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Is Minnesota A Good Place to Retire?

Financial World ranks the nine worst states to retire to, based on taxes and cost of living. They are mostly the usual suspects--New York, California, D.C., New Jersey, Oregon, Hawaii. And there at number 8 is Minnesota: The Land of 10,000 Lakes is consistently included in the list of least tax-friendly states for retirees. The state even taxes social security benefits. Even other retirement income like military, government, and private pensions are taxable. While the average household income for individuals 65 and older, which is at 13.7% below the U.S. average, is beneath the thresholds for highest tax bracket, the cost of...

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When It Comes to the Economy, Minnesota Must Do Better

This is the op-ed that I had in the St.Paul Pioneer Press this morning. It is based on the groundbreaking paper by Dr. Joseph Kennedy titled "Minnesota's Economy: Mediocre Performance Threatens the State's Future." Some of the same factors that make Minnesota a great place to live ought to make for a strong economy — a well-educated work force, one of the country’s healthiest populations, a strong work ethic and plentiful natural resources. But a report by economist Joseph Kennedy released this week by Center of the American Experiment indicates that in recent years Minnesota’s economy has underperformed. In nearly every important...

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The Left’s First Response to our Paper on Minnesota’s Economy

We have been all over Minnesota's newspapers and radio and television stations for the last couple of days, talking about Dr. Joseph Kennedy's important new paper on Minnesota's economy. We want to provoke debate and discussion, so we look forward to getting dissenting views from the Left. The first one came in yesterday, from the North Star Policy Institute. As one might expect, North Star whiffs. North Star begins by claiming that Minnesota is a red state, so if our economy is mediocre, conservative principles must be to blame. ("It is simply unbelievable to blame 'blue-state policies' for red state outcomes,"...

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Watch This Space for Blockbuster Report on Monday

On Monday, the Center will release a comprehensive report on Minnesota's economy by PhD economist Joseph Kennedy. The report will be announced at press conferences at the Capitol in St. Paul, and later in Duluth. We will be looking for television as well as newspaper coverage, and have several newspaper op-eds and radio and television guest appearances scheduled to help amplify the rollout. What does Kennedy's report say? It is titled: "Minnesota's Economy: Mediocre Performance Threatens the State's Future." Dr. Kennedy finds that by nearly all conventional economic measures, Minnesota's economic performance over the past 15 years has been mediocre. Over...

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Growth in Minnesota’s Median Household Income Doesn’t Lead the Nation

Last March Center of the American Experiment published “Minnesotans on the Move to Lower Tax States 2016,” in which I analyzed IRS migration data. Minnesota, according to this IRS data, has been consistently losing taxpaying households since 2002 and between 2013 and 2014 the state, on net, lost nearly $1 billion in income due to this negative migration trend. These data also provide convincing evidence that Minnesota’s high taxes are influencing decisions on where to move. People tend to be moving to lower tax states. Five of the ten states that, on net, receive the most Minnesotans don’t impose an income...

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High Cost of Doing Business in Minnesota No Deal Breaker for CNBC

There they go again. CNBC just ranked Minnesota as the nation's fourth best state for business in the financial network's 2016 annual rankings. In a state where being above average is an integral part of the folk lore, there's a real temptation to take the ranking to heart. Sure, Minnesota appears in good company, behind Utah, Texas, Colorado and just ahead of North Carolina. Yet it turns out Minnesota's standing rests significantly on two factors that have little directly to do with the business of business--quality of life and education. When it comes to those metrics, Minnesota can hardly be beaten, finishing...

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Is Minnesota Good For Small Business?

New businesses and small businesses create most jobs. Plus, small business is often the route to prosperity for people who don't start out with a lot of advantages. So pretty much everyone recognizes that it is good for a state to be friendly to small business. How does Minnesota measure up as a home to small business? Not very well. Thumbtack surveyed thousands of small business owners nationwide, and several hundred in Minnesota. Based on the responses by small business people themselves, Thumbtack created a report card. Here is Minnesota's. It isn't good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYxqRRda4h4...

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Minnesota Can Do Better

Within the next few weeks, the Center will release the most comprehensive study of Minnesota's economy that has been done in contemporary times. It will detail Minnesota's economic performance since the turn of the century, which has been mediocre, and identify trends that raise serious concerns about the state's economic future. We expect the report will trigger widespread debate about the extent to which Minnesota's blue-state policies are eroding the state's historic economic strength. Watch for it! In the meantime, enjoy this Center-produced video, which makes a basic point about Minnesota's economy in an entertaining way. Since we released this video...

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$15 Minimum Wage Gains Momentum as Minneapolis Sits on Legal Sidelines

The campaign to drive small businesses and other employers out of Minneapolis by implementing a $15 an hour minimum wage rolls on. Serious doubts exist over the legality of a Minnesota city unilaterally imposing a separate minimum wage. It’s of critical importance to businesses, non-profits and voters grappling with the potential fallout of a higher minimum wage on jobs and the economy. “I represent the ward that is the most challenged and I think anything that happens with the minimum wage hurts my ward a lot more than elsewhere. So that’s a concern I have in going from around $10 to around...

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Being Blue Is Giving Minnesotans the Blues

I wrote the op-ed below, on Minnesota's economy, for some of the free suburban weeklies in the Twin Cities. It is beginning to appear in those papers. One of American Experiment's key themes is that Minnesota's liberal tax, spending and regulatory policies are dragging down the state's economy. In the op-ed, I cite some basic economic data that come from our soon-to-be-published comprehensive report on Minnesota's economy. Minnesota is a blue state. That means that we have high taxes, lots of government spending, and endless government regulations. How is that working out for Minnesotans? Not very well. Consider the following, from...

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