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: 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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


Rick Haglund: Warning light is flashing for Michigan’s auto industry

By: - September 1, 2019

It’s been a great decade for Michigan’s critically important auto industry, which almost died 10 years ago during the Great Recession. Annual U.S. sales for all automakers jumped from 10.4 million in 2009 — the lowest since 1982 — to an almost-record 17.2 million last year, a 65% increase.  Automakers and their parts suppliers in […]


Rick Haglund: What’s behind Patterson’s economic legacy in Oakland County

By: - August 19, 2019

Within hours of his death on Aug. 3, journalists served up two stark portraits of controversial Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. Some condemned Patterson for his long history of racially charged comments about Detroit and its majority-black population. Others praised him for his deft leadership of wealthy Oakland County. If you haven’t already done […]


Rick Haglund: Why fixing the damn roads is so damn hard

By: - August 2, 2019

How in the world are we ever going to fix the damn roads? Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature policy prescription — boosting the gas tax by 45 cents a gallon to raise $2.5 billion to repair roads and bridges — is going nowhere in the Legislature. Meanwhile, Republicans who control the House and Senate are […]


Rick Haglund: Steering students into skilled trades alone won’t rebuild Michigan’s middle class

By: - July 21, 2019

For decades, Michigan policymakers have focused on attracting more high school students into skilled trades and other plentiful good-paying jobs that don’t require four-year degrees.  Every governor since John Engler has pushed the notion that Michigan can rebuild a middle class decimated from the loss of auto assembly and other manufacturing jobs by growing “middle-skill” […]


Rick Haglund: Michigan’s finances are still reeling from recession, outdated tax code

By: - June 22, 2019

Much has been made of Michigan’s “lost decade”— the period between 2001 and 2010 in which Michigan shed jobs every year. But Michigan and most other states are dealing with a second “lost decade,” this one involving state government finances. A new report by The Pew Charitable Trusts found the states are still struggling to […]


Rick Haglund: Below the surface, Michigan’s economy has serious flaws

By: - June 8, 2019

Let’s start with some good news: Michigan has the 13th best economy in the country, far surpassing the performance of surrounding Great Lakes states, according to a new report. The study released Monday by online financial service WalletHub found Michigan leads Wisconsin (23rd), Indiana (28th), Illinois (33rd) and Ohio (36th), based on 28 key indicators. […]


Rick Haglund: U.S. automakers aren’t toasting Trump’s tariffs

By: - May 25, 2019

If you were around in the 1950s and 1960s, you didn’t see many foreign-made cars on U.S. roads, especially in Michigan. You might have spotted the occasional MG, Triumph or other British sports cars brought back by servicemen returning from World War II. And, of course, there were hundreds of thousands of Volkswagen Beetles driven […]