Category Archives : Michigan Economy

Ideas to Transform the Michigan Economy


Lack of transit and poverty

Important and surprising New York Times article entitled “Transportation Emerges as Crucial to Escaping Poverty”. Reporting on research at Harvard the Times reports: In a large, continuing study of upward mobility based at Harvard, commuting time has emerged as the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty. The longer an average commute in […]


Upcoming education forum

I’m very much looking forward to participating in the “The Future of Michigan Education” forum on Wednesday, May 27 from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Ann Arbor District Library, 343 South Fifth Ave in downtown Ann Arbor. The forum is sponsored by Re:NEW Michigan. The event will focus on the skills young people will need […]


The case for college for all III

As we explored in our last post if we are serious about raising American living standards we need policies that address both increasing education attainment and that tilt the playing field in favor of employees rather than employers. The chart below is more evidence of why both are needed. It depicts real median wages by […]

Median wages:US,MI,MN

rp_autos-and-pci-771x591.jpg

Autos and Michigan prosperity

For most of the 20th Century Michigan was one of the nation’s most prosperous states. Largely because the auto industry employed hundreds of thousands at high wages. Anchored by blue collar factory workers. Michigan’s prosperity was highly correlated with how well the domestic auto industry––now the Detroit Three––was faring. When the Detroit Three did well, […]


The college completion challenge

A recent article in the Washington Monthly is subtitled “The problem is not college debt, it’s low graduation rates. Fix that, and you fix the economy.” Probably an exaggeration. But correct in both that college completion is important to reversing the decline in American living standards and far more of a challenge than too high […]


Liberal arts as an asset

Readers of this blog know that we believe that a broad education is the key to building the skills needed for successful/prosperous forty year careers. Largely because globalization and technology are constantly making obsolete––in unpredictable ways––jobs, occupations and industries. So successful people will be those who are able to constantly adjust to changes in labor […]


Worth watching 3

Great You Tube video from Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution entitled: “Is America Dreaming?: Understanding Social Mobility” Highly recommended! Using legos and in less than four minutes he lays out the basic realities that America is moving farther and farther away from being a place of equal opportunity. Where your status at birth doesn’t […]


The community college challenge 1

I support President Obama’s proposal to make community college tuition free for those students who stay on track academically. Expanding education opportunity and outcomes is an essential component of raising the standard of living of all Americans. That said taking tuition off the table as an obstacle, is not nearly enough to dramatically change the […]


Lower income and fewer jobs with the same unemployment rate 2

Michigan’s February unemployment rate of 5.9 percent is the lowest it has been in more than a dozen years. Since it was also 5.9 percent in October, 2001. Good news indeed! Unfortunately there the similarity in good economic news ends. Even with the same unemployment rate, Michiganders in 2015 are far behind where they were […]