Latest Posts




  • Center Study: Minnesotans Without College Degrees Often Out-Earn Four-Year College Grads

    Conventional wisdom has it that young people starting out in life need a four-year college degree to succeed. But a new Center of the American Experiment study (download here) concludes that Minnesotans who choose a two-year degree, apprenticeship or occupational certificate often do better financially on average than their college-educated peers. The study–No Four-Year Degree Required: A Look at a Selection of In-Demand Careers in Minnesota—finds median lifetime earnings for machinists, dental hygienists, plumbers, electric line installers and similar jobs exceed those of their counterparts with four-year degrees by up to 61 percent. The average debt incurred by four-year college...

  • Reducing the rates of teenage and black unemployment can help tackle Minnesota’s supposed labor shortage

    We often hear that there is a labor shortage in Minnesota which we need immigrants to solve. But we can make a start by helping teenage and black Minnesotans into work.

  • Schools That Focus on Indoctrination Rather than Education Pay a Price

    We have written here, here and here about the extraordinary extent to which the Edina public schools have prioritized left-wing indoctrination over academic excellence. On Monday, the Center will release the Fall issue of Thinking Minnesota, featuring a cover story on the Edina public schools by Kathy Kersten. Watch for it! Has Edina’s focus on politics rather than academics hurt the school system’s students? Here is just one fact from Kathy’s blockbuster story: between the 2013-2014 school year and the 2016-2017 school year, Edina High School dropped from 10th place among Minnesota’s high schools in math proficiency, to 40th place....


  • How Many Occupations Does It Take to Buy One House and Sell Another?

    My wife Diane and I have just moved, after 25 years, from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie.  Early on I needed to hire a painter to do a modest amount of inside work to get our Minneapolis house ready for sale.  But after a half-dozen calls I couldn’t find one who could squeeze us in for at least three weeks, which would be too long.  I finally tracked down a painter by speaking to a friend, who urged me to call another a friend, who knew a very good one who might be able to start in a couple of days,...

  • Public Safety Becoming Key Issue in Minneapolis Mayoral Race

    How much of an issue will public safety be in the upcoming Minneapolis mayoral election? The Star Tribune raised the stakes with an editorial a week ago headlined “Downtown’s dilemma: ‘A mind-set of violence’ in Minneapolis.” But downtown also has a stubbornly rising crime rate that threatens all of the effort and investment in making this area vibrant and attractive. Robberies are up significantly. Homeless encampments are becoming more common. Weekends bring regular reports of shots fired. Complaints about aggressive panhandling are up, and some light-rail transit stations have become trouble spots that draw crowds of young people late at...

  • As Target shows, market forces can drive wages up

    Rising wages are a good thing when, like Target's, they come from market forces and the competition between firms for labor.

  • Read it and Grin: Minneapolis officials call for Environmental Review of SWLRT Crash Wall

    Look on the bright side Minneapolis: the wall could be passed off as an expansion of the nearby Walker Art Museum’s Sculpture Garden. Think of the wall as a giant canvas. The Walker could provide spray paint to aspiring local artists to encourage self-expression, sponsoring an annual "We Love Our Wall" contest. Imagine how much the residents of Bryn Mawr will enjoy looking at their art. The Met Council could even save some bucks here; with all the graffiti, surely the train stations will not need any more “public art.”