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: 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 […]


Rick Haglund: Whitmer has a strong economy on her side as she seeks reelection

By: - April 20, 2022

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faces reelection this year during an extraordinary mix of economic, political and social conditions unlike anything most voters have seen in their lifetimes. The environment enveloping the governor’s race has it all: a booming economy, surging inflation, a brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia that threatens to become World War III, […]


Rick Haglund: Changing parents’ attitudes about the value of college is key for the economy

By: - April 1, 2022

Central Michigan University has long been known for giving low-income, middle-class and first-generation college students the opportunity to earn a four-year degree and lead a fruitful life. But the Mt. Pleasant university, like many other higher-education institutions across the country, is facing hard times. CMU’s enrollment has fallen a stunning 43% over the past decade, […]


Rick Haglund: Inflation, war in Ukraine could darken rosy Michigan budget outlook

By: - March 14, 2022

Bob Schneider has worked on Michigan budgets for nearly 30 years, but said he has never seen as much money pour into to state government coffers as in the past couple of years. “These are unprecedented surpluses,” said Schneider, senior research associate for state affairs at the Citizen Research Council of Michigan. “It’s unusual to […]


Rick Haglund: Electric vehicles could upend auto dealer franchise laws

By: - March 1, 2022

Critical shortages of computer chips used in cars and trucks are fueling a rift between automakers and their dealers, and the divide is likely to grow deeper as automakers make a radical shift to electric vehicles. Michigan will be ground zero in the fight to determine who will sell these cars and trucks. New automakers […]


Rick Haglund: Intel’s plans for the ‘Silicon Heartland’ in Ohio offer lessons for Michigan

By: - February 13, 2022

It’s not often you see Michigan salute Ohio for a big win, but it happened recently in the competition for economic development. “Congratulations to our Midwest neighbor Ohio for landing an impressive $20 billion investment from Intel for leading-edge chip factories,” Business Leaders for Michigan, a group of CEOs from the state’s largest corporations, said […]