Are Low Wages Causing The Skilled Trades Shortages?

Are low wages causing the skilled trades shortages?

The Grand Rapids Business Journal recently published an op-ed and comment that lays out the two most likely reasons for more demand by employers for skilled trades workers in manufacturing and construction than there are qualified applicants for those jobs. Which of the two explanations is accurate has profound implications for public policy, particularly for K-12 education. The op-ed is…

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Michigan Colleges And Economic Mobility, Part 2

Michigan colleges and economic mobility, part 2

In my last post I analyzed an important data set recently released by economist Raj Chetty and colleagues, that measures every college’s contribution to economic mobility in America. I looked at the percentage of the poorest students in each cohort at Michigan colleges who, by their early thirties, were in the top 40% of earners. The results were fairly disappointing…

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What’s The Matter With Kansas – And Michigan?

What’s the Matter with Kansas – and Michigan?

When called upon to write about Michigan policymakers’ approach to growing the state’s economy, it’s hard to not lapse into using clichés. Some that come to mind are: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Or more…

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Helping Nonviolent Offenders Avoid Prison Will Lift Michigan Communities.

Helping nonviolent offenders avoid prison will lift Michigan communities.

I’ve posted before about why we should try to reduce the number of Michiganders who end up in jail when an appropriate alternative can be found. The costs of imprisonment for the state, the unequal application of our justice system by race, high rates of recidivism, and the long-term effects on the imprisoned—difficulties finding employment, housing, etc. upon release, when…

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Senator Sasse On The Nature Of Future Work

Senator Sasse on the nature of future work

In a previous post I wrote about US Senator Ben Sasse's (Republican from Nebraska) views on manufacturing jobs not coming back no matter what pressure President Trump puts on companies not to move jobs overseas or to whatever barriers we erect to trade because of automation. We recommended––and do so again––that you watch from about the 32 minute mark a presentation the…

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