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

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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

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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