Latest Posts




  • “Labor Day Project” Helps Employers Rethink Recruitment Efforts

    Minnesota’s accelerating talent shortage has created a mismatch in our labor market. Employers are desperate for skilled workers but are struggling to find and retain talent. Why? Why are these well-paying, very-little-debt-incurring career paths going unfilled? Dave Zdon and Dan Nyberg decided to find out for themselves. After learning about the skilled labor shortage while creating LEAN Constriction training, and discussing the shortage on Labor Day in 2017, the Labor Day Project was created.

  • New data shows which Minnesota counties saw economic growth…or not

    Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its prototype estimated for Gross Domestic Product by County for the years 2012 to 2015. True, they are only prototypes and cover a limited and fairly historic set of years. But they represent the first attempt to quantify this economic variable - GDP - at the county level, which is important for state economic analysis. 

  • Resources Are Almost 5 Times as Abundant as They Were in 1980

    The following article originally appeared in Reason. Humanity is enjoying a world of increasingly cheap and ever more abundant mineral, agricultural, forestry and energy resources reports a brilliant new study, the Simon Abundance Index. This analysis by Marian Tupy,* editor of Human Progress at the Cato Institute, and Professor Gale Pooley from Brigham Young University – Hawaii uses data on 50 different commodities to track their price trajectories over the past 37 years from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. They find in real price terms their basket of commodities decreased by an average of 36.3 percent between 1980 and 2017. That’s great,...


  • What About More Experienced Workers in Transition?

    “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” has focused on young men and women, roughly between their high school years and late 20s.  This emphasis will continue.  But there is no inherent reason why many of the ideas undergirding the project, as well as benefits accruing from it, aren’t also applicable to many older men and women, in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.  I’m thinking mainly of men and women who might be thought of as in “transition,” be reasons voluntary or not.

  • Minnesota doesn’t need higher gas taxes

    In terms of revenue the politicians in Saint Paul have never had it so good. Why, then, are they pleading poverty and planning to take more of their citizen's money from them? If they are having trouble funding a core competency such as roads, that would seem not to be the result of a shortage of revenue but of a mistaken allocation of the revenue they have. With all the cash they get from us and the surplus they are projected to get, there is no excuse for soaking the state's citizens afresh to pay for something so basic. 

  • Why I’m Still an Adoption Romantic—Just a Less Starry-Eyed One

    The following column about adoption by American Experiment Founder Mitch Pearlstein was written at the invitation of the Institute for Family Studies at the University of Virginia.  The post at the IFS site can be found here. Sometime in the early 2000s, I received a call from a woman at the White House, who asked if my wife and I and our 11-year-old adopted daughter, “Kayla” (not her real name), might be interested in attending a program in celebration of adoption. Since I wasn’t the only adoptive father in the country, let’s just say I had a friend in the administration....

  • Stauber and Nolan Push Last Ditch Passage of Mining Bill

    Congressman-elect Pete Stauber has a few more weeks before going to DC as Minnesota’s new Eighth Congressional District representative. But the Republican isn’t wasting any time getting behind bipartisan legislation introduced by his Democratic predecessor Cong. Rick Nolan to make way for more mining in northern Minnesota. The sooner, the better, preferably before Stauber’s swearing in, according to the Duluth News Tribune. “We both strongly agree on the importance of environmentally safe mining in northern Minnesota,” Stauber said in his news release statement. “If this legislation doesn’t become law, one of my first acts in the 116th Congress will be...