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

Featured Video Archive

Are You My Employer?

The bizarre forced unionization of day care providers raises a fundamental question: If they are union members, who is their employer?

For more information and videos on the underhanded unionization scheme, click here… more

Chris Christie on Face the Nation

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie discusses collective bargaining, public employee unions, and why great teachers need to make more money. … more

Canadian Doctor Lotteries

Canadians living in rural areas sometimes face long trips to see a family doctor. At least two towns have tried to be fair in assigning patients to incoming physicians by creating "doctor lotteries." … more

Why It's So Hard to Make a Movie: Q&A with Filmmaker Joe Gressis

This Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony will be held in Hollywood as usual, but it's increasingly common for Hollywood films to be produced outside California or even outside the United States.

Filmmaker Joe Gressis isn't surprised when Hollywood productions leave the Golden State. He's surprised when they stay. "The fact that we remain here is kind of ridiculous," says the three-time Emmy-nominated Gressis.

Topics include: tax incentives, the benefits of shooting in Hong Kong, and why Gressis admires Michael Bay. … more

The Unstable Funding Myth

For the past century, funding for public schools has moved in one steady direction -- up. Despite some policies that make school budgeting more difficult than it needs to be in Michigan, school funding has proven to be remarkably stable.

Read more about this and other school funding myths at www.mackinac.org/12610… more

SNL: 2010 Public Employee of the Year Award

A night to honor America's government workers. … more

Michigan Carpenters Union Outsources Protesters

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy discovers that the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters uses non-union labor to protest a Grand Rapids area businessman. What's worse, the union has even recruited demonstrators who frequent local homeless shelters, including a shelter which gets help from the very same businessman targeted by the union.

See related story on the main page or at: www.MichCapCon.com/14563 … more

Saline School Bond

An administrator at the Saline Area Schools asks for favorable votes for a district bond extension. This was posted on the district’s website, but later removed. Election law experts believe it violated state law. See related story on the main page or at: www.MichCapCon.com/14568 … more

Silly Senator, Corn is for Food!

Ethanol advocates claim that ethanol is a cheap, renewable energy source that reduces pollution and our dependence on foreign oil. It sounds too good to be true--and it is. … more

Chris Christie's Adversary

An interview with New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney on the possibilities of reform. … more

Gov. Snyder and Right to Work

The Michigan governor tells Wendy Day of Common Sense in Government that he would sign a right to work bill into law if it reached his desk. … more

Ohio Mom Jailed for Sending Kids to Better School District

ABC - An Ohio mother's attempt to provide her daughters with a better education has landed her behind bars. Kelley Williams-Bolar was convicted of lying about her residency to get her daughters into a better school district.  … more

Help With the National Debt Relief Amendment

RestoringFreedom.org is spearheading a drive to put the following amendment into the U.S. Constitution: "An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.”

The video explains that the idea is aimed at deficit spenders in both parties.

See our related article at www.MichCapCon.com/14531.  … more

El Paso's Attack on Street Vendors

Should the city of El Paso, Texas, be allowed to turn itself into a No-Vending Zone in order to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants from competition? … more

Celebrate President Ronald Reagan's 100th Birthday

We face many challenges as a nation today. But as we celebrate the birth of Ronald Reagan, it is important to note that these are not new challenges. Reagan faced similar problems, but believed that it could be "morning in America". On this anniversary, we should honor him by recommitting ourselves to the conservative principles he championed. … more

Kids Aren't Cars

"Kids Aren't Cars" is a 9-part short film series on the state of public education in America. It highlights examples from Midwestern states. It shows the impact organized labor and the assembly-line system has had on educating children.

For more information, see www.kidsarentcars.com.

Also check out our related story at MichCapCon.com/14225… more

Gov. Chris Christie Lambastes ‘Obscene’ Police Union Contracts

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks about police salaries, pensions and layoffs, during a Town Hall Meeting. … more

Saving Social Security with Personal Retirement Accounts

There are two crises facing Social Security. First the program has a gigantic unfunded liability, largely thanks to demographics. Second, the program is a very bad deal for younger workers, making them pay record amounts of tax in exchange for comparatively meager benefits. This video explains how personal accounts can solve both problems, and also notes that nations as varied as Australia, Chile, Sweden, and Hong Kong have implemented this pro-growth reform. … more

Replace the Michigan Business Tax With ... NOTHING?

