Featured Video Archive

Why Trump is Wrong About Trade

There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided. … more

From the Model T to Driverless Cars

You may not have seen them on the highway yet, but autonomous vehicles are here. The potential benefits of this and related technologies are immense. But they also present new and unique regulatory and infrastructure challenges for state and local governments. Brent Skorup of the Mercatus Center has written extensively on these issues and lays out the principles and practices policymakers should pursue when determining how to regulate these new technologies. … more

After Obamacare: How Michigan Can Deliver on Patient-Centered Health Care

Obamacare repeal-and-replace is underway, and regardless of whether it passes or fails big, changes are coming for Michigan’s medical services and insurance industry, and the state’s social welfare system, especially Medicaid. … more

The 2017 Detroit Children's Business Fair

Kid business owners talk about their companies and the 2nd annual Detroit Children's Business Fair. … more

Medicaid RX: Improving Care and Saving Money

A non-insurance based health care model called Direct Primary Care is gaining traction in Michigan because it saves money and provides better access to doctors. … more

Foot Patrol Policing: Engaging Michigan Communities One Step at a Time

As police departments seek to reduce crime, restore trust in law enforcement and improve the strained relationship between officers and civilians, many have begun shifting to more community-oriented operations. Dr. Frank Straub, former chief of police in Spokane, Washington, and Chief Jeff Hadley, the head of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, discuss new research and practices for law enforcement around the country. … more

Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit

A “bottlenecker” is someone who uses the power of the government to limit competition in the market and artificially boost their own profits. Bottleneckers use a variety of methods to achieve their goals, including tax loopholes, regulations, occupational licensing requirements, minimum wage laws and many more. The end result when these special interest bottleneckers succeed is fewer choices and higher prices for consumers, fewer job opportunities for workers and less innovation throughout the economy. … more

Taxing My Free Speech

Michigan bed and breakfast David Gersenson has asked the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation to help him fight a tax for advertising he doesn't want or need. … more

Michigan's Guild-Ridden Licensing Apparatus

Jarrett Skorup, policy analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, discusses occupational licensure in Michigan. … more

Civil Society: Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program

Not waiting for government to the rescue, a Detroit father has reached out to at-risk youth through the sport of boxing. Today, his enrichment program puts young people on a path to educational success. … more

Why School Choice Matters

Sandy Smith has firsthand experience with the benefits of school choice when families face tragedy. But state rankings don't always reflect how well schools are working for families. … more

Children Naturally Understand Free Markets

Participants in the 2016 Detroit Children's Business Fair show their grasp on how markets work. Featured are responses to the such thoughts as hoarding profit for personal gain, penalizing those who earn more and regulating private business. … more

For Me, Free Markets

A U.S. graduate student from Russia shares his observations about the rising popularity of socialism in the U.S. among millennials. … more

Working in Detroit: Paving the Way for New Ventures

It took more than a year but the City of Detroit now allows pedal pubs to live up to their name. Customers are now allowed to drink alcoholic beverages while peddling these unusual pub platforms.  … more

Principles Not Politics

Our national politics are in turmoil but the Mackinac Center for Public Policy will continue to promote policy that improves the lives for all people of Michigan. … more

Working in Detroit: Competitive Advantage

Businesses succeed when they listen to the market and provide customers with an advantage that differs from the competition. The Detroit Institute of Music Education is attempting to do that in the field of higher education. … more

Working in Detroit: Managing Risk

Detroit Bikes is betting on the Detroit name and its history of manufacturing excellence to make its mark in the competitive industry of bicycle manufacturing. Founder Zak Pashak wants to make cycling enjoyable and accessible and is doing it with no special favors from government. … more

Local Taxpayers Speak Out on Pension Underfunding

Jim Riley got his own fiscal house in order so he could retire. Now he wonders why his city government can’t do the same for their employees, and taxpayers who could end with huge bills from the unfunded retirement liabilities. … more

