Blog

Not your father’s middle class

The Upshot section of the New Year Times published a terrific infographic and article on today’s middle class jobs compared to those in 1980. Those that pay between $40,000 and $80,000. Both are highly recommended, especially the infographic. The bottom line is clear: today’s middle class is no longer centered in manufacturing or construction as […]


John Austin and Jim Townsend

What worries most about Michigan politics is that we have two parties who by and large are trying to make the 20th Century work again. A factory-based economy supported by farming and tourism. As we have documented in our reports, a factory-based economy has led Michigan to fall from one of the most prosperous states […]


Louisiana as an education model? 1

Ever since hurricane Katrina the press, policy makers and other opinion leaders have pointed to Louisiana as a place to look for reforming public education. Primarily because in New Orleans they did away with teachers unions and largely went to providing education by charter schools, rather than a traditional public school district. Michigan has been […]

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Lessons from the 21 mile walker 3

Clearly the plight of James Robertson touched the hearts of Michiganders and the nation. Robertson story of walking 21 miles every day to get to work from Detroit to northern Oakland County was revealed in a wonderful Detroit Free Press article. As heartbreaking as Robertson’s story is, unfortunately he is not unique. Metro Detroit is […]


Skills employers want

Interesting article from Bloomberg Businessweek on the skills employers hire for. The magazine polled more than 1,300 corporate recruiters of business school graduates on what were the skills that they most looked for in hiring. The bottom line: “The most commonly named asset was good communication, which 68 percent of recruiters sought, followed by analytical […]


Michigan millennials and economic decline 1

Interesting interactive Atlantic article on the economic well being of today’s 18-35 year olds compared to those the same age in 1980. The bottom line: Michigan’s median income for those 18-35 has fallen the most in the country from 1980-2013, down more that 26 percent. The Atlantic writes: The past is another country. In 1980, […]


Safety net + strong economy 2

More evidence that the conventional wisdom that a strong safety net leads to a weak economy is not accurate. As we explored previously that is one of the lessons we should learn from Minnesota. Which has a far more generous safety net than Michigan and the strongest economy in the Great Lakes in terms of […]


Net worth measured in millions 1

I’m reading Jonathan Clements’ Money Guide 2015. Not for work. But his first two paragraphs of the first chapter are very much about Michigan Future’s work. Clemens writes: Imagine you are a freshly minted, penniless college graduate with alarming student loans and an unhealthy credit card debt. Your net worth? It’s likely measured in the millions. […]


Young talent still leaving Michigan

Conventional wisdom is that people follow jobs. So the most effective talent attraction and retention strategy, once again according to conventional wisdom, is to create jobs. If conventional wisdom were right Michigan should have reversed the net outmigration of young professionals since the end of the Great Recession. Where we have gone from a decade […]


The non student loan crisis 2

The public conversation about higher education is filled with doom and gloom about recent college graduates––particularly those with four year degrees or more in non-STEM fields––because of supposedly crushing student loans combined with low salaries. Increasingly we are also being told that getting a four year degree in a non-STEM occupation is the road to […]