December 4, 2019

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Midwestern Entrepreneurs, Michigan’s Public School Takeover, and a Major Threat to Credit Unions

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Apply now for the Spring 2020 class!

Making the Case for Midwestern Startups by Jacob Bruggeman (Summer 2017) in RealClearPublicAffairs
The Midwest is besieged by troubles of all sorts. States like Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and my native Ohio are among those with the highest opioid-overdose rates in the country. Educated professionals and youth are leaving those same states at record paces, constituting a pattern of outmigration known as the “brain drain.” And Midwestern startups — the companies with the power to entice young professionals to stay — are chronically underrepresented in venture capital investment, two-thirds of which is concentrated in San Francisco, San Jose, and New York City alone…

State takeover hurt Detroit’s public schools by Christian Barnard (Spring 2019) in Detroit News
Skeptics have argued it for years, and it seems they’re right — states shouldn’t manage school districts.

A new study commissioned by the Detroit Public Schools Community District school board and released mid-November confirmed that the 15-year period that DPSCD was largely governed by state officials rather than a local school board was actually just a “costly mistake” — the district’s dire financial situation and poor student performance didn’t see much improvement at all…

What Happens If the Credit Unions’ Tax Exemption Gets Removed? by Krisztina Pusok (Fall 2017) in InsideSources
If you’re one of the 115 million credit union members, you may not even realize it but your credit union doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Federal law recognizes that credit unions operate in unique ways and so, on the principle that credit unions provide financial services in a democratic, not-for-profit and cooperative manner, many years ago Congress exempted credit unions from taxes. While you may wonder whether credit unions continue to merit tax exemption, less obvious is what happens if the tax exemption is removed.

Credit unions have been exempt from the federal income tax since the Great Depression, to increase their ability to provide credit to lower-income families. And while the financial sector has evolved over the last several decades, with credit unions growing and changing over time, they still operate in the unique way that granted them the tax exemption in the first place…