Features and Highlights

The Granholm Administration, Year One: An Evaluation

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has earned a letter grade of "B-minus" for her first year — above average as governors go, but with plenty of room for improvement. … more

Ask The Economist: The Benefits of Right-To-Work Laws; and What Is Inflation?

Are right-to-work laws beneficial for all unionized workers? Is a little inflation good for the economy? Ask the economist. … more

Some Subtler Arguments for Tariffs

Do tariffs save jobs? Do they reduce trade deficits? Do they help infant industries become established? Do they enhance national security? No, no, no and no.  … more

Public Policy and American Business: The Privatization Revolution

In the past decade, a revolution has been taking place both in America and overseas, in which duties that should never have been the preserve of government in the first place, are being placed back into private hands.  … more

Privatization, Profits and School Unions

The Michigan Education Association announces its support for profit-making in schools, as long as they get the profits. … more

Federal Labor Law Aggravates Northern Michigan Hospital Strike

By failing to recognize the diversity of interests among workers, the National Labor Relations Act has aggravated the nurses' strike at Northern Michigan Hospital. … more

Greater Transparency Could Have Helped Budget Battlers

Governor Granholm and the state Legislature might have put together a budget without higher taxes, had greater budget transparency revealed a host of non-critical, non-core items.  … more

Charities Lobby for Higher Taxes

The recent spectacle of charitable institutions protesting and lobbying for government grants showed just how far government has co-opted civil society.  … more

Mackinac Center Applauds DNR's Contract for Private Management of State-Owned Ski Area

Since when is owning and maintaining ski resorts a legitimate function of government? Now that "the Porkies" are being privately managed, Michigan's Department of Natural Resources should sell the ski area outright.  … more

Why Michigan Should Start Refusing Federal Funds

Just because a government program is partially funded by the federal government doesn't mean it should be immune from consideration for budget cuts.  … more

Consolidating Elections Is The Right Thing To Do

Michigan's Legislature has signed off on a package of bills that will put an end to "stealth" school millage elections, held on days when few voters are likely to participate.  … more

Gov. Granholm's "Cool Cities" Campaign

Should government be involved in trying to make cities "cool" places to live, in order to attract a young, energetic workforce?  … more

Your Tax Dollars At Work

The "omnibus appropriations bill" the U.S. House of Representatives just passed for Fiscal Year 2004 bears exquisite testimony to the profligacy of your federal government. And Michigan has a pork barrel too. … more

2,948 Jobs Won't Be Created if State Income Tax Cut Delayed, State Economic Model Shows

A widely respected economic modeling program predicts that delay of Michigan's scheduled cut in income tax from 4 percent to 3.9 percent will hurt the state's economy.  … more

Telecom Regs Stifle Competition and Investment, Raising Costs and Killing Jobs, Analyst Says

Requiring wire line telephone companies to allow rivals to utilize their networks hasn't exactly produced the telecom competition Congress intended. … more

Competition Policy in Telecommunications

The U.S. telecommunications industry is mired in a financial crisis because of federal regulations that stifle competition rather than encouraging it.  … more

MSU School Finance Study Too Narrow to Support Tax Hike Recommendation

In a new study, MSU economists claim a tax hike is necessary for Michigan's public schools. Yet, they have ignored important considerations and failed to make their case.  … more

Charter School Forces Flint Public Schools to Compete

Public schools in Flint have launched a Madison-Avenue-style ad campaign to stop the flow of students to local charter schools. … more

Are Targeted Tax Incentives Constitutional?

A legal case may determine that it is unconstitutional for states to hand out economic favors to businesses in order to gain economic advantage over another state.  … more

There'd Be No Thankgiving Without the Profit Motive

The settlers at Plymouth colony who started the Thanksgiving tradition nearly wiped themselves out early on when they set up a communal, socialistic economy.  … more

The Rothbardian Critique of Consumer Sovereignty

Many modern Austrian economists reject Mises's term "consumer sovereignty" because it conveys a misleading political idea about the market economy, explains Adjunct Scholar Robert Murphy. … more

Consumer Sovereignty: What Mises Meant

Adjunct Scholar Robert Murphy explains economist Ludwig von Mises's assertion that the true bosses in capitalism are consumers, despite the superficial power enjoyed by owners of land and businesses. … more

Want to Monitor Your State Government? Now It's Easy

A new, free web site, MichiganVotes.org, allows citizens to find out not just what lawmakers hope a bill will accomplish, but precisely how that bill will change the law.  … more

Government Cancels Christmas; Civil Society Restores It

A government decision to save money on Christmas decorations offers an object lesson in how civil society can solve problems. … more

Ann Arbor Measure Walls Out the Unwashed

The main effect of a "greenbelt" measure just approved by voters in Ann Arbor will likely be to push development even farther out into the countryside. … more

Dumping Retirees

The prescription drug benefit Congress wants to add to Medicare will encourage big companies like Ford and GM to dump their retirees into the government plan. … more

The Fallacy of State Economic "Unilateral Disarmament"

It's not "unilateral disarmament" for states to treat all businesses fairly and equally.  … more

