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Minimum wage’s unintended consequences

We all want to see higher wages for workers. But these will only come in a sustainable way from increasing worker productivity. For this, we need to look at education, investment, entrepreneurship, and all the interconnected policies which influence these. True, this doesn’t have the attractive simplicity of a politician simply decreeing that employers will only be allowed to pay above $X, but it will work....

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Electricity utilities are less likely to invest under ‘liberal’ regulators

Regulation imposes a huge burden on the American economy and holds back economic growth. New research shows, for example, that electricity utilities are less likely to invest under 'liberal' regulators than 'conservative' ones, which reduces reliability. Current efforts to roll back this mass of regulation are to welcomed. ...

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Minnesota’s economic performance has room for improvement

Arguments that Minnesota's economy is bound to grow more slowly than the national average because of 'convergence' are based on outdated research and an overly simplified application of economic theory. There is no ‘magic bullet’ for economic growth and Minnesota’s economic performance is not “dismal’. But it could be better. And, with the economic advantages of a hardworking, highly educated workforce and a diverse economy, we should do better....

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The economics of Christmas lights

Economics is not the study of money but of human behavior. Specifically, it is about how people increase a sort of mental sense of well-being which economists call 'utility'. Money is a large part of that process, but only as a means, not an end. The private sector provided lighthouses because of the monetary incentive to do so. The folks who decorate their houses for Christmas do so because our happiness is their happiness. ...

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