State Senator Jack Brandenburg of Harrison Township, Chairman of the Michigan Senate Finance Committee, tells Michigan Capitol Confidential his plans for killing the Michigan Business Tax. … more

Are Union Pensions Bankrupting America?

Charles Krauthammer discusses the pension problems plaguing country. … more

Hangar42 developer arraigned over fraud

Hangar42 developer arraigned over fraud: woodtv.com

Snooping by the Mackinac Center’s investigative team has led the Attorney General to file felony charges against two men who are accused of gaming the state’s film incentive program. … more

Governor Chris Christie Interview

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks fiscal responsibility and education reform on Bloomberg TV. … more

Milton Friedman on Self-Interest and the Profit Motive

A student poses a question based on the notion that people and companies should pursue their own self-interest. … more

The National Debt Relief Amendment

RestoringFreedom.org is spearheading a drive to put the following amendment into the U.S. Constitution: "An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.” This is a press conference announcing the introduction of the proposal in the Arizona Legislature.

See our related article at www.MichCapCon.com/14190.  … more

Rep. Paul Ryan Tears Down the ObamaCare 'Fiscal House of Cards'

Rep. Paul Ryan on the House Floor yesterday where he spoke during debate on the bill to repeal ObamaCare. Ryan disagrees with arguments that repeal of ObamaCare would increase America's debt.  … more

Michigan Public Compensation Savings

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder believes that public employee compensation needs to be reduced so as to be more in line with the private sector and more in line with what is affordable. Mackinac Center research also shows billions of dollars in annual savings if the state goes down this path. So what do the lawmakers who now control Lansing think about all of this?

See more on this issue at MichCapCon.com/14271… more

Why soaking the rich doesn't work

Milton Friedman answers a question about what rich people do with their profits. … more

'State of the Citizen' Rally

Several hundred demonstrators showed up with a new message for Michigan's elected officials during Gov. Granholm's final State of the State address. From February 2010.

 … more

Why Michigan Needs Regulatory Reform

Business owners across Michigan attempting to start up or expand their businesses have been thwarted by Michigan's overreaching, unresponsive regulatory regime. The Mackinac Center's senior environmental analyst, Russ Harding, explains why his blueprint for regulatory reform (http://www.mackinac.org/13789) is necessary to foster both jobs and the environment. … more

Winning the War on Debt

RestoringFreedom.org is spearheading a drive to put the following amendment into the U.S. Constitution: "An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.”

The video explains how the debt relief amendment might actually win.

See our related article at www.MichCapCon.com/14190.  … more

Tea Party Could Cut Up the Federal Credit Card

RestoringFreedom.org is spearheading a drive to put the following amendment into the U.S. Constitution: "An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.”

The video explains that the idea is aimed at deficit spenders in both parties.

See our related article at www.MichCapCon.com/14190.  … more

San Francisco's Happy Meal Ban

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
San Francisco's Happy Meal Ban
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

The Daily Show wonders who is responsible for their child's health; parents or the government? … more

President Obama Opposed Raising Debt Ceiling Before He Was For It

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership . Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.” - Sen. Barack Obama on March 16, 2006. … more

The impact of forced-union agreements in Michigan

Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan President Chris Fisher explains how project labor agreements have impacted the industry and its workers. … more

The National Debt Relief Amendment

RestoringFreedom.org is spearheading a drive to put the following amendment into the U.S. Constitution:

"An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.”

See our related article at www.MichCapCon.com/14190.  … more

Canadian Medical Tourism

Canada's public health care system promises universal coverage, but it does not guarantee universal access on a universal schedule. Long wait times force some Canadians living in pain to go out of country rather than wait 6 months to a year and a half for surgery for non-life-threatening conditions. … more

Is the U.S. Turning Marxist?

The Foundation for Economic Education's Larry Reed explains the ties between communism and the American regulatory system. … more

Raw Foods Raid - The Fight For the Right To Eat What You Want

ReasonTV - This summer armed government agents raided Rawesome Foods, a Venice, California health food co-op. What were the agents after? Unpasteurized milk. … more

Responsibility to the Poor

Milton Friedman looks at the age-old question: What is government's role regarding the poor? … more

Politician Staffs: Your Money, Their Secret

WNEM TV-5 got some surprising answers last year when it asked Michigan lawmakers to fess up to taxpayers about who works for them and how much they are paid. … more

Going Green in Cancun

The recent global environmentalist conference in Cancun, Mexico discussed how to lower global CO2 emissions to fight global warming. But the "solutions" often lead to more problems. … more

