Latest Posts




  • Skills Matter More Than Type of Degree

    (Photo Credit: The Markle Foundation) A new report from Center of the American Experiment reveals that there’s “gold in a two-year degree.” The study found that young Minnesotans who choose a variety of non-four-year career pathways—in skilled manufacturing, health care, construction-related occupations, etc.—can often earn more in a lifetime than their peers with a four-year degree. Now a new study from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C., confirms this is true across the nation.

  • Venezeula’s economic and social collapse shows that Bernie Sanders is another “useful idiot”

    In 2011, Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote "These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who's the banana republic now?" Now, Venezuela's economy is collapsing as a horrible, predictable result of its socialist economic policies. At some point in the 20th century, the term "useful idiots" was coined for people in the rich west who extolled the virtues of communism. Sen. Sanders is one of the latest in this long and ignoble tradition. 

  • MN Supreme Court Upholds Dayton Defunding of Legislature

    The following analysis of today’s Minnesota Supreme Court ruling on the use of the line-item veto in legislative funding was written by Harry Niska, pro bono counsel for American Experiment’s amicus brief in this case.   The Minnesota Supreme Court has issued a decision in the lawsuit filed by the Legislature challenging Governor Dayton’s line-item veto of the Legislature’s funding. In a 5-1 decision (with Justice Stras recused), the Court acknowledged that the line-item vetoes might overstep Governor Dayton’s constitutional authority, but nevertheless rejected the Legislature’s legal challenge, allowing Governor Dayton’s line-item vetoes to stand. This is a case that...


  • Personal Income growth in Minnesota is driven by increases in transfer payments and shows our state’s poor performance on productivity

    Minnesotans have a higher level of personal income than Americans generally. But in recent years the main contributor to its increase has been rising transfer payments. And, odd as it may seem, Minnesota's above average levels of per capita Personal Income indicate again our state's below average productivity. 

  • Washington Post: What If Al Franken Resigns?

    Social media has all but melted down today over allegations that Sen. Al Franken groped and kissed radio personality Leeann Tweeden without consent on a 2006 USO tour.  Franken recalls the incident differently than Tweeden but issued a lengthy apology and called for an ethics investigation on himself, while also expressing regret for churning out sexually inappropriate jokes for years as a comedian. But will it be enough to save Franken’s senate seat? The Washington Post has already raised the possibility, if not likelihood, that the junior Minnesota senator may face expulsion or could resign in the current “political minefield.”...

  • Vanity Plates Latest Problem With Troubled Vehicle Registration System

    The state’s new online vehicle registration system was tens of millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. But the Department of Public Safety rolled out the first phase of the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) with fanfare anyway in July. MNLARS will replace the core functionality for DVS operations. When finished, it will be an efficient, secure Web-based system for driver’s license, identification card and vehicle registration and ownership transactions. But weeks later, technical issues still plague the system. The latest victims? Vehicle owners with vanity license plates, according to the Pioneer Press. Minnesota’s troubled new vehicle registration system...

  • Minnesota’s workers are less productive than the national average

    As Paul Krugman writes, "Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything." Productivity drives earnings and data showing that Minnesota's workers are less productive than the national average should mean that below average earnings are on the way too.