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Commentaries

Sep 9, 2012
Reading Bonnie Blodgett's recent column about global capitalism ("What global capitalists didn't foresee," Sept. 2), I am reminded that there truly are no settled political, cultural or economic questions. If there were one, it surely would be that free markets are the most powerful force in raising individuals and countries out of poverty and increasing living standards worldwide.
Sep 8, 2012
New research out of Harvard and the Brookings Institution further spotlights the unhelpful fact that influential Twin Cities leaders are trying to improve education for African-American and other children of color with a powerful arm tied behind their back, needlessly so. Just last month, political scientists Matthew Chingos of the Washington-based Brookings Institution and Paul Peterson of Harvard's Kennedy School released a study that persuasively shows that college enrollments for low-income African-American students who years earlier had won vouchers to attend private elementary schools were 24 percent higher than a socioeconomically-identical group of students who had not won them.
Sep 7, 2012
Peter Nelson answers these important questions: 1. What’s the state of health care in the United States today? 2. How does the United States’ health care system rank in comparison to the systems of other industrialized nations? 3.How will the Affordable Care Act affect how the U.S. health care system currently functions? 4. Do you have a particular personal experience that embodies why you think this debate/topic is important?
Aug 31, 2012
Over the last year, Gov. Mark Dayton and the public unions negotiated a new labor contract that included a 2% pay raise while slightly modifying the approach to health care costs. Aside from the problem of raising salaries when many Minnesotans are without a paycheck and most of us have not seen a pay raise in years, why would Dayton want to increase the state payroll in the midst of our current budget challenges which have serious long term implications?
Aug 28, 2012
In 2005, the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform led by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker concluded that our “electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter and detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters.”1 Minnesota’s current election system is especially ripe for fraud.
Aug 9, 2012
Instead of enjoying a quiet summer, the Supreme Court has been on Minnesota’s front page as it focuses on various constitutional amendment ballot issues, including Voter ID, passed by the Legislature last session.
Aug 8, 2012
This photo ID-to-vote issue has me confused. Shouldn’t the two sides be reversed? After all, there was a time when the “good government” types were the progressives. And what could be more consistent with good government progressivism than assuring an honest vote? There was also a time when conservative types would have been horrified at the prospect of having to produce state-issued documentation to authenticate that its possessor is who he or she claims to be. Doesn’t such a prospect smack of the entering wedge for a Soviet-style internal passport?
Jul 29, 2012
Minnesota's secretary of state is our state's chief elections official. His duty to impartially administer elections requires him—more than any other constitutional officer—to remain above the fray of partisan politics. Yet on the proposed voter ID amendment, which he opposes, Mark Ritchie has replaced the Legislature's straightforward title with a fog of bureaucratic gobbledygook.
Jul 8, 2012
In one sense, the 2012 election is a referendum on the presidency of Barack Obama. But in a larger sense, it is a referendum on a century of Progressivism. Are we in the process of putting the finishing touches on the progressive state, assuming that progressivism can ever be finished? Or are we about to begin the long process of finding our way back to America's limited-government roots? Will an Obama victory be the capstone to a process already a century old? Or will his defeat signal a return to something older still?
Jul 1, 2012
Democrats are in celebration mode over their recent victory in the U.S. Supreme Court. But they are mistaken if they think the court's ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—aka Obamacare—will end challenges to the law. The battle over health care has just begun.