Category Archives : Millennials


My Detroit News op ed

The Detroit News published today an op ed I wrote about what is needed to recreate vibrant central cities in Michigan –– particularly Detroit. The op ed can be found here. Its basic theme: “The purpose of the exercise: It is not simply to reduce the deficit, but to ensure prosperity. Solvency is vital, but […]


Growing Detroit

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s second annual Detroit Policy Conference was terrific. Worth attending in future years. 800 folks turned out to focus on how to accelerate the revitalization of the city. As we have written frequently a vibrant Detroit is essential to Michigan’s future prosperity. Because in an increasingly talent driven economy, central cities are […]


Investment: It should be more than just roads

Everyone seems to be ready to embrace the need for a substantial boost in state funding for transportation, even as they try to find the least politically objectionable way to do it. The conventional wisdom seems to be that due to more fuel efficient vehicles, Michigan drivers are spending less on gasoline, therefore less on […]

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Big picture themes

As we start the new year I thought it would be helpful to take a step back from the specifics I normally write about to delineate the themes that these posts are about. For the past several years––no matter who was in office in Lansing or Washington––I have written about 100 posts per year. Each […]


Lou’s New Presentation

The below presentation includes updated data on the most and least prosperous states and identifies the characteristics of the states with the most successful economies. Together they make the case for a new Michigan. The presentation concludes with our new agenda: what Michigan needs to do to become one of the states with the most […]


Michigan growing the Chicago economy

Three interesting recent articles on young professionals leaving Michigan for vibrant central cities, particularly Chicago. All worth checking out. The first in the Detroit News entitled  “Michigan tries to lure best, brightest back“. The article provides a good overview of why where young talent chooses to live and work matters a lot to the Michigan […]


The millennials are an economic growth priority

Across the country state and local leaders have made retaining and attracting young college graduates an economic development priority. Not in Michigan. Here, by and large, state and local policy makers and economic developers are missing in action. So are the major business organizations. Some pay lip service to the importance of retaining and attracting talent, […]


A Michigan urban agenda

All of sudden their seems to be a renewed interest in developing an urban agenda for Michigan. If this is more than just talk that would be very good news. Having vital central cities that anchor big metropolitan areas is a core characteristic of the most prosperous states––particularly those with high private sector employment earnings […]


Optimistic about Detroit

In a recent issue of the Detroiter, Sandy Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber (and a Michigan Future Board member) wrote: “Ultimately Michigan goes as Detroit goes. The Motor City must be strong, vibrant urban center for the region and state to compete in the global economy. Detroit has to be the […]


Cities are in again

Amazing new data from the Census Bureau. 2011 is the first year in a century that central cities grew more than their suburbs. (See this MSNBC story for details.) Talk about a seismic change. Cities showing higher population gains compared to their suburbs last year include Atlanta, Denver, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C., Boston, Chicago, New […]