Dr. George C. Leef--born Feb. 4, 1951 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. B.A. from Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1973. J.D. from Duke University Law School in 1977. Worked for Milliken & Co. 1977-1979. Taught economics, law, logic and philosophy at Northwood University 1980-1989 with rank of assistant professor. Labor Law Policy Advisor to Michigan Senate Programs & Policies Staff, 1989-1990. Legislative Aide to Michigan State Senator David Honigman, 1991-1996. Adjunct Scholar with Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 1988 to present. Former President of Patrick Henry Associates; Liberty consultants, East Lansing, Michigan.  Currently, vice president of the Pope Center for the Study of Higher Education in North Carolina.

He is author of a forthcoming book entitled Labor Law Versus Liberty; he is also the book review editor for The Freeman and has written essays for The Wall Street Journal, the Detroit Free Press, and The Detroit News.  He also lecturs and debates frequently on a variety of topics involving the economic and moral virtues of freedom and the harms of statism.

Candidate for U.S. Congress in 1984 on Libertarian Party ticket.

By Dr. George C. Leef

The War Against Excellence

National board teacher certification little benefit for the money

Michigan Not a Big Supporter of National Certification Program

Such findings are in keeping with a growing mountain of evidence that teacher certification, whether on the state or national level, doesn’t translate into teacher excellence. … more

"Teach for America" Success Points the Way to Teacher Certification Reform

Much has been written on the failure of collegiate "schools of education" to properly prepare future teachers for the classroom. Now a new study highlights the good job that Teach for America, a private teacher program, is doing to place thousands of qualified and talented volunteer teachers in some of the nation's most troubled schools. … more

Student Fees: Freedom of Speech or Forced Subsidy?

College student groups should earn their financial support voluntarily, rather than relying on mandatory "student fees" coerced from the whole student body. … more

How Reliable Are Michigan High School Economics Textbooks?

  A strong knowledge of sound economic principles is not only important in the twenty-first century global marketplace, it is essential for the maintenance of a free society. Are Michigan high school students being taught what they need to know in order to succeed and prosper?
  This review of 16 of the most commonly used economics textbooks in Michigan high schools uses 12 criteria-including issues of trade, taxation, and the role of government-to evaluate which texts are and are not effective at presenting students with a balanced and accurate perspective on the modern market economy. Each text is graded, from A to F, on its ability to clearly instruct students in the "economic way of thinking."
  An abridged 27-page written copy of the report may be ordered normally, or the full reviews of each textbook may be downloaded at no charge via www.mackinac.org… more

Making the Grade: Fundamentals in Performance-Based Contracting

Should Good Relations with Employees Be an Unfair Labor Practice?

Employee Involvement programs to improve the workplace are under attack from organized labor. Should it be illegal for workers and their companies to discuss topics of mutual interest? … more

Union "Salt" Poisons the Well

Some unions "salt" nonunion firms by forcing them to hire union sympathizers or even paid union organizers in an attempt to force them to unionize. This abuse means higher prices for consumers and loss of freedom for nonunion firms and their workers. … more

The Arts: Too Important to Depend on Politics

Legislation to create tax-levying "cultural districts" would make art more of a political decision and less of a personal one. The arts can and should be supported privately, as increasingly demonstrated by Lansing's WKAR public television and the Detroit Institute of Arts. … more

Do Michigan Exporters Really Need State Help?

Export subsidies are an example of corporate welfare that benefits a few at the expense of the many. Well over 99 percent of Michigan exports are made without the help of this special favors program. … more

The Morality of Hiring Striker Replacements

Is the hiring of workers to replace striking employees a moral decision, a business concern, or both? A look at the inherent rights of workers and freedom of contract resolves the matter easily. … more

Ending the Lawyer Monopoly

A Michigan statute that protects lawyers from competition contributes to sky-high attorney fees that burden the average consumer and prevents many poor people from affording simple legal services. … more

Competitive Contracting Is the Taxpayer's Best Friend

When government construction projects do not even accept bids from nonunion firms, the taxpayers pay more and nonunion workers are denied employment opportunities. … more

More to Do on Workers' Compensation Reform

Michigan is winning the battle to control its workers' compensation costs. It is time to celebrate that success, and take the next steps for improvement. Progress can still be made in getting the injured back to work and screening out dubious claims. … more

A Constitutional Convention Wish List

Our state constitution would be improved if it incorporated provisions to restrict the state's ability to dictate terms of private contracts, protect and enhance educational freedom, and limit regulatory "takings" of private property. … more

A Moving Experience

State regulations exist that stifle competition, protect inefficiency, and encourage movers to "call the cops" on each other. It's time to open the market up to competition and consumer choice. … more

Protecting the Public from Competition

Michigan's bureaucratic regulation of the intrastate trucking industry is not intended to protect the general public from harm. Rather, it is intended to protect existing truckers from aggressive competition in a free market. The sad case of a Grand Rapids company, Federal Armored, proves it. … more

The Most Expensive Lottery Tickets in the Country?

Thanks to a 1937 law requiring state printing be done according to "prevailing wages," Michigan pays one-third more for printing lottery tickets than Indiana, Kentucky, and New York. Repealing it would save taxpayers more than $2 million. … more

How Well Do Schools Prepare Their Students?

Today, too many students have poor reading and writing skills, little motivation to learn, and minimal ability to reason. When East Harlem, New York, adopted a choice plan, student motivation and academic achievement improved dramatically. … more

Time to Rethink Unemployment Insurance

The unemployment insurance system extends the very unemployment it is intended to alleviate and taxes stable firms to subsidize unstable ones. It's time to consider alternatives. … more

Protecting the Political Freedom of Workers

Hundreds of thousands of Michigan labor union members need the protection promised them by the Supreme Court's landmark 1988 Beck decision. … more

Trucking in Michigan: Cartel or Market?

Special interest regulations have created a trucking cartel in Michigan that raises consumer costs, makes many Michigan firms uncompetitive with those in neighboring states and even increases air pollution. … more

Michigan's Prevailing Wage Act: A Disaster for the Taxpayers

This special interest legislation was designed to help unions. The result is that costs are higher than necessary, and taxpayers are helping pay the tab. … more