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

Featured Video Archive

Who pays the most for minimum wage?

On July 24, 2012, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) rallied to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.55 an hour. In Michigan, there is currently an effort to raise the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2015. It would be the highest in the country. The Mackinac Center's Director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, Michael LaFaive, explains why raising the minimum wage would hurt employees and businesses. … more

My American Experience

LIBRE's Executive Director, Daniel Garza, tells of his American Experience as a first generation American - his story includes hardships, perseverance, family cohesion, hard work, and prosperity achieved in a free country that allows each of us to dictate our destiny. … more

Gov. Christie: Please Don't Send Me Any More Money To Hire More Public Employees

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he doesn't want the federal government sending more money to the states for a variety of reasons. … more

The Best of Milton Friedman

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of famed free-market economist Milton Friedman, here he is at his best. … more

City Shuts Down Teen's Hot Dog Vendor Cart

In Holland, Mich., a 13-year-old entrepreneur thought he would be able to sell hot dogs and financially help his family with the purchase of a food cart. Unfortunately, city zoning officials have shut down his business, based on an ordinance that prohibits competition to brick-and-mortar restaurants from mobile food vendors. The Mackinac Center's own Anne Schieber investigates. … more

Public Pensions — Lemons, Leaky Basements and a Losing Bet

Public pensions sound dull and complex. The failure to manage them properly, however, can lead to massive debt, fiscal insolvency and a weakened economy.

In Michigan, the public school retirement program is underfunded by $22.4 billion. As elected officials debate the best way to eliminate this ongoing liability, the Mackinac Center’s Dan Armstrong explains the issue … more

Milton Friedman 1979

Friedman shows why he is unsurpassed in modern times in defending liberty. He cheerfully decapitates the ideas of a government-controlled economy, over a wide range of examples. … more

We the People: Rule of Law and Liberty

Business men and women today are faced with looming uncertainties about the regulations and taxes the government will come out with tomorrow. Without a set of laws that limit the influence of government, the rules and institutions that we live by are left to the whims of the powerful or influential.

The Founders understood this and integrated institutions such as the separation of powers, federalism, and the Bill of Rights into our framework. The Constitution is the protector of the rule of law, but it has come under attack many times in the last century.

To protect the Constitution, we must first understand the Constitution … more

Economic Freedom in 60 Seconds

How do you explain the incredible power of economic freedom in 60 seconds? This video does just that, showing just how vital economic freedom is to our quality of life. … more

States Should Flatly Reject ObamaCare Exchanges

States that opt to create an exchange can expect to pay anywhere from $10 million to $100 million per year to run it. But if states refuse, Obamacare says the federal government must pay to create one. Why should states pay for something that the federal government is giving away? … more

Green Jobs: What's In A Name?

Do you know what the Obama Administration considers a "green job"? Do you know what "green jobs" even means? The top Department of Labor statistician is questioned by Congress. … more

Mayor Barrett's concession: What you might not have heard on TV

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett concedes to Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin's first ever recall election of a governor. Some in the audience were not happy, believing the concession was too early. Warning: Offensive language … more

Pro-Walker Marine Vet Gets in the Mix at Dem Rally

Pro-Walker Marine veteren getting in the mix at the Democratic rally with Bill Clinton for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on June 1, 2012. Click here for more. … more

Should You Need the Government's Permission to Work?

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing is the first national study to measure how burdensome occupational licensing laws are for lower-income workers and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The report documents the license requirements for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations—such as barber, massage therapist and preschool teacher—across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It finds that occupational licensing is not only widespread, but also overly burdensome and frequently irrational. … more

Ecorse: Regaining Control

Ecorse, in the shadow of Detroit, has struggled since 1986 with corrupt public officials and overspending. In 2009, former Gov. Jennifer Granholm elected Joyce Parker as Ecorse city manager. By privatizing most services, restructuring the city's debt and renegotiating union contracts where she could, Ecorse has gone from spending $5 million more a year than it took in to achieving solvency in the face of bankruptcy. "She has been a savior for our city," says city resident William Holmes. … more

Milton Friedman on Free Trade and the Steel Industry

The late economist argues for international free trade. … more

Flipped Classrooms Underline Student Learning

Technology enables schools to rethink the way that they deliver instruction to students, and a recent phenomenon that's catching on is called "flipping the classroom." It works by having students receive direct instruction — often via online videos — outside of the classroom, enabling teachers to devote more time to collaboration, project-based learning, developing critical thinking skills and mentoring students individually. … more

Thomas Sowell - Welfare

Economist Thomas Sowell debates the dynamics of welfare with Pennsylvania Secretary of Welfare, Helen O'Banion (1980) in a discussion that would prove prophetic. … more

The Problem With Allen Park

Allen Park went "all in" on Michigan's film subsidy program. When the deal collapsed, the mid-sized city got stuck with the bill. Adding in skyrocketing public employee legacy costs leaves a recipe for fiscal disaster.