Mocked Scientist Gets Last Laugh

Meteorologist Piers Corbyn predicted Europe's winter of discontent. … more

Breaking the Doctors

Rationing, shortages, service mandates and regulations impose impossible burdens on Canadian doctors, and create a slow and backward health care delivery system. … more

Power Plays

Special interests, union protectionism, over-regulation, contradictory government policies: When politicians and bureaucrats make health care decisions rather than doctors and patients, the results aren't pretty. … more

Canadian Wait List Insurance

Canadians have to put up with long waits to see specialists or get diagnostics like MRIs or CT scans. Now, businesses offering insurance products to help them avoid waiting for a critical test are trying to offer options, but they are finding resistance from special interests within Canada. … more

The Granholm-AFSCME Partnership

The governor admits her role in the forced unionization of day care providers. Today's article at www.MichCapCon.com/14235 covers the day care unionization case … more

Tax Compromise

Bloomberg -- Daniel Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, talks about the tax-cut compromise President Barack Obama forged with Republican leaders and signed into law Dec. 17 … more

State Budgets: Day of Reckoning

CBS - 60 Minutes reports on the precarious financial conditions many states are facing and what they're doing about it.  … more

Jurrians v. Kent ISD

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is suing 10 Kent County school districts and the Kent County Education Association to remove illegal contract language that states that the school districts will not privatize non-instructional functions. The suit was brought on behalf of five Kent County taxpayers.

Read more about this case at http://www.mackinac.org/14185… more

Where There's Cigarette Taxes, There's Smuggling

In a 2010 update to their 2008 study "Cigarette Taxes and Smuggling" (http://www.mackinac.org/10005), Michael LaFaive and Todd Nesbit show the strong correlation between high cigarette taxes and smuggling, theft and other violent crimes. … more

National Debt Relief Amendment

RestoringFreedom.org is spearheading a drive to put the following amendment into the U.S. Constitution:

"An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.”

See today’s related article at www.MichCapCon.com/14190.  … more

It should be about the children, not adults

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks about reforming public education. … more

Great Moments in Unintended Consequences

Reason TV - All actions have unanticipated side effects, but government acting through regulation or legislation is particularly adept at creating disastrous unintended consequences.  … more

Obama Gets Busted on Mythbusters

Super-fan President Barack Obama makes a guest appearance on a very special episode of Mythbusters this week. But will he still like Jamie and Adam after they bust his first two years in office?

For sources of the video facts, please click here.  … more

The Underfunded Myth

Adjusting for inflation, Michigan school expenditures have nearly quadrupled since 1960. As measured by personal income, Michigan devotes more state and local tax revenue to schools than any other state besides Vermont.

Read more about this and other school funding myths at www.Mackinac.org/SchoolMyths… more

Film Noir

A great deal of fanfare ushered in what was supposed to be a 146-million dollar film studio and school in Allen Park late last summer. Less than a year later, and despite lucrative tax deals from the state, Unity Studios could be in jeopardy -- reportedly over unpaid rent and lax financial reporting by studio executives. … more

Michael & Me

While Michael Moore has railed against crony capitalism, his own film Capitalism: A Love Story was subsidized by Michigan taxpayers. … more

The Economics of High-Speed Rail

Randal O'Toole discusses high-speed rail trains with John Stossel on Fox Business. … more

Milton Friedman - Greed

The late economist discusses "greed" with Phil Donahue in 1978. … more

A Mackinac Center Forum and Tour With Susette Kelo: A Video Summary

“My name is Susette Kelo, and the government stole my home.”

Those chilling words came from famed Connecticut homeowner Susette Kelo at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Issues and Ideas Forum in East Lansing. Kelo’s battle to keep her property from being seized by her city government and turned over to private developers led to a controversial 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision. … more

Gov. Mitch Daniels on Fox News Sunday

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels appeared with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday in August to discuss what government should or should not do to improve the economy. Michigan governor-elect Rick Snyder has pointed to Daniels as a state leader he would like to emulate. … more

Oh. Canada?

With Canadians enduring pain for months and years while they wait for surgery, traveling to the U.S. for treatment, entering "lotteries" to get a doctor, and getting "wait list insurance," is Canada really a model for U.S. health reform? … more

Big Labor Versus Lansing Entrepreneur

Meet Pat Gillespie. He and his company want to build two upscale apartment complexes where parking lots now lie along the riverfront in downtown Lansing, Michigan. Find out how Big Labor recently threatened to halt both the cleanup and economic development of the property unless the developer agreed to pay union-scale wages and benefits for all of the construction jobs needed for his project.

