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.
Column: Right to Work has failed to live up to conservative hype
By: Rick Haglund - April 13, 2021
Nearly a decade ago — Dec. 11, 2012, to be exact — then-Gov. Rick Snyder landed a savage right hook to Michigan’s vaunted labor movement when he signed contentious Right to Work legislation. Hours before Snyder signed bills that outlawed requiring workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment, 12,000 pro-union demonstrators descended […]
Rick Haglund: Can Biden help reignite the labor movement?
By: Rick Haglund - March 27, 2021
President Joe Biden has promised to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” And Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber couldn’t be happier. Bieber said he was stunned by a remarkable White House YouTube video in which Biden, without naming the company, strongly warned giant online retailer Amazon not to interfere with a union organizing […]
Rick Haglund: Offices may open again soon, but work will never be the same
By: Rick Haglund - March 13, 2021
A coalition of powerful business lobbying groups is pushing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to allow offices to reopen, citing a variety of harms to workers, employers and communities from people doing their jobs at dining room tables during the pandemic. They’re likely to get their wish soon. Whitmer said Monday she hopes to allow workers to […]
Rick Haglund: Companies recognize the value of diversity. Chatfield found that out the hard way.
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]
Rick Haglund: GM’s road to the future of electric vehicles could be bumpy
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]
Rick Haglund: Can rural economies be saved?
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]
Rick Haglund: Building fairer local economies is one tool to blunt right-wing extremism
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]
Rick Haglund: Are some Republicans gearing up for a tax incentive fight next year?
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]
Rick Haglund: Restoring Michigan’s economy will require more federal COVID-19 relief
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]
Rick Haglund: U.S. automakers want help from ‘car guy’ Biden on electric vehicles push
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]
Rick Haglund: Illinois may raise taxes on the rich. Michigan could be next.
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]
Rick Haglund: Michigan’s economy could take a beating after ruling against Whitmer’s COVID-19 orders
By: Rick Haglund - 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 […]