Not your father’s middle class

The Upshot section of the New Year Times published a terrific infographic and article on today’s middle class jobs compared to those in 1980. Those that pay between $40,000 and $80,000. Both are highly recommended, especially the infographic. The bottom line is clear: today’s middle class is no longer centered in manufacturing or construction as […]


John Austin and Jim Townsend

What worries most about Michigan politics is that we have two parties who by and large are trying to make the 20th Century work again. A factory-based economy supported by farming and tourism. As we have documented in our reports, a factory-based economy has led Michigan to fall from one of the most prosperous states […]


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Louisiana as an education model? 1

Ever since hurricane Katrina the press, policy makers and other opinion leaders have pointed to Louisiana as a place to look for reforming public education. Primarily because in New Orleans they did away with teachers unions and largely went to providing education by charter schools, rather than a traditional public school district. Michigan has been […]


Lessons from the 21 mile walker 3

Clearly the plight of James Robertson touched the hearts of Michiganders and the nation. Robertson story of walking 21 miles every day to get to work from Detroit to northern Oakland County was revealed in a wonderful Detroit Free Press article. As heartbreaking as Robertson’s story is, unfortunately he is not unique. Metro Detroit is […]