Please see the related article at www.MichCapCon.com/14006 … more

The Truth About Net Neutrality

Jim Lakely, co-director of the Heartland Institute's Center on the Digital Economy, discusses the negative consequences of government imposed net neutrality.  … more

Thanksgiving: Overcoming Socialism

The Plymouth Colony was established as a communal society -- an experiment in socialism. No one had an incentive to work, so disease and famine forced the pilgrims to adopt liberty and capitalism. The result? Much for which to be thankful! … more

New Project Rates Teachers

Los Angeles parents may soon be able to research teachers using data that claims to tell just how good a teacher may be.  … more

Hollywood Hates Capitalism

Reason TV - Oliver Stone's uber-villain Gordon Gekko is back in the new film, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which (surprise!) features greedy capitalists behaving badly. … more

Corporatism and Medicare

Economist Milton Friedman responds to a statement concerning Medicare and corporatism.  … more

Hanging by a Thread

Institute for Justice - Eyebrow threading is a booming industry in Texas. But state bureaucrats are making it impossible to continue practicing this ancient art. … more

Paul Ryan: ObamaCare vs. Real Reform

During the "Health Care Summit" moderated by President Obama last year, Representative Paul Ryan takes on the numbers of ObamaCare. … more

White House Hands Out 111 Obamacare Waivers

The White House has given out 111 waivers for the new health care bill causing some to suggest that there are different standards for different businesses. … more

Debunking White House Pro-Tax Increase Propaganda

This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation mini-documentary debunks White House pro-tax propaganda with a point-by-point rebuttal of a video narrated by Austan Goolsbee of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. www.freedomandprosperity.org … more

Myth: Corn Ethanol is Great

ABC 20/20's Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity with John Stossel tackles subsidies for corn ethanol. … more

The School Employee Concessions Myth

School employees on the whole have not saved taxpayers money through contract concessions and have remained relatively shielded from Michigan's economic downturn. Michigan's teachers are the nation's highest-paid when compared to state wealth.

Read more about this and other school funding myths. … more

Governor Christie on 'Meet the Press'

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was guest on NBC's 'Meet the Press' with David Gregory on Sunday, November 7, 2010. … more

Businessmen, Politicians, and Freedom

Milton Friedman explains the two greatest enemies of free enterprise and freedom in the world. … more

3 Reasons Why Obama's High-Speed Rail Will Go Nowhere Fast

President Barack Obama has pledged $8 billion in tax dollars to build a national network of high-speed rail—trains that can carry passengers at speeds in excess of 150 MPH.

But the Supertrain fantasy was a mistake back in the 1970s, when it gave rise to one of the most expensive—and rotten—TV shows in history. And it's just as much of a wreck in the 21st century for at least three reasons. … more

Rick Santelli and the "Rant of the Year"

The speech that launched the Tea Parties? Last year, Rick Santelli of CNBC summed up the mood of the country. … more

Why Can't Chuck Get His Business Off the Ground?

How can Americans create private sector jobs?

The solution to America's jobs problem lies not with budget-busting federally mandated "stimulus" programs.

Instead, what is needed are specific reforms that wouldn't cost taxpayers, would create a broader tax base for cash-strapped cities and states, and would provide opportunity for millions of Americans who worry where their next paycheck is coming from. … more

Attack Ads, Circa 1800

Have this year's negative political ads really "taken dirty to a whole new level, as CNN's Anderson Cooper frets? Is a "return to civility...a relic of a bygone era," as President Barack Obama laments? … more

Governor Christie on Legislative Priorities

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urges the Legislature to act on reform proposals instead of other minute items. … more

DRIC Documents Produce Calls for Investigation - Michigan politicians outraged

Windsor TV investigation uncovers effort by Michigan government to embellish the truth about the need for taxpayers to build a new bridge over the Detroit River.  … more

Innovation and The American Dream

www.Innovation-Movement.com - The Innovation and the American Dream" video expresses the frustrations that so many Americans are feeling, that the economy is not on track and the American Dream is no longer within reach for many hardworking citizens.

