Author

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.

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Companies recognize the value of diversity. Chatfield found that out the hard way.

By: - February 27, 2021

Lee Chatfield did more to advance the cause of diversity, inclusion and equity in Michigan workplaces in the past two weeks than he did in six years as a state lawmaker. Chatfield resigned Monday as CEO of Southwest Michigan First, a Kalamazoo-based economic development agency, as controversy raged over his anti-LGBTQ record.  The former GOP […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: GM’s road to the future of electric vehicles could be bumpy

By: - February 13, 2021

Brett Smith has long thrown shade on automakers’ predictions about how soon Americans will be driving cars and trucks powered by something other than fossil fuels. “For 20 years I’ve been a realist,” said Smith, technology director at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. “Some say I’m a pessimist. But we’ve been right […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Can rural economies be saved?

By: - January 30, 2021

As part of her $5.6 billion COVID-19 recovery plan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced she was creating an Office of Rural Development to tackle the lack of broadband internet, talent, public infrastructure and other deficiencies in struggling rural communities. In Washington, President Joe Biden is being urged to appoint a rural czar who would lead […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Building fairer local economies is one tool to blunt right-wing extremism

By: - January 16, 2021

Over the past several months, I’ve read articles in which the authors asserted that economic decline in small towns and old industrial cities has fueled nativism, populism and nostalgia for the past — the hallmarks of Trumpism. This is said to be especially true in Michigan and other upper Midwest communities that have lost thousands […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Are some Republicans gearing up for a tax incentive fight next year?

By: - December 12, 2020

It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been writing about the business tax incentives controversy since the start of my journalism career 45 years ago. I accept your condolences in advance. One of the early stories I covered in my first job at a northern Michigan weekly newspaper was a request by the […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Restoring Michigan’s economy will require more federal COVID-19 relief

By: - November 27, 2020

President Donald Trump whined during an Oct. 27 campaign rally in Lansing that there was too much television news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 260,000 Americans—more than double the population of Michigan’s capital city. “It’s COVID, COVID, COVID. You can’t watch anything else,” Trump said. “On Nov. 4, you won’t […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: U.S. automakers want help from ‘car guy’ Biden on electric vehicles push

By: - November 14, 2020

Corporations and industry groups congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on winning the White House, as is their custom during transitions of power. But General Motors went a step beyond the typical platitudes and niceties by telling Biden exactly what it’s seeking from Washington: “We look forward to working with the new administration and incoming Congress on […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Illinois may raise taxes on the rich. Michigan could be next. 

By: - October 31, 2020

Tuesday’s election is largely a referendum on the record and character of President Donald Trump. But Illinois voters are also deciding a proposed and highly contentious constitutional amendment that portends a similar battle in Michigan. The so-called “fair tax” proposal on the Illinois ballot would shift the state from a fixed-rate income tax, in which […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Michigan’s economy could take a beating after ruling against Whitmer’s COVID-19 orders

By: - October 13, 2020

Now that the state Supreme Court has struck down a 1945 law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer repeatedly used to issue executive orders in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 virus, where is Michigan’s economy headed? Some might argue that the state’s economy, which has regained 593,100 jobs since April’s employment collapse, could boom as businesses […]

Rick Haglund: Tackling climate change is the smart move for local governments, businesses

By: - September 26, 2020

Brandy Brown faced skepticism about climate change from the day she accepted her job as the head of the Michigan Office of Climate and Energy. “Brandy, that climate change stuff isn’t real,” Brown said a longtime friend told her when she was appointed to lead the office last year. Her friend’s denial of climate change […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Blacks have lost ground in Michigan — and it’s dragging down the economy

By: - September 12, 2020

In his long career as a University of Michigan labor economist, Don Grimes never focused his research on race-based income inequality. “I’ve always believed in the power of markets,” Grimes told me.  “I figured the markets would sort this out.”  But a new study he, and U of M colleagues Gabriel Ehrlich and Michael McWilliams […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Why does Michigan still lag in the race to attract and keep talent?

By: - August 22, 2020

Local officials cheered Amazon’s recent announcement that it would build a $400 million distribution center, promising 1,200 jobs at the long-vacant Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit.  “We need good-paying jobs and jobs of the future,” Mayor Mike Duggan said about the positions, which are expected to pay about $15 an hour, plus benefits. State Sen. […]