The case for raising taxes II

Terrific Larry Gabriel column in the Metro Times. It is about the causes of Detroit's horrible population decline. Now the 18th largest  city in the country, down from 4th. As Gabriel points out the problems may be worse in Detroit,…

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2011 Predictions

The folks at MiBiz.com were kind enough to ask me again to be one of their guest columnists on what we see happening in 2011. They got quite a distinguished group of Michiganians to write columns. Worth checking out. Below…

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The Basics: Education and Infrastructure

When I started working in economic development more than thirty years ago –time does fly when you are having fun – conventional wisdom was that the state's chief role was education and infrastructure. They were considered the foundation on which…

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State Board of Ed Leading

Our politics are characterized by hyper partisanship and an unwillingness to tackle the big issues. So at a time when leadership matters most, we get inaction. There is some good news. The State Board of Education – on a bipartisan…

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the Myth of Michigan Big Government III

In preparing for a presentation to the Michigan Society of Association Executives I took a look at what has happened to state taxes and spending this decade. Boy is convention wisdom wrong! To listen to the chatter from Lansing, despite…

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Managing Decline vs. Investing for Growth

SEMCOG – the council of governments in metro Detroit – has just released its 2035 transportation plan. Paul Tait, its excellent Executive Director, notes that one of the common concerns he runs into is folks – including policy makers –…

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State Budget Part II

I had a chance a few weeks ago to lay out for the State Board of Education how I would deal with the state's long term structural budget deficit. Here is the agenda I presented: 1. Restructuring the Michigan tax…

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Public Investments, Part III

So if the prestigious Milliken/Blanchard panel laid out a framework for state policy makers on tax and spending policies that will help grow the Michigan economy, why have their recommendations been ignored? I think there are three main reasons: 1.…

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