But it does not have to be this way. It's time Washington lawmakers take a page from Americans innovators and entrepreneurs to guide the nation toward a comeback. Americans, with their ingenuity, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, have the ingredients for success. We only need Washington to support an economy where entrepreneurs are free to compete and pursue their dreams.  … more

John Fund talks to the Mackinac Center

Wall Street Journal columnist and FOX News contributor John Fund talks to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy about the 2010 elections and their implications in Michigan as well as the evolution and impact of Alternative/New Media on the political landscape in Michigan and beyond. … more

The Alternatives: New Media

How New Media Are Transforming the Political Landscape with John Fund, Henry Payne, Frank Beckmann, Ken Braun and Kathy Hoekstra.

A revolution is transforming a media landscape once dominated by the “mainstream media.” Democracy needs good information, but until recently, a media culture sympathetic to big government skewed the news playing field. No more. Talk radio, Fox News, The Drudge Report, state-based think tank reporting and online opinion sites have created a new, freedom-oriented national infrastructure that has fed a starved market, diversified coverage and provided an alternative to the legacy media. In this crucial election year, that new media universe is playing a crucial role. … more

Dingell, Steele debate

U.S. Rep. John Dingell and Republican Rob Steele took swipes at each other over everything from health care to Social Security at a debate at Monroe County Community College.  … more

Instead of budgeting, Congress is....

With all of the attention on the BP oil spill, the European debt crisis and even financial regulatory reform, the fact that Congress hasn't passed (and will likely not pass) a federal budget for fiscal year 2011 is flying under the radar. (H/T Bankrupting America… more

What You Can't Say on Campus

If you think that, like the Macarena, campus speech codes were mocked into obscurity during the 1990s, think again. Approximately 71 percent of American campuses still impose highly restrictive "red light speech codes" on college students, notes Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). … more

The Teachers Union Monopoly

Part 5 of John Stossel Special "Stupid in America."  … more

NBC's Education Nation Summit: Joe Trippi, Michelle Rhee, & More

Reason TV - Will Democrats turn their newfound zeal for school choice into policies that actually banish unions from the classroom and empower parents and students? Reason.tv's Michael Moynihan went to Education Nation to find out. … more

An Evening with the Mackinac Center: L. Brooks Patterson

An Evening With the Mackinac Center, featuring Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson speaking on "What Michigan's Next Governor Can Learn from Oakland County."

(The program took place at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 14, 2010.) … more

Arnold's Last Stand


Saving Lives is Sometimes Illegal

Institute for Justice - Every year, 1,000 Americans die because they cannot find a matching bone marrow donor. Minorities are hit especially hard. Common sense suggests that offering modest incentives to attract more bone marrow donors would be worth pursuing, but federal law makes that a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. … more

Boondoggle in the Motor City: Detroit's Train to Nowhere

Detroit's current "light rail" system has been called a “Horizontal Elevator to Nowhere” and the “least cost-effective transit project in the last 20 years.” So what's the response to this epic disaster of central planning from the political class? To build more, of course.

Reason TV has just released a video about a new Detroit “light rail” transportation system scheduled to be built next year. Here's a quote from one of the most vocal advocates of the program, state Rep. Marie Donigan (D-Royal Oak):

“So, we have a limited pool of money? Is that what you’re saying? There’s only so much money in the world, ever?...Well, obviously that’s not true. If that was the case, if we wanted to build a new school in Royal Oak, for instance, we’d say ‘We cannot build another school in Royal Oak because we only have some much money.’” … more

Obama vs. Reagan: Ray Griggs on His New Film, 'I Want Your Money'

In his new documentary, I Want Your Money , which opens nationwide in more than 400 theaters on October 15, Griggs examines the fiscal crisis the U.S. faces today by comparing two iconic presidents—Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan—and their views on the proper role of government. For more information and a list of theaters where the film is showing, visit www.IWantYourMoney.net… more

Free to Design

Institute for Justice - Florida is ground zero in the nationwide battle to cartelize the interior design industry. … more

Governor Christie: I cannot put NJ Taxpayers on a never-ending hook

The New Jersey governor decides to yank the plug on a $14 billion project. Says New Jersey government has gone for too long “ordering things it cannot pay for…” … more

Freeing Small Farms

Institute for Justice - In Lake Elmo, Minn. farmers are threatened with 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines for selling pumpkins or Christmas trees grown outside city limits. … more

Milton Friedman - Other People's Money

Professor Friedman examines the dynamics of "doing good" with other people's money. … more

In this premiere episode of EconPop, Andrew discusses the economics of Academy Award winner Dallas Buyers Club. Subjects include public health and safety regulations, crony capitalism and the role of regulatory capture, the emergence of black and grey markets, and commercial exchange as a means for increased social tolerance.

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