Phil's Column

Phil Power is the founder and chairman of the Center for Michigan. 


Will Lansing commit to transparency and high education standards?

September 27, 2016 | Phil Power

Here’s hoping the Senate won’t weasel out of a bill that makes lawmakers subject to the open records law. Lansing must also keep the rigorous M-STEP test, Michigan’s best bet for accurately gauging our students’ success.

Saving money on the backs of college grads

September 13, 2016 | Phil Power

Students today are being asked to assume debt levels that are far higher than they were before Lansing started cutting back on support for higher ed

Two Kalamazoo leaders put their hearts, and money, into city

September 6, 2016 | Phil Power

As the state continues to starve Michigan cities of needed revenue, two civic-minded philanthropists are working to ease the financial burden on their beloved Kalamazoo.

An educational system doomed to keeping failing

July 19, 2016 | Phil Power

A very big reason Michigan students are falling behind is the very structure of our education system blurs responsibility and eliminates accountability

When elites ignore the people, the center cannot hold

July 12, 2016 | Phil Power

History teaches that when political leaders are tone deaf, frustrated and aroused citizens often take things into their own hands.

Savor the wonders of summer with this family cherry pie recipe

June 28, 2016 | Phil Power

Reflecting on the special glories of a Michigan summer holiday

Finding lessons in Flint’s tragedy

June 14, 2016 | Phil Power

Bridge Magazine’s new book on the Flint water crisis, “Poison on Tap,” reminds readers what can happen when our institutions start breaking down.

Transgender bathrooms or crumbling infrastructure?

June 7, 2016 | Phil Power

It’s time for leaders in the legislature to put aside short-term skirmishes that produce momentary headlines and focus on longer-term imperatives that will leave a lasting mark.

Binding cities, with few ways out

May 24, 2016 | Phil Power

State policies over many decades are choking off revenue to cities across the state. Is Michigan willing to change?

A death on the Internet and the gift of time

May 17, 2016 | Phil Power

Acceleration of events imposes dimly perceived but very important changes in the way we think

Chinese copy cats and Japanese bullet trains; lessons for America

May 3, 2016 | Phil Power

On a trip overseas, the perils of international free-trade agreements appear in China, and the wonders of a strong infrastructure unfold at 200-mph in Japan.

Don’t trust government? Help to change it!

April 12, 2016 | Phil Power

This year, The Center for Michigan’s public outreach campaign focuses on how to restore public confidence in government. Signing up for our local Community Conversations allows you to be part of the solution

Oligarchs and demagogues, as America teeters

April 5, 2016 | Phil Power

All it takes is an inattentive or bored citizenry to set the stage for the decline of the republic

Flint report shows government’s size is less critical than its effectiveness

March 29, 2016 | Phil Power

If the experience in Flint teaches anything, it’s that when lots of local people complain loudly and persistently about things going wrong, usually there is something going wrong

Would a Bloomberg run break a fractious two-party system?

March 1, 2016 | Phil Power

We are witnessing the slow deterioration of a political system that is showing itself incapable of governing our country effectively

For a free executive education, look no further than Flint

February 16, 2016 | Phil Power

The catastrophe in Genesee keeps revealing itself, with lesson after lesson on how to miss seeing, and mishandle, a modern meltdown

Second thoughts on the Flint water debacle

February 9, 2016 | Phil Power

As we ponder conflicting accusations of who is to blame for the water disaster in Flint and the financial crisis in Detroit’s public schools, let’s also take a moment to consider some of the root causes that led to these emergencies and how to fix them.

Iowa is dealt a hand with three wild cards, no aces

February 2, 2016 | Phil Power

The fact Trump, Cruz and Sanders are all contending indicates conventional wisdom isn’t anymore, so all bets are off

Flint water and Detroit Schools raise doubts about emergency manager law

January 26, 2016 | Phil Power

Emergency managers threaten the trust local residents have in government. They should be used carefully, with concern for the health and welfare of those affecte