For more information, see reporter Anne Schieber's article at www.MichCapCon.com/16734… more

The Social Security Myth

Using Social Security as his prime example, Milton Friedman explores the idea that the major expansions in government resulted from popular demand. In a speech delivered more than 30 years ago, he directly relates this dynamic to today's health care debate. … more

Thomas Sowell Dismantles Egalitarianism

In this clip from the 1980 special 'Free To Choose,' socialist Frances Fox Piven tangles with economist Thomas Sowell. Sowell discusses the "process" versus aspiration - concluding that whatever the purported social goals of egalitarianism, liberty suffers.  … more

John Stossel's Illegal Everything

The producer of Stupid in America, John Stossel, broadcasts another outstanding documentary. "Illegal Everything" shows how many seemingly commonsense activities are (or may soon be) illegal - including lemonade stands, raw milk, fast food, recording police, and more. … more

Milton Friedman - Freedom vs. Fairness

Dr. Friedman discusses why freedom and fairness sometimes conflict; and how the free market solves this problem. … more

U-M Graduate Students Blue Over Unionization

Are graduate student research assistants at a public university students. ... or government employees? Several hundred GSRAs, many represented by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, U-M deans, faculty and the president object to this movement to unionize. A bill to clarify that students are students and not entitled to unionize awaits the governor's signature. … more

Stealth-Unionization Scheme Bleeds Medicaid

Robert and Patricia Haynes of Macomb Township take care of their adult children — Melissa, 34, and Kevin, 30 — who suffer from hypertonic cerebral palsy and function at the level of six-month-olds. Now, some of the Medicaid assistance that is supposed to go to the Haynes family is being diverted to the coffers of the Service Employee International Union.  … more

Breitbart's Legacy

"I want the left to know they screwed with the wrong guy." … more

The Vote Pump

Bill Whittle explains the unsustainable problem of government. "To spend $10, our government taxes for $6 and borrows $4. And when they actually spend that $10, $4 buys the actual government and $6 goes to people to buy votes with."  … more

Top 3 Myths About the Great Depression and the New Deal

Historian Stephen Davies names three persistent myths about the Great Depression. Myth #1: Herbert Hoover was a laissez-faire president, and it was his lack of action that lead to an economic collapse. Myth #2: The New Deal ended the Great Depression. Myth #3: World War II ended the Great Depression.  … more

Home Health Care Forced Unionization

Vincent Vernuccio explains the union's latest method of forcing home healthcare and daycare workers into their unions. This story was broken in Michigan by Michigan Capitol Confidential. For more information, click here… more

Want To Save Endangered Species? Hunt Them!

(CBS News) -- The scimitar horned oryx . . . the addax . . . the dama gazelle - three elegant desert antelope that you'd hope to see on a journey through Africa, except that their numbers are dwindling there. Which is why Lara Logan went to Texas -- yes, Texas. There, on large grassland ranches, some exotic species that are endangered in the wild have been brought back in large numbers. But there's a catch: a percentage of the herd is hunted every year by hunters who pay big money for a big catch. The ranchers say this limited "culling" gives them the money they need to care for the animals and conserve the species. But animal rights activists don't buy that argument, claiming the hunts are "canned" and that hunting is wholly inconsistent with conservancy. … more

Public School Official Says Parents Don't "Necessarily" Know What School Is Best For Their Children

Debbie Squires of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association speaks to the House Education Committee.

