Category Archives : Michigan Economy

Ideas to Transform the Michigan Economy


States in recession and state economic policy

Most observers labeled Michigan’s economy from 2000-2007 as a single state recession. And interpreted it as caused primarily by state policy. In our reports Don Grimes and I labeled it a single industry recession. That the root cause of Michigan’s so-called lost decade was not policy, but the collapse of its dominant industry–motor vehicles. Michigan’s […]


David Cameron on education

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Life Chances speech which we highlighted in our last post includes recommendations on education. Cameron, once again, lays out an approach outside the mainstream at least here in Michigan and the U.S. He calls for a broad, rigorous liberal arts education for all children, not just the children of the […]


A speech worth reading

Terrific speech by British Prime Minister David Cameron on poverty. You can read/view it here. Highly recommended! Cameron––who heads the Conservative Party––lays out a comprehensive strategy for improving the life chances of those growing up in poverty. That involves an active government in both the economic and social challenges that the poor face. Cameron starts […]


GE to Boston, ConAgra to Chicago 1

For years we have used the following quote from Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, to describe what increasingly drives state and local economic growth: “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. […]


Stagnant manufacturing employment 2

Good news in the latest report on employment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2015 saw the most net new jobs since the boom of the late 1990s. 2.65 million jobs were added in 2015. Of those 35,000 were in manufacturing. You read that right: manufacturing contributed less than one tenth of one percent of […]


New report: lessons learned 4

Our latest report identified a clear path to prosperity for states and metropolitan area in an economy shaped by globalization and technology. The only exceptions to the pattern are those few who have been benefiting from high energy prices (like North Dakota). In the midst of an auto boom, Michigan in 2014 is 35th in […]


The truth about jobs and four year degrees

Two insightful new reports from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. You can read them here and here. The two studies demolish what passes for conventional wisdom on job creation in post Great Recession America. First and foremost, it is not true that we have too many with four year degrees.  From […]


Alarm bells needed II

We finished our last post this way: The bottom line: the Massachusetts approach has worked, Michigan’s hasn’t. Seems like its time for Michigan to learn from the state with the highest student achievement in the country. In this post lets look at the data. It comes from the just released 2015 NAEP, the nation’s report card […]