Blog

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 […]


Detroit schooling chaos

Good article in the Atlantic on Detroit schools entitled Detroit’s Education Catastrophe. Worth reading! The article describes the consequences of an unregulated education marketplace with little or no quality standards. You end up with too many schools chasing too few students. Which leaves all education operators unstable––both public school districts and charters. And that instability […]


Low taxes and low prosperity

More evidence that cutting taxes does not lead to higher prosperity for Michiganders. One can make a strong argument that for at least two decades Michigan’s primarily strategy for raising Michiganders living standards has been to lower taxes. Advocates for that strategy have told us over and over that the place with more and better […]


Two quotes on student loans

An article entitled “More evidence the sky is not falling due to student loan debt” reviews recent research on the question of whether student loans are depressing home ownership. They don’t! The article includes two quotes that summarize well the reality that a college degree––even with student loans––are a terrific investment. In the article, for […]


A college degree trumps student loans 1

Fascinating survey results from Navient and Ipsos entitled Money Under 35. Worth checking out. The findings destroys the conventional wisdom about college graduates being crushed by student debt. Obviously recent college graduates would be better of without needing to pay off loans. But the survey demonstrates that having a college degree–particularly a bachelors degree or […]


A placemaking policy agenda

More than a decade of research on the changing American economy has led us to conclude that, quite simply, in a flattening world where work can increasingly be done anyplace by anybody, the places with the greatest concentrations of talent win. The new path to prosperity is concentrated talent. Human capital is what attracts business […]


Development-oriented light rail

Years ago I heard a presentation by folks who were involved in the development of the Portland Oregon streetcar system. They described it as development-oriented transit, not transit-oriented development. They wanted to emphasize that the main purpose was central city economic development, not moving people. (You can check out the staggering magnitude of new development […]