Northern Michigan Hospital Nurses' Vote Puts Hospital, Teamsters in Legal Limbo

A disputed vote tally over whether NMH nurses would be represented by the Teamsters means it could be years before the issue is resolved. … more

The Time Is Right for a Right-To-Work Law

Michigan's persistent downward employment prospects call for bold new measures. A right-to-work law would be a good place to start.  … more

Petoskey Nurses Vote Today

Vote highlights Teamsters' struggles at Northern Michigan Hospital.  … more

Taxpayers Fund Lobbying for Internet Access Tax

A group representing Michigan and other states, paid by your state tax dollars, is lobbying the government in favor of taxing your access to the Internet.  … more

Veterans' Homes: Privatization Could Mean Lower Costs, Better Service

Veterans could receive better care and taxpayers could save millions by contracting out management of state veterans' homes.  … more

Measure Land Preservation Program by Its Results, Not Its Goals

Executive Vice President Joseph Lehman cites Mackinac Center research showing that Michigan's land preservation program has been a failure.  … more

How to Fix the Telecom Mess? Part III

Director of Science, Environment and Technology Policy Diane Katz debates columnist Duane D. Freese in National Review Online. … more

How to Fix the Telecom Mess? Part II

Director of Science, Environment and Technology Policy Diane Katz debates columnist Duane D. Freese in National Review Online. … more

How to Fix the Telecom Mess? Part I

Director of Science, Environment and Technology Policy Diane Katz debates columnist Duane D. Freese in National Review Online. … more

The Pros and Cons of Zero-Based Budgeting

Testimony by Michael LaFaive, director of fiscal policy, before the Michigan House Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government. … more

MESSA: Keeping School Districts from Saving Money on Health Care

If Michigan school districts were free to shop around for health care plans, they could save as much as 20 percent of their budgets.  … more

Mackinac Center Dedicates Joseph P. Overton Library

Our 13th biannual Leadership Conference was the venue for dedicating the Center's library to the memory of Senior Vice President Joseph P. Overton, who passed away last June.  … more

Reinventing Education in Pennsylvania

Mackinac Center Senior Fellow in Education Policy Andrew J. Coulson shows how a free market in education can transform Pennsylvania's education system. … more

How the State Government Can Consolidate Human Resources

Testimony of Mackinac Center Director of Fiscal Policy Michael LaFaive before the House Employment Relations, Training and Safety Committee, Oct. 22, 2003. … more

How the State Government Can Consolidate Human Resources

Testimony of Mackinac Center Director of Fiscal Policy Michael LaFaive before the House Employment Relations, Training and Safety Committee, Oct. 22, 2003. … more

Remembering Grenada, Two Decades Later

Twenty years ago, President Ronald Reagan gave the order for U.S. forces to invade Grenada. It was the first salvo in Reagan's successful quest to bring down the Evil Empire. … more

Paying for Organs Would Save Lives

This Boston Globe column by Jeff Jacoby cites two Mackinac Center scholars in arguing for stronger incentives to ease the organ shortage. … more

Why the States Are Broke

John Hood, president of North Carolina's John Locke Foundation, cites Mackinac Center research in showing why states are in financial trouble, and how they can get out of it. … more

Let Automakers Increase Fuel Efficiency

Congress should stop arbitrarily mandating levels of fuel efficiency for automobiles and let automakers work at the (increasingly brisk) pace of technological innovation.  … more

The Top Ten Things People Believe About Canadian Health Care, But Shouldn't

Speech delivered by Brian Lee Crowley before the Mackinac Center's Issues and Ideas Luncheon in Lansing Oct. 9, 2003 … more

Great Things In Mind For Michigan

John Coonradt explains what the Mackinac Center is about, in an article published in The Diamond Line, the quarterly newsletter for employees, retirees and directors of Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company. … more

Why Michigan Should Shelve its "Economic Development" Programs

Mackinac Center Director of Fiscal Policy Michael LaFaive was invited to testify before a joint committee of the Michigan Senate. … more

Privatizing State Fairs Could Gain State $60 Million

Another money-losing year for fairs coupled with huge state deficits strongly suggests a change is needed. … more

More Disclosure of Union Finances Is Coming

Unions will have to show how they spend their members' dues on lobbying, politics, charities, staff perks, and organizing. … more

Delaying State Income Tax Cut Will Cost Nearly 3,000 Jobs

An econometric model predicts the loss of nearly 3,000 new jobs if lawmakers prevent the scheduled state income tax cut. … more

How Overregulation Kills Cool, Hip Cities

Maybe government can't do 'cool.' … more

Close the Teacher Strike Loophole

The recent Detroit teachers' walkout shut down schools in subversion of the state's law prohibiting teacher strikes. … more

The Candy Police

What level of government should determine the proper use of candy in the classroom? … more

Detroit School Establishment Turns Down $200 Million Gift

One of the nation's worst urban school districts would rather perpetuate failure than accept competition from charter schools. … more

French Fried by the Welfare State

How could nearly 15,000 elderly French die in the summer heat, in a country whose welfare state cares for people from cradle to grave?  … more

S&P School Web Site Provides a Wealth of Data

One reason state education officials want to shut down a new web site could be because parents can use it to compare schools in ways that really matter. … more

Hearings Should Focus on Reforming Economic Development Policy, Mackinac Center Says

The Legislature should disband its economic development agencies, the MEDC and MEGA, and focus on lower taxes, reforming regulation, protecting contracts and property and nurturing a free labor market. … more

Destruction Is No Blessing

Some people are under the nonsensical impression that natural disasters provide a beneficial economic stimulus. … more

What's the Deal with Oil Prices?

