A Compass for the Future

Michigan State University (MSU) is making national and international news. And it’s not for its prowess on athletic fields or courts. In fact, as I’m sure everyone reading this is aware, it is for the tragedy of sexual abuse that went on for years without being stopped. The president is gone, the gymnastics coach is …

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Independent streams (Week of January 30)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research Problems Michigan’s Stumbling Middle Class (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Charles Ballard, director of the State of the State Survey, discusses a stagnating economy and persistent income inequality in Michigan with Bridge Magazine. Teacher Applicants Not Meeting State Expectations (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate Sarah Reckhow …

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Independent Streams (week of January 23)

Our weekly roundup of policy-relevant reads and IPPSR-connected research Problems Betsy DeVos’ Accountability Problem (link is external) IPPSR Affiliate David Arsen comments on charter school organization in light of President Donald Trump’s pro-charter school education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos. Senate Hearing, DeVos Shows Ignorance Central Debate Over How To Measure Schools (link is external) IPPSR …

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Truly Exceptional

I got a survey this week asking about my experience getting my car serviced at Williams Volkswagen here in Lansing. I’m very happy with the service department at Williams, by the way. I’ve bought three cars from them in the decade I’ve lived in Michigan. But the survey sent by Volkswagen of America kind of …

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CBO Against Piketty?

This report using CBO  (Congressional Budget Office) data claims that income inequality did not widen during the Great Recession (table above compares 2007 to 2011). After government transfer payments (taxes, entitlements, etc.) are taken into account, one finds that low income groups were cushioned, while high earners saw significant declines in income. … The CBO on …

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Eppur Si Muove

Over the break, I watched a couple of episodes of The West Wing including one about political attacks on science called Eppur Si Muove. It reminded me – a lot – of an experience that I had 20 years ago, back in 1995. As in that episode, I received a phone call while at work that began …

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Fukuyama and Zhang on the China Model

This is an interesting discussion between Francis Fukuyama and Zhang Wei Wei on the so-called China Model. Zhang is an apologist but overall the discussion is enlightening. Fukuyama’s perspective is the familiar liberal democratic one so I excerpt Zhang below. ZHANG | … In his presentation, Dr. Fukuyama raised four issues concerning the China Model, …

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The Hollow Men

I highly recommend The Hollow Men II: Some reflections on Westminster and Whitehall dysfunction by Dominic Cummings. It is full of insights into the failings of bureaucracies, government by crisis and news cycle, and hollow leadership. The essay is long, but the excerpts below give some of the flavor. … Most of our politics is …

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Candidates, Elections and Citizens

As we approach the fall elections to many positions in our communities and state there arises a little more interest in politics, even as most of us decry the increasing partisanship. My thoughts wander a lot these days as I am simultaneously a candidate, a supporter of other candidates, and a citizen concerned with the …

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