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Kudos to Crow Wing Power For Their Truth in Billing

I admire Crow Wing Power because they shoot straight on the true cost of wind power on their website. Other power providers should follow suit and put the true cost of renewables (including the cost of renewables and duplicate generators) as a line item cost on customers' utility bills. Truth in Billing and opt-ins' for renewable energy programs would allow people to decide for themselves whether they deem the additional cost of renewable energy as a worthwhile choice, or whether they prioritize lower rates....

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Can immigration boost per capita GDP growth?

In terms of per capita incomes, what matters is productivity. Immigration will help boost per capita GDP to the extent that it boosts productivity. From an economic standpoint, we want more skilled immigrants in Minnesota. Policies which will reduce this should be opposed. But neither should we fall for the mistaken belief that increasing immigration per se will sustain per capita incomes in the future. ...

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Urban Minority Students Aren’t Getting the Education They Need

In 1970, Minnesota was among the states with the least income inequality. Black household median income was competitive with white households, and Hispanic incomes were nearly identical to white households. Since then, the racial wage gap has increased significantly despite remaining mostly unchanged in the rest of the country. Why are black and Hispanic families so much worse off in Minnesota? The answer is likely the result of several variables. Immigration patterns, language barriers, and skill deficiencies may all contribute to Minnesota’s growing income gap. One important factor, however, is the education system....

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Evidence suggests that moving away from seniority pay improves teacher quality

Public policy must deal with the world as it is, not as we would wish it to be. As in any profession, some teachers are better than others. We might wish that more effective teachers paid the same as less effective teachers would work just as hard, but theory, and new evidence from Wisconsin, suggest that this is not the case. If we want to get the best out of our teachers, we need a labor market structured to encourage that. ...

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Marriage, Military Service, Black Churches, and More Mundane Founts

In late June, the American Enterprise Institute released a study by three scholars which found “more than one-in-two black men (57%) have made it into the middle class or higher as adults, up from 38% in 1960, according to a new analysis of Census data.”  The researchers, W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia, Wendy R. Wang of the Institute for Family Studies, and Ronald B. Mincy of Columbia University, also found that the “share of black men who are poor has fallen from 41% in 1960 to 18 percent in 2016.” Surprisingly, this good news generated only one comment...

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