Latest Posts





Minneapolis’s High Minimum Wage Claims More Victims

Whiskey Junction has been Minneapolis watering hole since the 1880s, but no longer: the bar is closing at the end of this month. The Pioneer Press reports: Owner Tom O’Shea announced the closure on Facebook, citing the city’s recent minimum wage increase, which was passed earlier this year. A portion of his post reads, “Unfortunately, after recent changes in the Minneapolis ordinances regarding minimum wages and primarily the lack of a tip credit provision, we feel now is the time to get out of the bar business. We fought for a voice to explain how minimum wage without a tip credit will...

Continue reading

Minnesota’s households have high incomes, but only because each one contains more workers

More people working means more goods and services which means a higher standard of living. But the purpose of work is production, it is not an end in itself. In this respect, Minnesota's economy performs poorly. Minnesotans do a lot of work, but they do a poor job, compared to the national average, of turning that work into outputs. And that is the whole point. ...

Continue reading

Back to the Future at Dayton’s?

Last Wednesday, the Star Tribune published an editorial about the proposed downtown Dayton's development project that is worth commenting on. It was titled Back to the future with Dayton's on Nicollet Mall. An alternative title might have been "Hope springs eternal." The editorial begins with a sobering reminder of recent history: Even as downtown’s workforce and residential market stayed relatively strong, retail all but abandoned the core city. Once ranked among the nation’s best shopping streets, Nicollet Mall fell off the map as names like Gucci, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren and many more departed. Dayton’s slid into history in 2001, its...

Continue reading

If Minnesota’s workers were as productive as the US average, we would each be $3,500 better off

Minnesotans would have been $3,500 better off in 2016 if the state's workers were as productive as the national average. Why aren't they? We discuss this in our new report, The State of Minnesota’s Economy: 2017. It is one of the biggest economic challenges facing Minnesota. ...

Continue reading

Milton Friedman: Giving Thanks for Free Enterprise

Milton Friedman (1912-2006) was one of the greatest economists of the 20th century. But, along with his academic work, he was a gifted writer of economics for a lay audience. For a number of years, he wrote a regular column for Newsweek, alternating with the Keynesian economist Paul Samuelson. Friedman was also interested in the politics of a free society, as well as its economics. Indeed, he argued that a free society needed a free economy and vice versa. In this column from Thanksgiving, 1974, Friedman looks at private enterprise proved itself superior to 'common' ownership in the early years of...

Continue reading

Market forces got the Mall of America’s workers Thanksgiving off and O/T on Black Friday

Contrary to much myth, free markets do have mechanisms to raise earnings. When wage rises are decreed by government, some workers lose out to pay for it. But when those higher wages come from market forces and the competition between firms for labor, we can all get better off....

Continue reading