Rick Haglund

Rick Haglund

Rick Haglund writes the "Micheconomy" column for the Michigan Advance. He's a former reporter and business columnist for Booth Newspapers, now the MLive Media Group, with extensive experience covering Michigan’s economy and the auto industry. He now works as a freelance writer based in Southeast Michigan.


Rick Haglund: Self-driving cars aren’t coming anytime soon

By: - November 8, 2022

Updated, 12:19 p.m., 11/8/22 They promised us self-driving cars. Nearly a decade ago, automakers predicted that by now driving your own car or truck would be akin to riding a horse — something you do for recreation on weekends. During the week, you’d be ferried to the office, grocery store and hair salon, either by […]


Rick Haglund: Economic worries vying with abortion rights for Michigan voters in gov’s race

By: - October 23, 2022

Updated, 2:50 p.m., 10/24/22 Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in June, abortion has been the top issue in the Michigan governor’s race. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who strongly favors women’s reproductive rights, has enjoyed a substantial lead over Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, who is opposed to […]


Rick Haglund: Michigan is betting big on electric vehicles with tax breaks. Will it pay off?

By: - October 10, 2022

Critics of the federal government’s $50 billion bailout of bankrupt General Motors in 2009 disparaged the automaker as “Government Motors.” Today, state and federal governments have become major financial backers of the entire domestic auto industry’s conversion to electric vehicle manufacturing. Is this a critical public-private partnership needed to save the planet from greenhouse gas-spewing […]


Rick Haglund: What’s the best way to lower the cost of college in Michigan?

By: - September 24, 2022

In my most recent column, I opined that President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt would do little to address the high cost of getting a four-year college degree or higher. I also outlined a variety of reasons why college has become out of reach for so many, including […]


Rick Haglund: Student loan forgiveness will aid millions, but college affordability problems remain

By: - September 7, 2022

President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel as much as $20,000 per borrower in college federal student loan debt will help millions burdened by skyrocketing costs of higher education over the past several decades. In Michigan, 1.4 million residents will benefit from the loan forgiveness program, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. As many as half could see […]


Rick Haglund: Will Michigan remain the U.S. auto industry’s center amid the switch to EVs?

By: - August 24, 2022

Nearly seven years ago, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said she had “no doubt that the auto industry will change more in the next five to 10 years than it has in the past 50 years.” She was prescient, to say the least. About the only thing that hasn’t changed is Barra, who still runs […]


Rick Haglund: Republicans claim we’re in a recession, but most economists say otherwise

By: - August 8, 2022

Now that the candidates for November’s general election are set, you’re going to be hearing the dreaded R-word, as in recession, even more than in the past few months. Are we heading for one? Are we already in one? And what the heck is a recession, anyway? Republican candidates trying to unseat Democratic incumbents will […]


Rick Haglund: State economic development should put people and communities first

By: - July 18, 2022

Michigan has two basic economic problems: not enough working adults to fill plentiful jobs, and wide swaths of distressed urban and rural neighborhoods where good jobs are out of reach for their residents. Tim Bartik says Michigan needs a radical new economic development approach that will connect more people to jobs, strengthen neighborhoods and promote […]


Rick Haglund: A big tax cut this election year comes with big tradeoffs for Michigan

By: - July 6, 2022

High gas prices, bulging state coffers and election-year politics are likely to accelerate efforts by both political parties to cut state taxes.  While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature haven’t agreed on tax cuts, they did strike a deal last week on a $76 billion state budget, and there is $7 billion in unallocated cash […]


Rick Haglund: Michigan’s economy is more diverse, but still too dependent on the auto industry

By: - June 13, 2022

There’s been so much hoopla lately about Michigan’s auto industry making a radical switch to electric vehicles, you might think there’s little else happening in the state’s economy. But you’d be wrong. The vast majority of Michigan jobs are in health care, retail trade, finance and a variety of professional and business services, including accountants, […]


Rick Haglund: Indiana economist says focus on low taxes and less regulations has been a bust

By: - May 30, 2022

Over the past few decades, Indiana has often been cited as a strong economic model for neighboring Michigan. Michigan economic developers, business lobbyists and mostly Republican lawmakers have long envied the Hoosier State’s business-friendly policies that include low taxes, light regulation and aggressive business attraction tactics. Those elements apparently helped Indiana best Michigan in winning […]

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Rick Haglund: Threats to Michigan’s auto industry aren’t just coming from the South

By: - May 6, 2022

Stunned by Ford Motor Co.’s decision to invest $11.4 billion in electric vehicle assembly and battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, Michigan in December created a $1 billion fund to lure new electric vehicle operations to Michigan. An even bigger concern voiced by policymakers and local economic developers was that aggressive southern states were going […]