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Issues and Ideas Forum: Luncheons and Experts

Overview, e-mail notifications, and archives. Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch. more

The Boundaries of Educational Choice: Surveying Michigan's Private School Landscape

Issues and Ideas Forum

Nonpublic schools serve tens of thousands of Michigan elementary and secondary students, yet a clear understanding of the state's diverse private education landscape has been lacking. While most states (including those on our borders) have enacted some kind of publicly funded choice program, Michigan private schools fight in the Legislature for a small share of funding to cover the state’s health and safety mandates. In order to expand choice, Michigan must overcome a stringent constitution, as well as some popular misconceptions about private schools.

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Free Market Solutions to Problems in Health Care

Issues and Ideas Forum

The Affordable Care Act dramatically changed the healthcare market throughout the United States and expanded the control of the federal government over healthcare policies. Despite this fact, there are still reforms that states can make that could expand the access and reduce the cost of medical services. This event will feature several experts who will discuss reforms that Michigan policymakers should consider if they want to improve healthcare services in this state.

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Can I Catch a Ride?: Regulating Uber and Lyft in Michigan

Issues and Ideas Forum

Ridesharing is a new service made popular by companies like Lyft and Uber. It relies on smartphones to connect those who need a ride to drivers willing to provide one — a riff on the traditional taxi system. Ridesharing has allowed thousands of Michiganders earn extra income as drivers and save money and time as riders. It currently operates in a legal gray area, because ridesharing drivers are not cabbies or chauffeurs. 

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Let Them Work: Solutions for Michigan’s Overbearing Occupational Licensing Laws

Issues and Ideas Forum

Occupational licensing is now the biggest issue in labor economics, with even more of an effect than unions.  On a national basis 25 percent of all Americans need the government’s permission and specific credentials before they can work.  That is more than twice as many people who are members of unions—11 percent and declining—and 25 times the number who earn the minimum wage.

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Why Can’t Tesla Sell Cars in Michigan?

Issues and Ideas Forum

Under current Michigan law, Tesla Motors and other car companies may not open showrooms or service centers to work directly with consumers.  Instead, to operate in Michigan, car companies have to enter into franchise agreements with independent dealers.  Telsa and at least one other start-up car company, Elio Motors, have stated that working through dealers would impair their ability to get into the market.  A number of other states have recently moved to permit direct distribution by manufacturers.  Professor Crane will lay out the case for direct distribution, showing its importance to innovation, competition, and consumer choice.

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Union Transparency: How to Make Michigan Public Unions More Accountable

Issues and Ideas Forum

Public workers in Michigan pay hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in dues to unions, but it’s very difficult for workers to find out how that money is being spent. The reason is that Michigan has weak reporting requirements for government unions, asking for only a few numbers on spending in broad categories. Under this system, union members cannot assess if their union is spending their dues money wisely or not.

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Civil Asset Forfeiture: How Government Seizes Private Property from Innocent Citizens

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process by which allows the police to seize and sell private property, even if no crime has been charged against the owner of that property. Several states have recently reformed their civil asset forfeiture laws, and Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, has called for improving federal laws pertaining to this practice.

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Not As Good As You Think: Why Middle-Class Parents in Michigan Should be Concerned about Their Local Public Schools

Issues and Ideas Forum

Many middle-class Michiganders think that most low-performing schools are located in poor inner cities such as Detroit, not in their nice neighborhoods or in their smaller towns. They need to think again.

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Overcriminalization in Michigan

Issues and Ideas Forum

Michigan’s vast, disorganized criminal law inherently places residents at risk of unintentionally violating a growing array of regulatory crimes that are difficult to discover and understand. The complexity of administrating such a criminal code threatens to divert scarce resources away from the enforcement of serious violent and property crimes. This event will feature ideas about how to protect Michigan residents from overcriminalization and improve the state’s criminal law.

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