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

Featured Video Archive

Taylor Teachers Fight Union Insecurity Clause

Three teachers from Michigan's Taylor School District say their union sold them out by approving a decade-long agreement to continue taking money from them. Michigan became a right-to-work state in December 2012. The law bans the practice of requiring employees to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. The law takes effect on March 28, 2013. Trying to go around the law, the Taylor Federation of Teachers Local 1085 approved a deal prior to March 28 to lock these teachers into a dues purgatory for the next 10 years. Angela Steffke, Rebecca Metz, and Nancy Rhatigan reached out to the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation for help. They do not want to buy what the union is selling. … more

Making Michigan Home Again: Rick Wadel's Story

Rick Wadel, owner of Wadel Stabilization, Inc., has been in business in Michigan since 1978. He opens up to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy about his struggles under Michigan's economy in the past few years, as well as his hopes and ambitions for his five children. … more

Elkhart, Indiana: A Right-to-Work Recovery

Elkhart, Indiana was in a bad spot in 2009 - they held the dubious honor of highest unemployment rate in the country at 20.3 percent. But now, due to favorable-to-business government policies in Indiana, Elhart is growing faster than most counties in the country at 5.6 percent growth. … more

Dick DeVos on Unions, Right-to-Work

Michigan businessman and entrepreneur Dick DeVos joins Heritage to discuss unions and the right-to-work movement spreading in the Midwest. … more

Gov. Rick Snyder on Michigan's Economic Rebound and Right to Work

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder visited Washington to talk about the state's new right-to-work law and how his policies have led to an economic turnaround. … more

Mackinac Center on Fox Business: MEA Contract Extensions

The Mackinac Center's Director of Labor Policy, Vinnie Vernuccio, on Fox Business' "Willis Report" discussing MEA contract extensions. … more

National School Choice Week Lights Up Chicago

National School Choice Week is an annual event designed to draw attention to - and advocate for - educational options for K-12 students. During the week, over 200 groups are hosting thousands of events across the country, exploring everything from charter schools and voucher programs to online curricula. … more

National School Choice Week 2013 Kicks Off

Hundreds of students and their parents helped kick off National School Choice Week 2013, January 26, at Union Station in Los Angeles, Calif. The week long celebration includes a 14 stop, cross-country tour starting at Union Station and ending in New York City's Penn Station. … more

State of the State: Union Protests Outside Capitol

Tight security locked out dozens of anti-right-to-work protesters from the State Capitol as Governor Snyder was delivering his "State of the State" address. Protesters tried to disrupt the speech by banging and chanting outside the building. … more

Movin' On Up: Michigan Improving Its Outmigration Rank

United Van Lines has been monitoring outmigration data for 36 years. Michigan ranks 6th highest among states with number of people moving out of the state, which is actually an improvement from #1 since 2010. It all comes down to one word: Opportunity. … more

Great Moments in Unintended Consequences

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

Great Moments in Unintended Consequences takes a look at three instances of epic government facepalm: Osborne Reef, Corn Ethanol Subsidies, and a particular clause in ObamaCare that is already doing more harm than good. … more

I, Pencil: The Movie

A film from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, adapted from the 1958 essay by Leonard E. Read. For more about I, Pencil, visit http://www.ipencilmovie.org … more

The Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy

Former Mackinac Center for Public Policy President Lawrence W. Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education, presents the keynote address at the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. … more

Crony Chronicles: Miracle on Wall Street

Our government shouldn't make us "donate" billions in corporate welfare to businesses each year. … more

Michigan Rally Against Right-to-Work Legislation

Teachers, activists and legislative leaders at a rally against right-to-work legislation. Teachers talk about taking the day off school to protest while legislators and social activists speak to the crowd.

The bill was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. … more

The Voices of Right-to-Work

Michigan union members talk about why they support a right-to-work law. Their reasons are diverse, reflecting economic concerns as well as issues regarding freedom of association. … more

What Is Right-to-Work?

In this video, the Mackinac Center's Anne Schieber explains the significance of a right-to-work law should one be passed in Michigan. The value of a right-to-work law is that an employee wouldn't be fired for refusing to financially support a union that chooses to represent them. … more

Forced Unionization Hurts Families

This is the story of how the Haynes family in Detroit, MI faced off with government unions after being forced to pay union dues. The Haynes family is like many other families all over the country who are working to take care of handicapped family members only to have unions take money from their paycheck with no benefit to them or their loved ones. … more

The Pilgrims and Property Rights: How our ancestors got fat & happy

The Pilgrims founded their colony at Plymouth Plantation in December 1620 and promptly started dying off in droves. … more

In Good Conscience

John Kennedy, CEO of Autocam (Grand Rapids, MI), is one of the brave business owners fighting back against the HHS Mandate. As a Catholic, the things mandated to be covered within the health care plans that John provides his associates are contrary to John's deeply held religious beliefs. So John, together with CatholicVote, is fighting back.

