Category Archives : Michigan Economy

Ideas to Transform the Michigan Economy


21st Century education outcomes

Michigan Future is working on its first ever state policy agenda. The agenda will be designed to identify state policies that can raise living standards of all Michiganders. A  big component of the agenda will be improving education attainment. Below is how we are thinking about education policy. Starting with what capacities are we trying […]


California and Kansas updated

The Washington Post in an article entitled The interesting thing that happened when Kansas cut taxes and California hiked them provides an update on the economic fortune of the two states. Its a topic we covered previously in a post entitled California growing, Kansas not so much: A year and a half later, same results. As the […]


Chicago and California

I’m sure some of you are asking “what do Chicago and California have in common?” The answer is conventional wisdom writing them off. As we explored in a series of posts in 2009 California then was widely viewed as in permanent decline. Largely because of a dysfunctional state government and not being business friendly. High […]


Talent rich cities winning

A core finding of Michigan Future’s research has been that the most prosperous places are now those with the highest proportion of adults with a four year degree. Because globalization and technology are driving us away from a factory-based to a knowledge-based economy. Knowledge-based services are almost exclusively the only sector of the economy to […]


Wrong track Michigan policy

Two must-read columns. One entitled Distractions turn dysfunction for Snyder, GOP is written by Daniel Howes, Detroit News business columnist. Writing about Michigan’s horrible k-12 student outcomes he writes: It’s embarrassing. It’s also a harsh indictment of the recurring public-policy fights between retrograde union interests, the education establishment and a Republican agenda determined to purge […]


Cities and schools again

Following up on my last post about the importance of quality schools and local governments I thought it worthwhile to rerun a post I wrote nearly two years ago. Its as relevant to Michigan’s future success today as it was then. I wrote: “Included in my standard presentation is this quote from Harvard economist Edward […]


Alarm bell reports

Two new reports should be setting off alarm bells among Michigan’s leaders, both political and business. One comes from Ed Trust Midwest entitled Michigan Achieves! More accurately, it would be Michigan doesn’t achieve. The report details Michigan’s status as a national laggard in student achievement and going in the wrong direction fast. All Michigan students, […]


Devaluing a four year degree

Worrisome survey results reported by the New York Times. Worth checking out and taking the one question survey. The question: “What do you think the unemployment rate is for 25-to-34-year-olds who graduated from a four-year college? (Hint: for those with only a high school degree, it’s 7.4 percent.)” The Times reports it previously did a […]


Global manufacturing employment declining 2

Every election year candidates from both parties make growing manufacturing employment a centerpiece of their economic growth strategy. One problem: no matter who wins in DC or Lansing the structural decline in manufacturing employment continues unabated. Manufacturing employment declines sharply in economic contractions and usually rebounds somewhat in economic recoveries. So there are, from time […]


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 […]