Category Archives : Millennials


New York City thriving

For nearly all of my getting close to forty year career I have heard about the imminent collapse of New York City. Those predictions were largely based on the twin beliefs that cities were part of the past (no longer competitive with the suburbs for middle class and affluent households) and low cost/small government places […]


Talent attraction in Oklahoma City

As we explored in our last post young professionals are concentrating in record numbers in vibrant central cities. Across the country––in red and blue states––state, regional, and city leaders understanding that where talent concentrates economic growth will follow, have made public investments in creating the kind of places that retain and attract recent college graduates […]


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: […]


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A Tale of Two States: Welcome Everyone

Many states have “welcome” signs at their borders. Minnesota means it. It’s a state that embraces immigrants, sees same-sex marriage as a civil right and an economic benefit, and recently enacted groundbreaking legislation designed to improve conditions for women in the workplace. Contrast those policies with Michigan, which is fighting to prevent the legalization of […]


Minnesota: a high-tax, high-prosperity state

Many states, including Michigan, have embraced low taxes and small government as their strategy to try to grow their economies. Minnesota has long trod a different path, one that features high taxes and smart investments in areas such as transportation, cities and education. It also has the strongest economy in the Great Lakes region and […]

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Lou’s Alma College commencement speech

Lou delivered the commencement address to the 2014 graduates of Alma College. The speech focused on the job market the graduates are likely to face over the course of a forty year career. Making the case that the four year degree the graduates have earned is the most reliable path to a good paying career. […]

Photo Courtesy: Alma College

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Go to college II 2

At about the same time that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was saying “Go to college. I can’t be any clearer.”, the Grand Rapids Business Journal reported that Governor Snyder at an economic summit he hosted in Grand Rapids said: “Michigan education is “too often focused on a diploma or a degree,” he said, “and not […]