Latest Posts




  • June employment report: Good news from Minnesota’s labor market

    June's employment report is a step in the right direction for Minnesota's workforce

  • Minneapolis on the Brink From Leftward Lurch

    Minneapolis faces a crisis that’s only going to get worse under current leadership.  That meme comes up a lot lately in regards to the city’s police. Yet a key civic leader sees the biggest threat to city residents coming not from the officers on the street but from the increasingly left wing loonies in and running for city council and mayor in “the most consequential municipal election in many years.” Steve Cramer, a former Minneapolis City Councilor and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, warns in the Star Tribune that the city faces potentially dire consequences from the onslaught of...

  • “I Come to Mostly Praise Higher Education, Not Bury It”

    As a young guy, I had planned on making my life in higher education – or the “academy” as I liked to say – not that things worked out back then.  Nearly four decades later I can’t deny I was disappointed and often angry when things didn’t mesh.  But what I can say is that I am exceedingly pleased my career has worked out the way it has, as the sense of satisfaction I’ve derived from conceiving and then leading Center of the American Experiment for a long time has been grander, I’m confident, than any fulfillment I could have...


  • Employment data upends liberal narrative on the border battle between Minnesota and Wisconsin

    People love comparing the economic performance of Scott Walker’s Wisconsin to Mark Dayton’s Minnesota.  Both governors were elected in 2010 and took their states in dramatically different policy directions.  Walker lowered taxes, ended collective bargaining for public employees, and eventually made Wisconsin a right-to-work state.  Dayton raised taxes on the rich, raised the minimum wage, and worked to expand public unions.  Most of these policies were implemented between 2013 and 2015. Public policy changes take a long time to begin showing economic impact, but that didn’t stop University of Minnesota professor Larry Jacobs from opining on this border battle in...

  • Pro-Mining Unions and Businesses Rip Forest Service “Charade”

    Northern Minnesotans came out swinging this week in the Star Tribune, ripping the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management on mining. The tough talk came via a full-page ad announcing a boycott by a coalition of 17 union, civic and business groups of the federal agencies’ public hearing in the Twin Cities on Tuesday. We’re fed up with jumping through federal hoops, burning gas, vacation days and family time to sit through your endless, taxpayer-funded meetings. It’s death by a thousand cuts. Anger and frustration over a last-minute Obama administration regulation banning mineral exploration in the national forest...

  • Kathy Kersten’s Better Bloggerville Welcome

    Whenever I have an op-ed published in the Star Tribune I debate with myself whether I should read comments about the piece on the Strib’s blog afterwards.  Despite knowing, without a sliver of doubt, that some number of readers will suggest I’m a rotten human being in the employ of immorally rich capitalists and nasty plutocrats, I’m invariably curious enough to take a look, where the pattern routinely goes something like this: Blogger No. 1: “Pearlstein’s article is a piece of trash.” Blogger No. 2: “No, it’s not.  If there’s any trash around here, it’s all your dumb liberal ideas.”...

  • MN Dept. of Education Approves Controversial Transgender Toolkit

    A Minnesota Department of Education council voted on and approved a “transgender toolkit” during its Wednesday evening meeting. The controversial 10-page document— “A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students”— drew a crowd of more than 200 people. LGBT activists rallied around the toolkit, stating transgender and gender nonconforming students needed more support to combat “bullying and harassment” in schools. (Yet, ironically, several of their advocates talked over the end remarks made by toolkit opponents, snarkily telling them “thank you,” “goodbye,” “you’re done,” “sit down.” And when a parent’s four children stood next to...