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Mayor Carter should stop squandering political capital on his harmful minimum wage policy, and get serious about tackling crime in St. Paul

One of the first things we expect from government is to protect us from violence. A government that can’t or won’t fulfill that basic function isn’t worth bothering with. Like any politician, Mayor Carter only has so much political capital. For the good of the city’s residents, he should spend less of it on harmful policies like minimum wage hikes, and more on making the city safer....

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Milton Friedman on free trade

Trade is one of the oldest topics in economics. It is also one of the oldest sources of economic dispute. Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776 largely to refute the doctrines of the Mercantilists. The essential issues remain unchanged since Smith's time. Anyone looking at arguments in the centuries since will be struck by how contemporary they sound. For an example, look at this Newsweek column, written by the economist Milton Friedman in 1970. All you have to do is replace 'Japan' with 'China', and you have a sharp comment on current trade disputes. ...

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Evidence suggests that, compared to Wisconsin, Minnesota’s minimum wage hikes have cost restaurant jobs and lowered youth employment

In terms of a 'Border Battle', Minnesota's minimum wage hikes have raised wages for some workers relative to Wisconsin, but they have also lead to less employment in restaurants and less employment for young workers. As St. Paul considers instituting a $15ph minimum wage, with restaurant workers at the forefront, this should make them think again. A minimum wage of $15ph might work out at $0ph. ...

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Teens need foundation formed from entry-level, summer jobs

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the employment-participation rate for 16- to 19-year-olds in Minnesota fell from 69.8 percent in 2000 to 52.3 percent in 2016, a decline of 17.5 percentage points. Over the same period, the participation rate for all workers over 16 fell by just 3.9 percentage points, from 75.1 percent to 71.2 percent. Improving Minnesota's poor recent record on youth employment — a nationwide phenomenon — would have real benefits. It would help alleviate the "labor shortage," and it would enable the workers of tomorrow to begin acquiring the skills they need....

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Minnesota needs to improve its poor recent record on youth employment

The participation rate for 16 to 19 year olds in Minnesota has fallen from 69.8% in 2000 to 52.3% in 2016, a fall of 17.5 percentage points. Improving this recent record on youth employment-which is a nationwide phenomenon-would have real benefits. It would help alleviate the 'labor shortage' and it would enable the workers of tomorrow begin acquiring the skills they need. ...

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Happy 34th birthday to Ghostbusters, the greatest pro-free market movie ever made

June 8th, 1984. Billy Gardner's Twins lost 6-1 at Comiskey Park. ABC was putting repeats of Benson and Webster up against a repeat of the Dukes of Hazzard on CBS. The Celtics beat the Lakers 121-103. Merie Earle, famous for playing Maude Gormley in The Waltons, was on Johnny Carson. Let's Hear It for the Boy by Deniece Williams was enjoying its final day at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Ronald Reagan was in the White House. The economy was starting to boom. The Soviet Union was down to its last superannuated apparatchik. It was also the day the Ghostbusters first appeared on movie screens across the United...

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Meet robot Ronald McDonald

Faced with wage hikes, one way employers can respond is by switching to use capital instead of labor inputs. As prices of machines fall and their reliability increases, this becomes ever more viable, as McDonald's plan to add self-order kiosks to 1,000 stores each quarter demonstrates. Hiking minimum wages in this environment is more harmful than usual. ...

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