Category Archives : Michigan Economy

Ideas to Transform the Michigan Economy


Placemaking agenda: municipal finance

For more than a decade we have argued that the strategy for producing better economic outcomes that Michigan has adopted is not smart. Basically lower taxes and smaller government as the recipe for economic growth. As lower taxes produced less state revenue that meant big cuts in higher education and support for local government. And […]


Low taxes and low prosperity

More evidence that cutting taxes does not lead to higher prosperity for Michiganders. One can make a strong argument that for at least two decades Michigan’s primarily strategy for raising Michiganders living standards has been to lower taxes. Advocates for that strategy have told us over and over that the place with more and better […]


A college degree trumps student loans 1

Fascinating survey results from Navient and Ipsos entitled Money Under 35. Worth checking out. The findings destroys the conventional wisdom about college graduates being crushed by student debt. Obviously recent college graduates would be better of without needing to pay off loans. But the survey demonstrates that having a college degree–particularly a bachelors degree or […]


A placemaking policy agenda

More than a decade of research on the changing American economy has led us to conclude that, quite simply, in a flattening world where work can increasingly be done anyplace by anybody, the places with the greatest concentrations of talent win. The new path to prosperity is concentrated talent. Human capital is what attracts business […]


Development-oriented light rail

Years ago I heard a presentation by folks who were involved in the development of the Portland Oregon streetcar system. They described it as development-oriented transit, not transit-oriented development. They wanted to emphasize that the main purpose was central city economic development, not moving people. (You can check out the staggering magnitude of new development […]


People as the most important natural resource

One of our favorite quotes for years comes from Forbes publisher Rick Karlgaard: “Best place to make a future Forbes 400 fortune? Start with this proposition: The most valuable natural resource in the 21st century is brains. Smart people tend to be mobile. Watch where they go! Because where they go, robust economic activity will […]


Not coding school 1

Insightful Atlantic article entitled Will the push for coding lead to technical ghettos? With a subtitle of “The emphasis on knowing Java and JavaScript could put students of color on the bottom rung of the tech workforce.” Exactly! In these posts we have decried the push from elites to have other people’s kids forgo a […]


Urban amenities and talent attraction

Terrific CityLab article entitled The Real Source of American Urban Revival. It documents the trend we have been writing about for nearly a decade that young professionals far more than previous generations are concentrating in central cities not the suburbs. CityLab reports: From 2000 to 2010, more college-educated professionals aged 25 to 34 moved downtown […]