College access

There is a growing––but certainly not universal––understanding that the economic well being of the country and state are now highly dependent on the proportion of adults in the workforce with a college––particularly four year––degree. That human capital is the asset that matters most and is in the shortest supply for economic growth and prosperity. And that a––if not the––key to…

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Manufacturing in decline

Two  terrific articles on the declining role of manufacturing in the American economy. One from Bloomberg Businssweek entitled Factory Jobs Are Gone. Get Over It. The other a Steve Rattner column for the New York Times entitled The Myth of Industrial Rebound. Both clearly present the overwhelming data that manufacturing employment has been and will continue to be a smaller and smaller…

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Ballard on the Michigan economy

MSU economics professor Charles Ballard just gave a terrific presentation on the Michigan  economy. Highly recommended! Ballard's main themes are: Michigan's population decline has followed its economic decline Michigan has moved from being a high to low prosperity state The main causes of the decline are both the decline in manufacturing employment and Michigan's standing as  a low college attainment state in…

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Growing Ann Arbor

Had an opportunity to talk with the Ann Arbor City Council about the economic future of the city. (For an excellent summary of the session see this MLive article.) My remarks and the conversation was mainly about retaining and attracting college educated Millennials. But we also had a chance to discuss Ann Arbor being part of the Detroit metropolitan area.…

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The safety net and employment

Conventional wisdom seems to be that a generous safety net reduces the number of people that work. The thinking goes if you pay people enough not to work, they won't seek and find work. Acting on those beliefs, Michigan, particularly in the last three years, has slashed the state's main safety net programs: cash benefits, food stamps and unemployment insurance.…

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