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: Why repealing Right to Work is unlikely to hurt Michigan’s economy

By: - February 4, 2023

On a bitter December day in 2012, the Michigan Legislature passed legislation — disguised as a measure to give workers more “freedom”— that in reality was designed to strip the financial and political power of labor unions. Thousands of union members and their supporters protested at the Capitol, but to no avail. Republican lawmakers who […]


Rick Haglund: Michigan Dems offer a refreshing change to a people-based economic growth strategy

By: - January 15, 2023

In a recent column, I argued that Michigan needs to switch from a business-focused economic development strategy to one centered on expanding its workforce. The reason is pretty simple. Michigan, like other northern states, is growing older and running out of workers. Deaths outpace births in the state in 2020 and 2021, according to the […]


Rick Haglund: Illinois auto plant idling doesn’t signal demise of Midwest manufacturing 

By: - December 19, 2022

We’ve seen this happen many times: A Detroit automaker indefinitely “idles” an aging assembly plant that builds a slow-selling model and has been shedding workers for decades. Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, announced Dec. 9 it will indefinitely halt operations at its Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant on Feb. 28. The shutdown is called an idling because […]


Rick Haglund: Newly empowered Democrats must prioritize talent development over business attraction

By: - December 5, 2022

The last time Democrats controlled Michigan state government, personal computers were just beginning to enter American homes. Electric cars were a laboratory experiment. Bay City native Madonna, who will become Medicare eligible next year, had just released her first album. And the iPhone, which transformed how we communicate with each other, wouldn’t be introduced for […]


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 […]