[Photo of Michael D. LaFaive]

Michael D. LaFaive

Director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative

Michael LaFaive is director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, where he has worked since 1995.

He is the author or co-author of hundreds of essays, commentaries and blog posts and 12 studies on fiscal policy topics as varied as local and state privatization efforts, corporate welfare, school finance, state budgeting and cigarette taxes.

Among his studies is the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s largest, a nearly 200-page state budget analysis that recommended more than 200 ideas for trimming some $2 billion from the state budget without cutting Medicaid or School Aid funding. Many ideas first presented by LaFaive in 2003 have been adopted or adapted by lawmakers in Lansing.

He is also the originator of the Center’s annual school privatization survey, which routinely garners a 100 percent response rates from districts. There is no database of competitive contracting like it in the United States. In addition to this product, LaFaive authored in 2001 a 26-page, full-color edition of Michigan Privatization Report specifically dedicated to fixing Detroit. The ideas in that publication are more relevant today than when it was published.

LaFaive is perhaps best known, however, for his cutting-edge, scholarly work examining state “economic development” programs. His studies and frequent commentaries on this topic have garnered him a national, if not international reputation as a respected government development critic and were probably influential in the decision to kill the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, the state’s high-profile corporate welfare program. 

LaFaive has been interviewed more than 1,300 times by the media in the last ten years. He is typically interviewed more than 125 times a year by members of the press seeking comment on fiscal issues and remains a popular public speaker.

He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Central Michigan University.

LaFaive is married and resides in Midland, MI.

A Uniquely Overqualified Candidate

LaFaive's satirical cover letter for MEDC job. … more

Right-to-Work, Tax Rates Paint Interesting Picture

States with worker freedom, low taxes draw people. … more

'Competitiveness' Outlook Ranks Michigan 12th Best

State has a way to go to overcome past policies. … more

Remembering Milton Friedman on His 102nd Birthday

An intellectual powerhouse and Nobel laureate. … more

Repeal Post and Hold Alcohol Rules

Beer and wine wholesalers gain, consumers lose. … more

Low-Hanging Fruit Can Help Fund Roads

There's plenty of money in the current budget. … more

Thank Heaven We Have a Full-Time Legislature

Vitally important job of picking official state frog. … more

Legislature Lacks Credibility in Detroit Bailout

Now they want you to fix their mess. … more

Gov's Immigration Reform Isn't Bold Enough

Shouldn't be limited to Detroit and STEM degrees. … more

Gov. Snyder Is Right

'Don't Give Detroit a Bailout.' … more

Detroit Bailout Solved: Sell Just ONE Painting

Use state money to fill potholes statewide. … more

Detroit 'Openly and Notoriously' Went Bankrupt

Its reward? Maybe a state bailout … more

Cigarette Smuggling Undermines Tax Revenue

Michigan lost $175 million in 2012. … more

Detroit Should Sell Some Paintings and More

It's the only fair solution to all Michigan residents. … more

Art Sales and Angry Journalism

Detroit Free Press editor's remarks uncalled for. … more

More Good News for Michigan

State climbs to 12th place in economic outlook rankings. … more

Detroit Should Sell Some Paintings

Unfair to make the many subsidize amenities for the few. … more

A Better Way to Protect Detroit Pensioners

Make it a "contract city" … more

Economics 101: Minimum Wage Kills Jobs

When prices go up, quantity demanded goes down. … more

Detroit: Possibility of Real Privatization, Savings

Emergency Manager's plan filed in bankruptcy court. … more

Looking to Pontiac for Detroit Solutions

Reason Foundation roundtable discussion. … more

Do Politicians Understand Economics?

Minimum wage proponents don't appear to. … more

Mark Schauer's Support for Corporate Welfare

He had lots of help from the GOP along the way. … more

Money for Nothing

Detroit bailout comes at expense of statewide taxpayers. … more

Gov. Snyder Keeps Pace in State of the State

Bipartisan track record is to expand government. … more

Don't Bail Out Detroit with State Tax Dollars

It would be unfair to taxpayers statewide. … more

Minimum Wage Earners: Many Still Live at Home

Average family income is almost $57,000. … more

Minimum Wage Drumbeat Grows Louder

Minimum wage popping up on national scale.  … more

Public-Private Compensation Gaps Still With Us

The public sector's misconception of reality. … more

Tax Cut ‘Fever’?

Great News for Michigan on Migration Front!

State Fairgrounds to be Sold

Delay costs state millions. … more

State 'Super' Sizes Movie with Subsidy

Hollywood getting more corporate welfare from your pockets. … more

Right-to-Work Laws Work

New study shows economic advantages. … more

WingsWorld on Fox Business

LaFaive on Fox's "Money" discussing Detroit … more

Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman

LaFaive reflects on anniversary of Friedman's birthday … more

Lansing Pols Recycle Press Releases

Tiresome and demeaning to taxpayers. … more

One More Time: Minimum Wage Laws Hurt People

Protestors are well-intentioned but misinformed. … more

Detroit Bankruptcy

It should never have come to pass. … more

John Adams Repents in Heaven

Pelosi needs refresher on American history … more

Resolution for 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' Introduced

Best proof yet for a part-time Legislature. … more

Balance Increased Road Spending with Cuts

Tax, spending cuts should be pursued. … more

Alcohol Reform on Tap

Lawmakers must be tougher on monopolies, price fixing. … more

Choice Between Two Tax Hikes No Choice At All

Lawmakers need different approach for road funding. … more

Smuggling Undermines Tobacco Tax Hike Goals

North Dakota Policy Council taps Center expert. … more

Three Cheers for Michigan House Democrats

Questioning MEDC transparency is the right thing to do. … more

Cigarette Smuggling Study Explained

Interpretation by special interests, not methedology, is flawed. … more

Minnesota Eyes Higher Tobacco Taxes

Center analyst shows it will result in more smuggling. … more

Michigan a Cigarette Smuggling Haven

10th highest rate in the nation, according to new study. … more

Michigan Migration in a Holding Pattern

United Van Lines 2012 data released today. … more