On Monday, October 8th, 2012, John Kennedy, through the CatholicVote.org Legal Defense Fund, filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services, and its Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (a Catholic). The purpose of the suit is to compel the court to strike down the mandate as unconstitutional. … more

Liberty and Equality vs. Coercion and Egalitarianism

In this archival Free To Choose Network footage, Milton Friedman takes Q & A at Stanford University. The young man's questions get to the heart of tension between the values of liberty and equality -- a tension that is still with us. Friedman dissolves egalitarianism by pointing out a simple fact: wealth redistribution creates state power elites, not equality. And the fact of coercion remains. … more

'Protect Working Families' Lists Proposal 2 Business Supporters Without Their Knowledge

Proponents of changing the state constitution to enshrine collective bargaining and override state laws have repeatedly claimed that its group is supported by "1,000 small businesses." … more

Union Member Says Proposal 2 Is An 'Over-reaching Power Grab'

Terry Bowman is UAW Ford worker and founder of Union Conservatives. He says Proposal 2 will negatively affect Michigan's job market … more

Proposal 4 Ads: Fact or Fiction?

Are the ads in favor of Proposal 4 (2012) telling the truth? The Mackinac Center for Public Policy analyzes these claims with Senior Legal Analyst Patrick Wright. … more

What Would Proposal 4 Do?

A one-minute video, with the Mackinac Center's Senior Investigative Analyst Anne Schieber, describing the effects of Proposal 4 (2012) should it pass. The so-called "Collective Bargaining" proposal would continue an illegal dues skim from Medicaid checks geared towards in-home caregivers, who are often caring for disabled family members. … more

What Would "25 x 25" Do?

Mackinac Center Investigative Analyst Dan Armstrong breaks down the numbers behind Proposal 3 supporters' claims. … more

Emergency Manager Success Stories in Michigan

Public Act 4 of 2011 was signed into law in March of 2011 and provided the state with the necessary tools to ensure the protection of each citizen's health, safety, and welfare. While PA 4, and its predecessor Acts, have been criticized at times, it is important to recognize positive changes Emergency Managers have made in addressing local government financial emergencies. … more

Glossop Family Caregiver Wants Out of SEIU

Steven Glossop moved in with his mother after she suffered a stroke while recovering from a heart attack. He now takes care of her on a daily basis. The former Teamster says the forced unionization of home-based caregivers is wrong and that he gets nothing from the SEIU. He wants out. … more

What Would 'Protect Our Jobs' Do?

Mackinac Center Investigative Analyst Dan Armstrong explains what the "Protect Our Jobs Amendment" would mean for Michigan residents. Rather than protect middle-class job growth for many Michigan residents, the ballot initiative would protect the 3 percent that are government employees and undermine legislative authority in favor of union bosses. … more

Honey, You Didn't Build That

Explaining the debate over "you didn't build that" so easily, a child could understand. … more

The Greatest Man You’ve Never Heard Of: Norman Borlaug, An American Hero

Norman Borlaug has been called the greatest human being of the 21st Century - yet he is scarcely known in his own country. Borlaug is the father of the "Green Revolution" and spent his life teaching poor nations modern agricultural techniques - saving an estimated 1 billion lives along the way.

Read more by clicking here: The "Greatest Man You’ve Never Heard Of: Norman Borlaug, An American Hero" … more

School District Imposes Taxation Without Representation

When school begins this week, Oceana County property owners will be paying more in taxes thanks to a school district merger that was approved without a public vote.

A few weeks after school ended in June, board members from the Mason-Lake Intermediate School District and the Oceana ISD agreed to a merger. Taxpayers in Oceana will now have to pay the higher millage rate assessed in Mason-Lake.

According to the Oceana County treasurer, the higher millage will cost Oceana County property owners an extra $1.02 million a year, or $150 for every $100,000 in taxable value. … more

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

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Star International Academy is the highest ranked high school in Michigan on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Contest and Performance report card for both 2014 and 2012. The study and a database of every school in the state can be found at www.Mackinac.org/CAP.

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