"Educators go through education for a reason. They are the people who know best about how to serve children. That is not necessarily true about an individual resident. Not saying that they don't want the best for their children, but they may not know what actually is best from an education standpoint." … more

Landmark Right-to-Work Bill Passes Indiana House

On Jan. 25, 2012, the Indiana House passed a right-to-work bill by a safe margin. Now signed by Gov. Daniels, this legislation makes Indiana the 23rd state to make it illegal to require a worker to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Here is the scene from when the bill was passed, as well as responses from the House leadership, union protestors and everyday Indiana citizens. … more

Milton Friedman - School Choice

January 23-29, 2012 was 'School Choice Week'. Professor Friedman spells out his recipe for fixing America's educational system. … more

Reason TV: What We Saw - National School Choice Week Kick-Off, New Orleans

January 23-29, 2012 is School Choice Week. "I think we ought to give our children the best we possibly can and I think we're moving in that direction," says renowned political operative James Carville. "Yes, I'm very excited about it." … more

National School Choice Week 2011

January 23-29, 2012 is 'School Choice Week'. The week is a bi-partisan coalition of organizations across the country who continue to push for more educational opportunity. Here are some highlights of National School Choice Week 2011. … more

Indiana Right-to-Work Still Stalled

It was another day at the Indiana State House. Another commemoration on the inside, more noise on the outside. The House can't vote on a bill unless 67 of 100 lawmakers show up to form a quorum. Indiana Democrats didn't show up...again. … more

Indiana GOP Leader Discusses Right-to-Work "Threats," "Propaganda"

Indiana House Democrats failed to show up to a full house session, stalling action of Indiana's Right to Work bill. House Speaker Republican Brian Bosma vows to fine each member failing to show up $1000 a day and will deduct the amount from lawmakers' paychecks. The House was adjourned until Monday at 11:30. One Democrat who spoke on the floor said his party will be there. Democrats want the issue considered in a voter referendum. Republicans say this is simply a delay tactic. … more

A Digital Learning Success Story

In Suttons Bay public schools, they are discovering that online learning is more adaptive, aiding those who struggle and boosting all students. Their program is so effective that other districts are adopting it for their own classrooms. … more

Indiana Lawmakers Discuss Right-to-Work Bill

A Republican says unions will "do anything" they can to stop the bill while a Democratic lawmaker hints that there may be a statewide referendum.

Republican State Sen. Jim Banks and Democratic State Rep. Scott Pelath discuss the right-to-work bill being debated for Indiana.

To see more coverage of this issue, click here… more

Businessman Says Michigan Needs to Become Right To Work

A longtime businessman says now that Michigan has gotten rid of the Michigan Business Tax and its surcharge (see here), it's high time elected leaders take a good hard look at how the state's labor climate impacts whether or not businesses decide to come to Michigan. … more

Freedom to Work

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on right-to-work. … more

A Guide to the American Federal Debt

A satirical short film taking a look at the national debt and how it applies to just one family. … more

Cronyism in America

Professors Don Boudreaux (George Mason University), Susan Dudley (George Washington University) & Bradley Schiller (University of Nevada-Reno) discuss the causes & solutions to Cronyism in America.

For more information, check out www.EconomicFreedom.org.  … more

Why the Stimulus Failed

High, persistent unemployment and a sluggish economy underscore what all but the most-dedicated partisans know to be true: The president's 2009 stimulus program was a massively expensive bust.

Understanding why the stimulus failed is an important step in understanding how the government can—and cannot—goose economic recovery.  … more

Golden Ticket

Like many charter public schools in Michigan, South Arbor Charter Academy must hold a lottery to distribute its limited classroom slots among an overwhelming number of applicants. In this video, the parents of some 556 student-hopefuls vie for just 26 slots at this achievement - and values - focused school. … more

Do Good-ers Who Do Harm

All too often people who are well-meaning and have good intentions end up creating results which are the opposite of the very thing they are trying to fix. Milton Friedman discusses the efficacy of "affecting to trade for the public good," as Adam Smith put it.  … more

Occupy Wall Street & Capitalism: A Professor's Response

The Occupy Wall Street movement expresses valid frustrations, but do the protesters aim their accusations in the wrong direction?

Economics Professor Chris Coyne draws the distinction between crony capitalism and legitimate capitalism. Crony capitalism is government favoritism fueled by handouts and is responsible for the plight of the 99%. Legitimate capitalism, on the other hand, uses competition to align consumer and producer interests and serves to improve everyone's standard of living. … 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!

To learn more, read "The Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving." … more

Fox Business: Loving Parents or Union Workers?

Fox Business Network picks up the Michigan Capitol Confidential story about Robert and Patricia Haynes, who discuss the Michigan law that forces them to join a union because they care for their kids with cerebral palsy.

The original story can be read here: www.MichiganCapitolConfidential.com/16001… more

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