A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Union Falsely Tells Teachers They Lose Sick Leave Benefits if They Opt Out

Union and non-union employees contribute to sick bank

The president of a teachers union falsely told his members they would lose benefits to a sick bank all teachers had contributed to if they left the union. … more

Right-to-Work, Tax Rates Paint Interesting Picture

Worker freedom, low taxes draw people

The evidence seems to be clear: a right-to-work law makes that state more economically attractive and tends to draw in migrants. … more

Detroit Expected $55 Million in Property Tax Revenue; It Brought in $6.7 Million

Finance expert: Missed projections 'compares to that in many third world cities'

In the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2014, the city of Detroit projected it would bring in $55 million in property taxes. Instead, it collected just $6.7 million, about $48.3 million short of what it expected. … more

The (Optimistic) State of America 'After Leviathan'

Lunch event: Author Kevin D. Williamson coming to Michigan

Kevin D. Williamson, a roving correspondent for National Review, is coming to Michigan to discuss his optimistic view about how the lives of Americans will be better after what he sees at the inevitable collapse of today's social/corporate welfare Leviathan. … more

Political Predictions: A Glance at the Top of the Ballot in November

Where do Michigan's races for Governor and U.S. Senate stand?

Capitol Confidential asked a three-person panel of political observers for an update. … more

'Competitiveness' Outlook Ranks Michigan 12th Best

State has a way to go to overcome past policies

They 7th edition of “Rich States, Poor States” was released recently and it ranks Michigan 12th best among the 50 states for its “economic outlook” based on 15 public policy variables, such as tax, business and labor policies. The higher position may signal better economic times ahead for Michigan. … more

Charters Outperform Conventional Schools When Student Socioeconomic Status Is Taken into Account

If the Michigan Department of Education were to take the socioeconomic status of students into consideration when ranking school performance, it would find that charter public schools outperform conventional public schools on the state's Top-to-Bottom list. … more

Small Tent or Big Tent?

Why political parties are missing the larger picture

Contrary to what many believe, liberals in general do not love government. They simply distrust and fear other entities and conditions in the world and see government as their primary protector against those elements. Conservatives distrust and fear the same entities and conditions but believe giving more power government will likely make matters worse. … more

Michigan Debt Per Taxpayer: $19,300

Michigan has among the most debt per taxpayers in the nation, ranking ninth overall, according to annual “Financial State of the States.” That’s actually a significant improvement from last year. … more

MichiganVotes Weekly Report

The Legislature is on summer break, but here are some important votes from the past year. … more

Did Governor Snyder Create 275K jobs?

An explanation of Michigan economic growth (with charts)

There is much to be optimistic about Michigan, especially since this recovery is the first sustained increase in employment since 2000. There have been millions of jobs created and lost, mostly without direct permission or encouragement by policymakers. Governors have some ability to change policies to create growth and Michigan performed stronger than can be expected. … more

Attorney Questions School Superintendent on Charter School Action

State Superintendent of Schools Michael Flanagan could face legal action if he suspends the ability of charter public school authorizers to allow new schools, according to a draft of a legal analysis done by an attorney who helped create the state’s law on charter schools. … more

Union Sends Collections Agency After Another Member Trying To Leave

School employee: 'I am extremely frustrated and angry about the time I have to expend fighting the union for my freedom from harassment'

Jacqueline O'Neil joins a growing list of public employees who report feeling bullied and has the union trying to harm their credit. … more

Coercive Driver Fees Phase-Out Close To Becoming Reality

Driver responsibility fees 'basically a debtors' prison for low-income citizens in Michigan'

Legislation needed to allow a phase-out of one of the most regressive set of laws enacted in recent times is expected to be passed by the State legislature within a matter of weeks. … more

Oakland – the County That Could (Reform Its Pensions)

The path to sustainable retirement plans

In contrast to the majority of Michigan counties that promise more retirement benefits than their revenues can cover, Oakland County is nearly 100 percent funded according to its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. … more

Local School District Escapes 'At Risk' List Despite Hostile Charter Takeover

Livonia Public Schools works to hide information; will gain hundreds of thousands of dollars

A parent of the besieged Hinoki International School is wondering why the state overlooked Livonia Public Schools when it was compiling its list of charter authorizers that are “at risk” for opening future schools. … more

State School Rankings Mostly Measuring Race and Income Rather Than Performance

Top-to-Bottom ratings rely heavily on student economic background

Nearly four out of five students in the bottom 5-percent of schools in the Michigan Department of Education’s Top-To-Bottom Ratings for 2013-14 were eligible for the free lunch program. Only about 11 percent of the students in the top 5-percent of schools in those rankings were eligible for the free lunch program. … more

State Budget Savings Idea: Eliminate Revenue Sharing

Arguably no one in Michigan has made more recommendations to reform the state budget — literally hundreds of them worth billions of dollars — than Mackinac Center policy analysts. … more

Global Warming Alarmists Switch Complaints From Water Levels to Rainfall

Previous concerns about Great Lakes didn't come to be

In recent years global warming adherents were citing low water levels on the Great Lakes as evidence of global warming. Now that Great Lakes levels are no longer low, they are seizing on the recent wet weather in Southeast Michigan to advance their arguments. … more

Supreme Court Ends ‘Dues Skim’ Nationwide

On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled that thousands of home-based caregivers in Illinois — and perhaps hundreds of thousands in eight other states — are not required to pay union dues as a condition of employment. … more

St. Lawrence University economist Steven Horwitz discusses how the minimum wage was used to block immigrants from taking scarce jobs during the depression era. See more at "Raising the Minimum Wage, Lowering Opportunity."

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