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Aug. 4, 2023

Podcast: State of the State with the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research

This month’s State of the State podcast from Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research has Matt Grossmann and Arnold Weinfeld from the institute and emeritus economics professor Charley Ballard discussing the state of the national and Michigan economies, UAW contract talks with the Detroit automakers, the impact of unions in today’s America, Michigan’s new state budget, population loss and the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action.

Conversation Highlights:

(1:25) – “The economy continues to roll along. Whereas a few months ago I would have said a mild recession is more likely than not. Right now, I would say it’s more likely than not that we kind of skirt the edges of a recession.”

(5:57) – “People are still pretty dour about the economy…”

(10:11) – “A part of it is that our economy is doing pretty well. And that means revenue is coming in reasonably well. That’s the remarkable resilience of the American economy.”

(11:29) “There is an effect of full Democratic control on state spending, but it’s actually a lot smaller than you might expect and much smaller than the year-to-year differences due to the overall state of the economy and share of federal money that gets sent.”

(12:09) – “The actual effect is more often the reverse. The more that state governments are able to pass legislation and move the agenda in their direction, the more likely that in the next election they will lose ground rather than gain ground.”

(14:27) – “Many prognosticators on the national scene have listed Gretchen Whitmer as a potential presidential candidate, and I’m pretty sure she’s aware of that.”

(15:17) – “In policy, this has been a very large shift on the scale of state government year-to-year shifts. That is what you’d expect after a prolonged period of lack of control from a party.”

(16:35) – “Michigan is three percent of the national population and two and a half percent of the national economy. We’re in this little life raft floating upon a gigantic ocean of the worldwide economy. And if those waves are big, they’re going to affect our boat.”

(18:55) – “The population of Michigan hasn’t been dropping steadily in this century, it’s just been astonishingly flat.”

(21:03) – “The overall picture is actually we don’t have a higher rate of college graduates leaving the state. After graduating, what we have is a lower rate of college graduates from elsewhere deciding to move into the state. And that is part of a broader pattern where our issues are not as much from the perspective of young people moving away as we hear in the political debate as we have young people not being attracted to Michigan to move from elsewhere.” 

(25:20) – “For one thing, the Supreme Court was more in line with public opinion this term than they were the previous term.”

(27:50) – “Some universities have abandoned legacy admissions. That might, I think in the long run, have more of an effect.”

Listen to “MSU Today with Russ White” on the radio and through SpotifyApple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.

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