Amiah's Story: How School Choice and a Job Got Her on Track

The right school can turn around a child's life. Amiah came from a broken home, living with a mother who abused drugs. Her grandmother, who helped raise her, died when she was young and after a fight at her traditional public school, she was kicked out. But she found hope. Amiah ended up at Lighthouse Academy, a charter school, which eventually led her to connect with Jobs for Michigan Graduates, a non-profit which connects kids with employment opportunities. Through that, she got a job with a metal factory, enlisted in the Air Force and will be attending college … more

Working in Detroit: American Dream

After moving to the U.S. from Liberia at age 11, Tracy Garley is living the American Dream with her own shop and she thinks there's no better place for success than Detroit. … more

Low-Income Families Need Private Schools, Too

At Detroit Cristo Rey, students from low-income families work to pay for their private school tuition. Unlike a number of states, Michigan fails to offer those families any financial assistance in the form of vouchers or credits. … more

Workers Choice: A Path Forward for Unions and Workers

Workers who chose to leave unions want to fend for themselves but current law requires unions in union shops to negotiate their pay and work conditions. "Worker's Choice" gives employees the freedom to choose representation. … more

In Our Hands: It's Time to Reform Pensions in Michigan

The most important public policy question in Michigan is what to do about retiree benefits. The amount of debt owed to public employees at the state level, in the education system and at the local level is astounding — tens of billions of dollars governments have promised but failed to set aside.  … more

Forced Advertising Tax on Michigan Tourists

A Michigan lodge owner is fighting a tax he is forced to collect from his customers to support advertising by a regional tourism bureau. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation has filed a suit on behalf of George Galbraith to retain his First Amendment rights. … more

Local Taxpayers Speak Out on Pension Underfunding

Jim Riley got his own fiscal house in order so he could retire. Now he wonders why his city government can’t do the same for their employees, and taxpayers who could end with huge bills from the unfunded retirement liabilities. … more

In Our Hands: It's Time to Reform Pensions in Michigan

The most important public policy question in Michigan is what to do about retiree benefits. The amount of debt owed to public employees at the state level, in the education system and at the local level is astounding — tens of billions of dollars governments have promised but failed to set aside.  … more

Emmet County Spending Spree

Emmet County Commissioners are spending millions of dollars on lavish ambulance stations and an observatory to gaze at stars. The projects are being funded by a bond issue that bypassed voters. … more

Ice Delivery Service: Working in Detroit

One day, a Detroit grocer didn't get his ice delivery, the next day, he decided to go into the ice making business. Thirty-five years later, U.S. Ice has become a Detroit success stories with plans to expand beyond the city's borders. The secret ingredient: service. … more

The Mile Act: Working in Detroit

To grow a soccer team in the city, the Detroit City FC turned to private supporters rather than the government. The city's popular semi-pro soccer team used the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption, or MILE Act, after it found a bigger stadium that needed serious repair. … more

Do Michigan Schools Need More Money?

Many people believe public schools need more money until they hear how much the schools spend each year per pupil. … more

Civil Asset Forfeiture: The Police Perspective

Ted Nelson is a retired Michigan State Police officer who trained police departments throughout the state on civil asset forfeiture. He believes the practice has been misused and needs to change. … more

Why I'm Leaving the UAW

Terry Bowman has been a UAW worker at Ford Motor Company for 19 years. He explains why he is leaving the union under Michigan's right-to-work law. … more

The Boundaries of Educational Choice: Surveying Michigan's Private School Landscape

Nonpublic schools serve tens of thousands of Michigan elementary and secondary students, yet a clear understanding of the state's diverse private education landscape has been lacking. … more

School Spending and Student Achievement in Michigan

Education Policy Director Ben DeGrow discusses his study and its context to Michigan's Adequacy Report in Education Spending, May 2016. To see study go to http://www.mackinac.org/22332 … more

