Jan 8, 2014
A long time ago now, the late syndicated columnist William Raspberry was in the Twin Cities for some kind of program and a woman asked a modest question: “How do you fix poverty?” Raspberry, who was a gracious Pulitzer Prize winner, said something about how poverty was a very big problem, and as such, one could jump in just about anywhere and make a contribution. But if he had to choose just one place, he said, he would start with the boys, which is exactly where I start, principally because boys become the men whom women don’t want to marry, and usually for very good reasons.
Dec 19, 2013
President Obama would now like Americans to turn their gaze away from the spectacularly botched launch of the health insurance exchange website and look to all the people helped by the health care law. "Our poor execution in the first couple months on the website," explains Obama, "clouded the fact that there are a whole bunch of people who stand to benefit."
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.