Public Policy and the Michigan Budget Crisis
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This essay is a critical evaluation of the current economic situation in the state of Michigan. This study will attempt to highlight recent failures by the government in their attempt to reduce the economic crisis currently facing the state. It will also outline alternative plans for the future of Lansing that take into account the public choice theory of economics in combination with specific policy prescriptions inspired by up and coming gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder's outline for government reform. By juxtaposing some of these recent government shortcomings with models provided by public finance theory, one can begin to pinpoint the nature of the mistakes that have been made in the past, and formulate an efficient and effective plan for government reform for Michigan's future. A brief look at the cost-benefit analysis model will also give way to useful insights about how a state government should go about choosing between alternative projects and reforms in the most efficient and socially beneficial manner. What this analysis will reveal is the need for more transparency and accountability in the state's government institutions, particularly when discussing tax-reform. Finally, an overview of the methods used by Ann Arbor SPARK, a public-private partnership that facilitates local entrepreneurs and innovation-based economic development, will provide a more specific model of what Michigan state government should strive to look like in the future.