Can I Catch a Ride?: Regulating Uber and Lyft in Michigan

Ridesharing is a new service made popular by companies like Lyft and Uber. It relies on smartphones to connect those who need a ride to drivers willing to provide one — a riff on the traditional taxi system. Ridesharing has allowed thousands of Michiganders earn extra income as drivers and save money and time as riders. It currently operates in a legal gray area, because ridesharing drivers are not cabbies or chauffeurs. … more

Grand Rapids Homeowner: Your Home is Not Your Castle in This Town

City government charged Nancy Wilson with a crime for not getting her historic home painted fast enough. "Their methodology is to beat you into submission and it's not right." … more

Let them Work: Solutions for Michigan's Overbearing Occupational Licensing Laws

Occupational licensing is now the biggest issue in labor economics, with even more of an effect than unions. On a national basis 25 percent of all Americans need the government’s permission and specific credentials before they can work. That is more than twice as many people who are members of unions—11 percent and declining—and 25 times the number who earn the minimum wage.  … more

Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter at MCPP

Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's "Friends of Freedom" event, Midland, Michigan on February 3, 2016. … more

Work Centers for Disabled Under Attack

Work centers for the disabled are under attack for wages and hiring practices. Regulators want to ban segregated work settings and minimum wage waivers, which could put some centers out of business and disabled workers out of a job. … more

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al. is a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court filed by the Center for Individual Rights on behalf of Rebecca Friedrichs and several other plaintiffs. If the justices rule in favor of Rebecca, government workers across the country would not need to pay unions as a condition of employment. Workers in the 25 right-to-work states already have this right and some government workers in a few non-right-to-work states. … more

Charter Schools: A Choice for Michigan

Public charter schools give parents more options. They provide options that may not be available in a traditional public school setting. ChoosingCharters.com tells the stories of parents and students who find value in public charter schools and how their lives have been improved with choice. Visit ChoosingCharters.com for more information. … more

Grand River Preparatory: A Close-Knit Family

Grand Valley Preparatory High School leaders say they focus on developing 21st Century skills in students, skills like collaboration, critical-thinking, the ability to analyze and writing well. 100 percent of graduates have been accepted in colleges or universities, being rewarded with more than $2 million in scholarships. Visit ChoosingCharters.com for more information. … more

Chandler Park: Academically Excellent Leaders

Chandler Park’s mission is to develop student leaders with high moral character and achieve academic excellence. The Class of 2015 earned more than $11.6 million in scholarship money. For more information, visit ChoosingCharters.com… more

Star International Academy: Whole-Child emphasis

Star International Academy started in 1998 to help students whose needs were not being met. Many students are from immigrant families. It takes a whole-child approach to learning, which includes arts and athletics. Star International boasts a 100 percent graduation rate and 100 percent admission into college. Its high school was rated number one on the Mackinac Center’s Context and Performance Report Card. Visit ChoosingCharters.com for more information. … more

Labor Reform in the States: A Video Timeline

Despite threats from unions and the politicians they back, voters continue to support legislators and governors who pass labor reforms which favor taxpayers and workers. … more

Charter Schools: A Choice for Michigan

School choice in Michigan. … more

Civil Asset Forfeiture: The Police Perspective Civil Asset Forfeiture: The Police Perspective

Ted Nelson is a retired Michigan State Police officer who trained police departments throughout the state on civil asset forfeiture. He believes the practice has been misused and needs to change. … more

Emmet County Spending Spree

Emmet County Commissioners are spending millions of dollars on lavish ambulance stations and an observatory to gaze at stars. The projects are being funded by a bond issue that bypassed voters. … more

Laws, Laws, Everywhere, Laws

The bigger government gets, the more laws it writes - regulating and criminalizing the slightest, offensive behaviors. Do we need so much regulation over our lives? What ever happened to self-regulation? … more

Why I'm Leaving the UAW

Terry Bowman has been a UAW worker at Ford Motor Company for 19 years. He explains why he is leaving the union under Michigan's right-to-work law. … more

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There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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