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

Featured Video Archive

Cornerstone Charter Schools

This video profiles Madison-Carver Academy and Cornerstone Health High School, two public charter schools in the City of Detroit. Both schools make use of blended learning, which allows each student to move at his or her individual pace through coursework.  … more

Spending Cuts: Michigan Politicians Versus Mackinac Center

The Mackinac Center's senior investigative reporter Anne Schieber and director of fiscal policy Michael D. LaFaive capture the inconsistency in Lansing lawmaker's claims regarding spending cuts for taxpayers, in particular the upcoming debate over the gas tax. … more

Game of Thrones' Economics: It's Not All Fantasy

"The game of thrones in general is a game of cronyism because it's all about forming political alliances, especially with people who can make you better off economically speaking," says Auburn University Economics Instructor Matthew McCaffrey. … more

The Power of Nazi Propaganda

From radio and film to newspapers and publishing, the Nazi regime controlled every aspect of German culture from 1933-1945. Through Josef Goebbels' Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, the German state tightly controlled political messaging, promoting deification of the leader—the Führerprinzip—and the demonization of the ubiquitous and duplicitious "racial enemy." A new exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., examines "how the Nazi Party used modern techniques as well as new technologies and carefully crafted messages to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany." Reason.tv's Michael C. Moynihan visited with museum historian and curator Steve Luckert to discuss the role and effectiveness of propaganda in the rise of fascism and what lessons can be drawn from the Nazi experiment in mass manipulation. … more

Top Three 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. Davies argues that in fact, Hoover was a very interventionist president, and it was his intervening in the economy that made matters worse. Myth #2: The New Deal ended the Great Depression. Davies argues that the New Deal actually made matters worse. In other countries, the Great Depression ended much sooner and more quickly than it did in the United States. Myth #3: World War II ended the Great Depression. Davies explains that military production is not real wealth.; wars destroy wealth, they do not create wealth. In fact, examination of the historical data reveals that the U.S. economy did not really start to recover until after WWII was over. … more

Cost Recovery Fees Allow Cities to Double Tax

Michigan cities are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars by charging law offenders, primarily drivers accused of driving under the influence, for ordinary law enforcement expenses related to their arrest. Some cities charge drivers who don't meet the legal limit of impairment. The practice raises the question, How far will cities go to tax and fine taxpayers? … more

Does Stimulus Spending Work?

After the housing bubble burst, the Bush and Obama administrations turned to stimulus in an effort to "create jobs." Does such spending lead to economic improvement? Prof. Antony Davies examines the data to see how increases in federal spending relate to economic growth from 1955 to the present. The evidence shows that there is no connection between federal spending and economic improvement; instead, stimulus money only increases government debt. After three years of stimulus spending, the unemployment rate remains at 9 percent. "One thing that has changed," Davies says, "is that our government is now $4.6 trillion further in debt than it was before the stimulus efforts." … more

Ending Forfeiture Abuse: How States Can Be Tough on Crime and Respect Property Rights

Civil asset forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to private property rights in our nation today. Law enforcement can take your property without even charging you with a crime.  … 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.

Michigan has one of the most burdensome licensing requirements. Our state forces people to take classes and pay money to the state for things like painting, floor sanding, cutting hair and low-level carpentry. Few other states require that. … more

Minimum Wage Business Realities

Why do some employers favor a raise in the minimum wage? Profit per employee plays a major role. … more

Shikha Dalmia: 5 Reasons Why Low Skilled Immigrants are Good for the Economy

The Senate's "Gang of Eight" proposed immigration reform plan will likely take a look at how to make it easier for high-skilled immigrants to gain legal status in the United States. Reason Foundation senior analyst Shikha Dalmia gives five reasons why low-skilled immigrants are good for the economy too: … more

CA vs. The Suburbs: Planners, Smart Growth, and the Manhattan Delusion

"One of the things that happens when you force this kind of high-density development is you destroy the very urban neighborhoods that retain the middle class," says Joel Kotkin. "The neighborhoods have to fight this kind of guerilla-style." … more

Roscommon Teachers Break-Up With Michigan Union

Teachers in the Roscommon Public Schools district in Michigan have broken with the Michigan Education Association, the largest union in the state, to form an independent union that is less expensive and more responsive to their collective bargaining needs. … more

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013)

Margaret Thatcher, one of the greatest of the United Kingdom's Prime Ministers (and the only woman), died Monday. She was among the wave of leaders across the world who helped save their countries from socialist and Keynesian economics and made the world a substantially better place for all people, the rich and the poor.

Here is how she went out in the House of Commons - it is undoubtedly how she would want to be remembered … more

Voices of Right-to-Work: The Mackinac Center Investigates

The Mackinac Center's Senior Investigative Reporter Anne Schieber interviews Michiganders, union and non-union, on their feelings regarding the right-to-work legislation which went into effect March 28, 2013. … more

The Fall Of Tam's: How LA Regulated A Burger Stand Out of Existence

Entrepreneur vs. LA's city government: Who will prevail? Watch Reason TV's video above to find out. … more

What Can We Cut to Balance the Budget?

If the U.S. government cut all government services except Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and payments on the debt, federal spending would still outpace revenues. Prof. Antony Davies argues that there are not specific cuts that will enable government to balance the budget. He says, "Nothing less than a redesign will solve this problem." That redesign should begin by determining what the proper role of government is. … more

Union Conservatives On Right-to-Work

The founder of Union Conservatives, Terry Bowman is a Michigan UAW member and is now working on protecting the state's new Freedom-to-Work law. He discusses the challenges ahead and how his organization plans to meet them. … more

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

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