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.

Rick Haglund: GM jolts business model with electric vehicles bet

By: - March 8, 2020

Despite decades of decline, General Motors Co. still delivers a spark to Michigan’s economy. A new study by the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research (CAR) found that GM’s 46,800 jobs in the state have led to an additional 153,800 jobs here, creating a job multiplier effect largely unmatched by nonautomotive businesses.  Workers at GM’s […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: How can Michigan become a top 10 state? It may not be what you think.

By: - February 22, 2020

Hey, average Michigan worker: How would you like to be making $13,000 a year more than you earn now? You would if Michigan was performing at the average level of the top 10 states in key job, productivity, personal income and population indicators. Unfortunately, we’re not even close. And we’re falling behind in most of […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Amazon shows how the the tax break system is gamed

By: - February 8, 2020

Just how outrageous has the tax incentives game become? Consider: Amazon chief Jeff Bezos reportedly was so jealous of the $2.4 billion in incentives that Tesla chief Elon Musk had extracted from state and local governments that he pushed his team to top that number for the company’s planned second headquarters. State and local governments […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Tesla settlement means more changes for Michigan’s auto industry

By: - January 24, 2020

The settlement of a long-running lawsuit between Tesla and the state of Michigan this week cleverly allows the California-based automaker to sell vehicles directly to consumers, sidestepping the state’s dealer franchise laws. But that doesn’t mean auto dealers, whose business model has been protected by state law since cars and trucks started rolling off assembly […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Whitmer should address Michigan worker pay in her State of the State speech

By: - January 11, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will have plenty of topics to tackle in her second State of the State speech on Jan. 29. We’ll no doubt hear about a new road funding plan after the Republican-controlled Legislature refused to raise even a single penny toward her request for a 45-cent hike in the gas tax last year. […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Don’t count on Trump losing Michigan in 2020 over the economy

By: - December 22, 2019

President Donald Trump, who was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, is a bully and world-class vulgarian. Who else would come to Michigan, a state critical to his reelection, and suggest, as Trump did on the same day of his impeachment, that its late, revered native son U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Research shows trade, not automation, is killing manufacturing jobs

By: - December 8, 2019

More than 5 million manufacturing jobs — almost 300,000 of them in Michigan — have been lost since the most recent employment peak in 1998. Many economists have attributed the huge loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs mostly to booming productivity, enabled by the increasing use of robots and other automated processes in factories. But Susan […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Bombshell GM-FCA lawsuit loops auto execs into UAW scandal

By: - November 24, 2019

Any notion that greedy United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials are solely to blame for the union’s escalating bribery scandal has been destroyed in a stunning federal court lawsuit filed by General Motors (GM). GM on Wednesday sued rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), alleging that FCA engaged in racketeering by paying millions of dollars in […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Fate of Pure Michigan ad campaign unclear

By: - November 2, 2019

Mackinac Center for Public Policy economist Michael LaFaive for years called on policymakers to end the Pure Michigan tourism promotion campaign, considered among the best in the country. Despite a state-sponsored study that found Pure Michigan advertising influenced 2.1 million visitor trips to Michigan and more than $2.5 billion in spending last year, LaFaive said […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: UAW-GM deal will likely boost workers, economy

By: - October 19, 2019

President Donald Trump could take a lesson in the art of the deal from the United Auto Workers and General Motors Co. A tentative four-year contract between the UAW and GM appears to be a big financial win for workers while giving the automaker the flexibility it needs to profitably navigate what are likely to […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: People aren’t moving from Michigan — but that’s not the good news you might think

By: - October 5, 2019

Michigan’s auto industry was built, in part, on the backs of hundreds of thousands of poor workers from the South who moved here in search of good jobs and better lives. Detroit’s population swelled by some 400,000 residents between 1930 and the early 1950s, as people from the South and other countries moved to the […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: Path to self-driving vehicles could be bumpier than a Michigan road

By: - September 21, 2019

Electric self-driving cars and trucks promise to transform an auto industry that has relied almost exclusively on gasoline-powered vehicles for more than a century to produce jobs and profits. “I have no doubt that the automotive industry will change more in the next five to 10 years than it has in the last 50,” General […]