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A tip credit will go some way towards mitigating the harm that St. Paul’s leaders want to do to the city’s labor market

"The only restaurants that are going to be able to survive this (minimum wage hike without a tip credit) are big corporate chains. Small restaurants just can’t afford it" says Jennifer Schellenberg of Restaurant Workers of America. This echoes the findings of a report by the Citizens League earlier this year. They found that most of St. Paul's large employers, such as U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, were already paying their staff at least $15 an hour. The people who would be hit hardest by the the city's politicians commanding its small business owners to increase their staff costs by up to...

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Minnesota’s ‘labor shortage’ offers the opportunity for higher wages

The economy we should want for Minnesota should be one of high investment driving rising wages. It is the economic model Germany had so much success with in the post-war decades. The state's supposed 'labor shortage' should not be cause for panic and the pursuit of a labor intensive, low investment, low wage economy. Instead, it represents an opportunity to be grasped for a better economic future. ...

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St. Paul: Think Before You Act on Minimum Wage

On Wednesday evening, St. Paul city leaders came to a wider consensus of their plans to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Earlier last week, Citizens League sponsored by the St. Paul Foundation released a 446-page report confirming the minimum wage increase, having it indexed to inflation, and expected to be phased in over the next four to seven years....

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No support for minimum wage increase

We all want to see higher wages. They are the best way of guaranteeing a good standard of living. But, to be sustainable, they need to come from higher productivity, not the wave of some magic legislative wand. The policies that would encourage higher wages would focus on increasing the quality of labor, education, the quantity of capital it has to work with, investment, and the quality of the capital itself, innovation. These policies do not fit on a placard quite so easily as “$15 now!” But they do have the virtue of actually working....

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The Virtues of Charitable Efforts Syncing with Business Requirements

Labor Day was a perfect day for the Star Tribune to run pieces about two of the best programs in the Twin Cities aimed at helping low-income men and women gain stronger footholds in the local job market: Twin Cities Rise founded in 1993; and Microgrants founded in 2006.  Common to each is respect (goes the adage) for an “honest day’s work,” as well as recognition that their charitable efforts must sync with business requirements if they are to serve on all cylinders. I’ve long appreciated Twin Cities Rise as uncommonly market-based, as that was the vision of Steve Rothschild, who...

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Data from Michigan suggests that mining doesn’t destroy leisure and hospitality jobs

A report from economists at Harvard asserts that mining in northern Minnesota will lead to losses of jobs in "recreational employment". But no support is offered for this assumption. A look at data for the Eagle Mine in Michigan's northern peninsula, suggests it might not be. ...

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