The Most Important Levers for Achieving Rising Income for All in Michigan
Notwithstanding strong pre-pandemic numbers in unemployment and poverty, the truth is that even in that strong economy, four in 10 Michigan households couldn't afford to pay for basic necessities. A vast majority of those struggling economically are hard-working Michiganders. The data make clear that the problem is structural. Something in the economy has changed and there is no solution to this challenge that doesn’t involve major policy change. In this session, we will introduce the primary structural challenges that underlie this economic reality, make a case that rising income for all needs to be a state priority, and then describe the policy changes that we believe are the antidote. A brief presentation by Lou Glazer will be followed by a bipartisan discussion with two of Michigan Future's thought partners. We will discuss in detail the policy levers that we believe are critical to addressing these challenges at scale if we are going to make Michigan a place where everyone can provide for their family. These levers are: #1: A no red tape, cash-based expanded safety net plus health coverage for all. #2: Make the development of a set of broad skills the foundation all early childhood programs, K-16 schools and out-of-school programming are designed to instill. #3: In addition to current education funding, an annual grant for all children in households unable to pay for the basics from birth through college. #4: Transfer responsibility and funding for quality basic services, infrastructure and amenities to regions and remove limitations on regional and local taxing authority.