Category Archives : Michigan Economy

Ideas to Transform the Michigan Economy


Lets hope this isn’t “back”: wages

We ended our previous post on whether Michigan is back with the conclusion that the fundamental challenge Michigan is facing is too few good paying jobs. As the ALICE report authors put it we need: ” … a significant increase in the wages of current jobs or in the number of medium-and high skilled jobs in […]


Growing education inequality

An important column from Eduardo Porter in the New York Times entitled: A Simple Equation: More Education = More Income. That about says it all! Worth reading. As we write frequently in these posts the evidence is overwhelming that the most prosperous individuals are those with a four year degree or more and the most prosperous […]


Lets hope this isn’t “back”

Michigan elites––corporate, elected officials and the press––increasingly claim that Michigan is back. Thanks in no small part to the huge federal bailout of the domestic automobile industry and the financial system, corporate Michigan is enjoying skyrocketing profits, stock prices and top executive compensation. So without question Michigan elites are doing very well indeeed. The rest […]


Cities and schools

Included in my standard presentation is this quote from Harvard economist Edward Glaeser: In the long run, America will be richer than China only by having smarter citizens, and that requires the skills that come from schools and cities, not dispersed factories. It is great summary of our approach to economic development. In an increasingly knowledge-based […]


California’s growth explained

Lets take a look at the details of California’s economic resurgence since the election of Governor Jerry Brown and adoption of a significant tax increase. (Using data compiled by Don Grimes covering the period from June 2011 to June 2014. Governor Brown took office in January 2011 and the tax increase was approved by voters […]


California growing, Kansas not so much

Paul Krugman has done recent New York Times columns on economic growth in California since the election of Governor Jerry Brown and in Kansas since the election of Governor Sam Brownback. The California column entitled “Left Coast Rising” is about the state’s impressive growth since the state raised taxes. In Kansas its the opposite story, […]


Trickle down and the Millennials continued 2

At its core, Thomas Sugrue’s critique of making retaining and attracting young professional a priority really should be aimed at regions and states, not cities. What Sugrue is arguing is that it is not an effective jobs and economic development strategy. City government has very little clout in either. In his Free Press interview Sugrue […]


Trickle down and the Millennials 2

Thomas Sugrue is the author of the must-read “The Origins of the Urban Crisis”, a history of the deindustrialization of Detroit. He was a  keynote speaker at the last Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Policy Conference. Prior to the speech he did an interview with John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press which was entitled: “Sugrue: […]


A generous safety net helping economic growth

In his last post about our State Policies Matters report, Rick Haglund wrote of the much more generous safety net Minnesota has compared to Michigan. I wrote on the topic in a post entitled “The safety net and employment”. Both of us have noted that Minnesota disproves the all too conventional wisdom that a generours safety […]