Latest Posts





Trump releases Child Care Plan. Doesn’t the president, even Congress, have more important things to do?

It’s a very silly season, even for Minnesota. We have cities adopting or thinking about adopting laws that tell private employers what to pay workers, how to manage paid time off for illness, parental leave and other conditions of employment. Campaigns to raise the minimum wage dominate the news. The Center will discuss a lot of these issues next week at the lunch forum on the Minimum Wage .

The Trump campaign, championed by daughter Ivanka Trump, released its own “New Child Care Plan.” Presumably candidate Clinton has one of her own, along with policy prescriptions on minimum wage, parental leave and so on.

The Trump plan, as it turns out, is pretty darned good, if you accept the premise that the president of the United States and the federal government should be involved in such matters. The plan has received a thumbs up from our friends at the Independent Women’s Forum, the go-to free-market policy tank on these matters (IWF).

The feature of the Trump child care plan I like best? The plan recognizes the value and sacrifice of stay-at-home Moms by offering them the same tax deduction as women working outside the home. As IWF’s Carrie Lukas said in Forbes today, “That’s an important point and one that conservatives should embrace. The government shouldn’t be in the business of using subsidies to encourage more families to put their kids in paid daycare if they think that family care is best. Lots of families – including those with modest incomes – make big financial sacrifices to keep a parent home when kids are young and they deserve a break too.”

I agree, yes, that the feds should treat parents equally in that regard, and avoid policies that tip the decision on whether to stay home or go back to work one way or another. Whether to have children, when and how many. Though we may snort at the idea that Ivanka Trump has any clue about what most women face, it is refreshing that Trump has a daughter who is a working Mom and business owner talking about these issues, and that he has an impressive record of hiring women in his male-dominated business.

But aren’t we in trouble, not even in shouting distance of a limited government or free market, if basic labor and employment conditions are being set by politicians in Washington, D.C.? By the IRS Code? The Labor Department?

I think it is useful to step back, not just from time to time, but often, and ask ourselves: do we really want the federal government involved in these matters? Where in our Constitutional scheme do we find authority or even a persuasive argument for the feds to be legislating and rule-making, as if it was the HR Department in Chief for the nation? As for the states, as much as I hate to admit it, citizens were left very free to shape state policies. Better that we fight about these things in St. Paul than a far-away Washington, D.C.

For now, the federal and state governments are deeply involved. The Left won that argument back when we agreed to a minimum wage and other intrusions on the freedom of contract between an employer and employee.

So let’s at least get the facts right.

Ivanka Trump and the campaign are as fact-challenged as the Clinton campaign: they repeatedly use the slogans and lies from the Left on women’s pay (e.g. 81 cents on the dollar), even arguing that motherhood is “the greatest predictor of wage inequality on our country.” This may be good politics, and a smart ploy to get women to vote for Trump, but its sloppy data and that never leads to better policies, or happier Moms.

Ivanka needs to spend more time on the IWF’s website. There she will find studies by our upcoming speaker Mark Perry, who has eviscerated the pay equity argument with good data and logic. See you at the Minimum Wage lunch next week!










Upcoming Events

  • Sen. Rudy Boschwitz Presents “Magnificent America”

    Location: Signatures 22852 County Road 17 Winona, MN 55987

    Please join Center of the American Experiment in Winona on Wednesday, September 18th for an evening with Sen. Rudy Boschwitz as he discusses “Magnificent America.” Rudy Boschwitz was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930. Rudy’s Dad came home the day Hitler came to power and told the family they would leave Germany forever. They settled in New Rochelle, New York. He came to Minnesota in September 1963, where he started Plywood Minnesota. Rudy ran successfully for the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1978-1991. Rudy was President George H. W. Bush’s Emissary to Ethiopia. His mission resulted in Operation Solomon,…

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Alexandria

    Location: Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis Northeast Alexandria, MN 56308

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, September 25th at the Alexandria Golf Club for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert, Catrin Wigfall, as she explains the Center’s “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” project. Following her presentation on workforce development issues, Catrin will be joined by a panel of local leaders to discuss how Alexandria can better attract and retain young talent. Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308 8:00 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:30 AM Presentation 9:30 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Fall Briefing Featuring Kimberley Strassel

    Location: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts 345 Washington Street, St. Paul, MN 55102

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now