying the Farm and Paying the Taxes
  86. School Sports Choice or State Micromanagement?
  87. Single Tax Rate Would Be Real Progress
  88. Jobs Are None of Our Business, Says Detroit
  89. Michigan Public Education: A Little Competition, A Lot of Improvement
  90. Michigan Education Report (1999-02)
    School board members looking for alternative solutions to familiar school problems now have a resource for innovative ideas and approaches
  91. MEGA Program Shifts Jobs to Where They Are Needed Least
  92. MEGA Program Shifts Jobs to Where They Are Needed Least
  93. Note to Michigan Municipalities: A Tax Is Not a User Fee
    The Michigan Supreme Court affirmed that the voters intended to place limits on taxes and governmental expansion.
  94. Detroit Admits Problem; Now It's Time to Deal with It
    Mayor Archer has blamed his troubles on the fact that he "inherited a dysfunctional city." But after six years at the helm, he can no longer avoid either the tough decisions that must be made or the responsibility for not making them.
  95. Which Is Better: Cutting Income Tax Rates or Increasing the Exemption?
    In addition to lowering your current taxes, cutting the tax rate would also reduce the penalty on earning additional income. Lansing would now take only 3.9 percent of it.
  96. State "Teacher Bill of Rights" Is Needed
    Schools are not factories, teachers are not line workers, and students are not widgets. The factory model of labor relations-with its legalized compulsion funded by forced dues-has failed Michigan's teachers as well as its students.
  97. Everyone Loves the Underdog
  98. Private Schools Can Ease Public School Overcrowding
  99. Do Overtaxed Michiganians Rate a Larger Personal Exemption?
  100. The Bill of Rights Applies to Teachers, Too
  101. A Tax by Any Other Name
  102. Unused Capacity in Privately Funded Michigan Schools
    Many Michigan education reformers are exploring proposals to use private schools to help fix public school problems, including student overcrowding and a lack of incentives for improving student performance. The proposals, whether they involve public-to-private student transfers or expanded parental choice among all schools, depend on private schools' willingness and ability to accommodate new students. This study, which surveyed 342 of Michigan's 1,058 private schools, confirms that private schools have the classroom capacity and desire to accept a significantly larger role in providing more of the state's children with quality education. 10 pages.
  103. Unused Private School Space Could Ease Crowded Public School Classrooms
  104. IMPACT! Spring 1999
  105. Can Mayors Solve School Problems?
    A recent Detroit Free Press poll showed that 77 percent of Detroit parents support amending the constitution to allow for tax credits for tuition at nonpublic schools. Parents seem to be saying they would rather pick their children's school than pick the politicians who run the schools.
  106. Saginaw Children's Zoo: From Privation to Privatization
    "Before privatization," said one zoo worker, "we were just basically trying to keep the animals alive. Now we can really care for them."
  107. Worried to Death
    Do not call your Congressman and ask him to make the world safer; call your airline instead and book a flight. These days, on an airplane is probably the safest place you can be.
  108. Intuition and Good Intentions Are Not Enough to Help Disadvantaged Workers
    As counterintuitive as it may seem, the minimum wage harms the very workers whom we want to help-unskilled, inexperienced teenage workers and disadvantaged minorities.
  109. Can Mayors Solve School Problems?
  110. Harmful Employment Laws Wage War on Low-Income Workers
  111. News Flash: Sky Not Falling
  112. Saginaw Zoo: From Privation to Privatization
  113. Entertaining Privatization
  114. Truth Sets Black Slaves Free
  115. Does Teacher Certification Mean Qualification?
  116. George Washington: The Father of Our Country Was No Deadbeat Dad
  117. Welfare Reform: Michigan Can Work Harder
  118. Black History Month: The Crusade of Sojourner Truth
    Sojourner Truth criticized those blacks who were living "off the govern-ment." "Get off the government and take care of [your]selves" she urged them.
  119. Working Works in State-Based Welfare Reform
    One important lesson from the many reforms in Wisconsin, Michigan, and elsewhere is that those programs that emphasize work placement over training have better results.
  120. Must Teachers Be Certified to Be Qualified?
    Second only to parental involvement, teacher quality dramatically affects student academic success. By relaxing certification requirements, Michigan can actually increase the quality and energy of teachers in the profession
  121. George Washington's Unimpeachable Character
    Congress advised General Washington to feed his troops by having them steal food from farmers. Instead, he promised to hang any soldier caught stealing food. Such theft might have solved a short-term problem, but it failed Washington's character test.
  122. Michigan Education Report (1999-01)
  123. MEA: Is Michigan’s Largest Teacher Union Helping or Hurting Education?

    IMPORTANT: Please note that what follows is a discussion of the Michigan Education Association (MEA), not the many fine teachers that the union purports to represent. Although the MEA tries to position itself as a representative union, many, if not most, teachers disagree with the views it promotes and the actions it takes—an important point demonstrated herein. The MEA regularly attempts to dismiss criticism by suggesting that those who point out the MEA’s damaging policies are anti-teacher, anti-child, or anti-public education.

    The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a leading proponent of education reform in Michigan, and has been instrumental in many of the state’s nationally acclaimed advances. Due to its reports critical of the MEA’s opposition to genuine education reform, the Mackinac Center has been a frequent target of disparaging MEA comments. The purpose of the information below is to document and clarify some of the Mackinac Center’s concerns with the attitudes and actions of the MEA. Readers may judge for themselves whether the policies promoted by the MEA reflect an organization committed to the best interests of Michigan children, teachers, and parents.

    Please feel free to comment on these issues via e-mail to

  124. Trying to Define a Foreign-Made Car Will Drive You Crazy
    The UAW and other unions routinely urge Michiganians to "buy American," but the growth of the global economy has forever blurred the lines between "foreign made" autos and those "made in the USA."
  125. A Grand (Hotel) Lesson in Free Enterprise
    The International Monetary Fund 's efforts to bail out failing foreign economies with American tax dollars harm not only thoseeconomies but also Michigan workers whose jobs depend on exported goods.
  126. School Elections Should Be in November
    Irregular school board and bond election dates confuse voters, decrease turnout, and enable narrow special interests to unduly influence school governance. Consolidating all school elections on the Novermber ballot would alleviate these problems.
  127. IMF Bailouts: Foreign Aid or Recovery Delayed?
    The International Monetary Fund 's efforts to bail out failing foreign economies with American tax dollars harm not only those economies but also Michigan workers whose jobs depend on exported goods.
  128. Make Something Happen
  129. Saving Retirement in Michigan
  130. Michigan School Elections Should Be Moved to November
  131. IMF: Injuring Michigan's Future
  132. What Is a "Foreign Made" Car?
  133. Free Enterprise and Mackinac's Grand Hotel: A Love Story
  134. Keeping Michigan on Track
      The close of the twentieth century finds Michigan in a position that seemed impossible barely a decade ago: record low unemployment, a thriving economy, growing educational opportunities, and a sense of accomplishment and high spirits. But much can be done to make Michigan an even better place to live and work.
      This report's five sections offer the Governor and the Legislature 41 specific recommendations that will strengthen property rights protection, reform labor law to protect worker rights, improve education for Michigan children, spur economic growth and development, and enhance the state's transportation infrastructure.
  135. Investing In Ideas

    Investing in ideas – the right ones, not just any ideas – is a long-term investment, but one that has a return every bit as tangible as the purchase of stock. The return on that investment – a stronger, freer society – is the one yield that won't raise your tax bill and will go a long way to assure that your children live as free and prosperous citizens.

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