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Commentaries

Dec 16, 2013
Do you like the way you live now? Well, the folks at the Metropolitan Council don’t. In their view, far too many of us live in single-family homes when we should be content with high-density apartments. Far too many of us get to work and leisure activities in our cars when we should be taking public transit, biking or walking.
Nov 27, 2013
Longtime economic and cultural policy advocate Mitch Pearlstein expounds on stabilizing our economy through stabilizing our culture—and the region’s need to fight against becoming average.
Nov 25, 2013
It has been said that doing what sounds good often gets in the way of doing what works. There is perhaps no better example of this than State Rep. Tom Anzelc’s well-intentioned attempt to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage via constitutional amendment, a proposal he floated last Wednesday.
Nov 17, 2013
At the risk of implying that we should all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya,” how well do you think Americans know and feel for each other? In particular, how well do you think Americans in the main understand and empathize with low-income Americans?
Nov 17, 2013
In terms of race and ethnicity, the Twin Cities region is one of the most rapidly diversifying metro areas in the nation. For 15 years, Hispanic, black and Asian residents — now almost a quarter of the population — have been flooding into the suburbs.
Nov 15, 2013
There is no such thing as a silver bullet when it comes to making government work properly. But the closest thing to it in this imperfect world is making government open up its books and its operations to public scrutiny — what the insiders call “transparency.”
Nov 5, 2013
Why is it that so many savvy players, when talking about achievement gaps and other educational problems, make it sound as though if we just got this or that policy calibrated right, or if the body politic just rose adequately to the occasion, or if taxpayers just shelled out more, we would make great progress?
Nov 1, 2013
Everybody has heard “caveat emptor,” or “let the buyer beware.” It’s a warning about the nature of sales and salesmen: They are in the business to sell, not to look out for your interests. In legal terms, we expect salesmen to engage in “puffery,” which is a sort of exaggeration or slanting to convince you of their products’ merits.
Oct 29, 2013
On Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis, when the food trucks line up, people show up. And with food trucks offering innovative, flavorful lunch options, it’s not hard to see why. Take AZ Canteen, which serves up andouille, oyster and crab gumbo and crispy pork belly topped with a fried egg — delicious dishes you won’t find anywhere in the skyway. From roasted pork tacos to traditional British pasties to buttery lobster rolls, Minneapolis food trucks are satisfying hungry customers by serving up some of the tastiest lunches in the Twin Cities. So why do some people want to regulate them out of existence?
Oct 20, 2013
We hear from all sides that America is becoming “two nations.” The upper class of highly educated professionals is flourishing — rich and getting richer. But many in the working class are struggling — dropping out of the workforce and leading increasingly dysfunctional lives. The middle class is shrinking and beginning to show similar signs of dysfunction.