Phil's column

Phil Power is founder and chairman
of the Center for Michigan.

Archived columns

Wisdom trumps politics in getting a second Detroit bridge to Canada

Canadian officials overcome the Ambassador Bridge owner and the empty promises of Washington to get key economic project pushed through.

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Governor’s budget shows planning for the long term

Gov. Snyder’s push to put more money in higher education and early education programs shows an interest in what’s best for Michigan over the long haul.

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GOP’s broad ambitions should be subordinate to one: improving education

States like Tennessee have shot past Michigan in student performance by setting long-term policy goals and sticking with them.

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Giving parents the tools to truly compare schools

Our in-depth analysis goes even deeper this year because we’ve crunched student data in more grades than ever

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Gov. Snyder goes big, bold in reimagining government programs

Governor cuts through the clutter and inefficiency of government operations to envision a more ‘human-focused” future for Michigan residents

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Crime, crime everywhere

A recent study co-written by the Mackinac Center shows how Michigan lawmakers have larded the criminal code with thousands of (often arcane) offenses that many folks wouldn’t consider inherently wrong.

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Turning to families to improve children’s future

Plenty of evidence that gains in learning during a child’s development go right back to the day a baby is born.

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Paying Jim Harbaugh millions to coach U-M makes business sense

Even at $5 million a year, hiring a big-name coach like Harbaugh – especially one the fan base thinks will walk on water – makes enormous sense when you consider ticket sales and Harbaugh’s professed interest in academics as well as football talent.

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Detroit rescued by great leaders who kept showing up

A cast of judges, lawyers and politicians united by a shared sense of responsibility helped usher the city through bankruptcy with remarkable speed.

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State needs Senate to pass bipartisan bills to improve teacher evaluation and training

Maybe the best things that can be said about the current “lame duck” session of the legislature is that it gives lawmakers a chance to make amends for purely political posturing before the election and to take a shot at actually governing […]

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Transforming Detroit into a city that (also) works

By giving residents a point person in their district to solve problems, Detroit finally may be moving beyond the frustrating bureaucracy of generations past.

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When Republicans have everything, will they have enough?

Republicans must quell disputes inside their own caucus and govern in a way that avoids the sin of overreach.

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Why Bridge Magazine will never endorse candidates

Our work rests in the integrity of our journalism and the trust this earns with our readers. We do not want to do anything to be regarded as biased or partisan.

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Commoditizing politics and football

When campaigns are driven by dark money and college sports are “branded” like Viagra, society dies just a bit

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Across Michigan, groups are daring to collaborate

From building workforce skills to economic development, Michigan works best when groups inside and outside government share smart ideas.

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Slamming the door on political ads

Both parties rightly complain of national party poo-bahs and bored billionaires messing with their effort to make their campaigns locally relevant to Michigan voters. Exhibit A: the wedding dress.

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Detroit leaders display the art of governance

Retiring Congressman John Dingell says his biggest accomplishments over nearly six decades in Washington were brought about by bringing people together for the public good. That same philosophy is now playing out in Detroit.

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Serious problems demand serious, experienced politicians

Michigan’s future leaders could do worse than to take part in the Michigan Political Leadership Program to hone their skills as capable public servants.

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