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Venezuela hikes its minimum wage and trashes employment. What are the lessons for Minnesota?

It is heartbreaking to see the people of Venezuela, formerly the poster child for 'democratic socialists' like Sen. Bernie Sanders, reduced to being lab rats in another experimental proof of the the awfulness of socialist economics. But there are lessons in this and the least we can do is learn from them. ...

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Since 2010, per capita GDP has grown faster in Wisconsin than in Minnesota

Since 2010, the amount of work done in Minnesota has grown faster than in Wisconsin but the amount produced by this work has increased faster in Wisconsin. As we noted last year, Minnesota's workers are less productive than the national average. This needs to change for the economic well-being of the state. The same goes for the new Minnesotans too. ...

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A history of American economic policy in six books

There was a time when leading economists would write for a mass audience, commenting on the issues of the day, and applying economic principles to them. These six books offer a course in both economics and the economic aspects of post-war U.S. history. They also offer a window on a time when debate about these issues was, perhaps, less shrill than it is now. It was also, probably, more fruitful. ...

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In 2017 American workers were more willing and able to quit their jobs for better pay. This bodes well for future pay increases

In 2017, an increased number of American workers quite their jobs to look for a better offer elsewhere. This reflects increased optimism about the economy from American workers and bodes well for future wage growth. There has been a lot of positive economic news recently and this is one more part of the picture. ...

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Fed: Economy “Remarkably Positive,” and Unprecedented in Modern History

The article below originally appeared in the Washington Post. - I know, I was as surprised as you are. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said Tuesday that the U.S. economy appears to be in the midst of a “remarkably positive” period that is unprecedented in modern history. The Fed is predicting that unemployment will remain below 4 percent through 2020 and that inflation will stay low — around 2 percent — during that time. This has never happened in modern U.S. history. The last time unemployment was that low for several years, in the 1960s, it triggered high inflation, but the central...

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Milton Friedman: Judge public policies by their results, not their intentions

According to Milton Friedman, one of the great economists of the 20th century, "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results". Just because something is called a 'Jobs bill' or an 'Affordable Care Act' does not mean that more jobs or affordable care will be the result. When assessing these policies, we should not look at the good intentions that produced and named them, but at their actual effects on jobs or the affordability of care. In this Newsweek column from October 1982, Friedman lists a number of examples where government...

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