There are a host of reasons for the latest spike in oil prices--none of which has anything to do with oil company greed or price gouging. … more

Air Travel: A Hundred Years of Safety

The breathtaking safety success of the U.S. aviation industry has been a steady upward curve, unaffected by regulation or deregulation. … more

Mackinac Center Calls State Report on NMH Strike "Deeply Flawed and Inflammatory"

A report by a panel appointed by Gov. Granholm on the nurses' strike at Northern Michigan Hospital claims the hospital leadership is at fault without saying how or why.  … more

Signs of Wisdom at UAW

New labor agreements between the UAW and the Big Three automakers may indicate newfound wisdom on the part of union leaders. … more

K-12 Education Funding Hinges On Appeal Now before Supreme Court

A presentation by the Mackinac Center's Brian Carpenter is featured in an article for MyBayCity.com  … more

Michigan High Schoolers To Hone Debate Skills at Mackinac Center Workshop

Next week, more than 550 students from 35 Michigan high schools will attend the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's 16th annual High School Debate Workshops. … more

A Victory for the Gas-Powered Engine

Good news for people who want transportation that is powerful, affordable, and clean. … more

Inaugural Presentation of the Overton Award

Lynn Harsh of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation is the first recipient of the award named in honor of the Mackinac Center's senior vice president, who died tragically on June 30. … more

Bay County Taxpayers Paying Extra for "Union Only" Deal

Bay County has effectively barred non-union contracting firms from bidding on its library construction project. … more

The Ultimate Rationale for School Choice

Brian Carpenter's remarks before the Traverse City Rotary Club, Sept. 2, 2003 … more

Anti-Sprawl Report Flawed

Diane Katz's remarks before the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. … more

New 'Tool Tax' Audits Could Drive Jobs Out of Michigan

Just when manufacturers need every reason to create jobs in Michigan, along comes an army of auditors looking for untaxed tools. … more

FCC Order Will Fail to Open the Telecom Market

The agency would still require local phone companies to subsidize their competitors. … more

School District Saves Teachers' Jobs by Privatizing

When Clare school officials had to choose between teacher layoffs and seeking better bids for food service and health insurance, they chose to keep teachers on the payroll. … more

The Best Way to Empower Workers

A right-to-work law would be the ultimate economic development program, and it would respect workers' individual dignity in choosing whether to support a union. … more

With Friends Like This, We're Winning

An institute supporter explains why the Mackinac Center is appreciated, and needed. … more

Budget Balancing Endgame

If Gov. Granholm and state employee unions can't agree how to cut costs, government itself will get another black eye. … more

Agenda and Facts Collide in Land-Use Report

Official report recommends a host of government expansions without mentioning any possible drawbacks. … more

Binding Arbitration Is Ripe for Reform

Local arbitration boards could end the delays and costliness that characterize negotiations for local police and firefighters. … more

Should Intermediate School District Officials Be Elected in Secret?

Executive Vice President Joseph Lehman answers questions for the Port Huron Times Herald. … more

Eliminate Intermediate School Districts

Michigan's intermediate school districts constitute an extra layer of unneeded bureaucracy rife with abuse, and should be abolished. … more

Eliminate Intermediate School Districts

Michigan's intermediate school districts constitute an extra layer of unneeded bureaucracy rife with abuse, and should be abolished. … more

A Hard Pill for UAW Members to Swallow

For the U.S. auto industry to remain competitive, the UAW must prepare workers for a competitive labor market. … more

Land Use Council Prescribes Social Engineering

It's a thankless task indeed to make a case for more stringent government land-use control. … more

Don't Blame Deregulation for the Blackout

The blackout was primarily the result of failures at the transmission level — where almost no deregulation has occurred.  … more

Are Teachers Paid Enough?

Mackinac Center Scholar Prof. Richard Vedder analyzes teacher pay and working conditions. … more

Re-Hyping the Head Start Program

If no one explains why a popular program has failed for 38 years, a real opportunity to improve education will be lost.  … more

Charter Schools Don't Need More State Oversight

Charter schools face the ultimate accountability already: parents who are free to send their children elsewhere. … more

Reverse Robin Hoods at the University of Michigan

U of M gives students of richer families what amounts to a tax-free tuition subsidy at the expense of poorer ones. … more

Lawrence W. Reed Named Advisor to LifeSharers

Mackinac Center President to Assist Effort to Save Lives Lost to Organ Shortage. … more

Michigan's Largest Land Preservation Program Is a Failure

New Mackinac Center study says most money goes to land least likely to be developed.  … more

Michigan's State Budget: Where It Stands Today

Michael LaFaive's remarks before the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce. … more

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