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Minnesota Microdistilleries Push for a More Even Playing Field

The Minnesota Distiller’s Guild continues their years-long struggle for deregulation in Minnesota with the introduction of their newest bill, H.F. 3246, to the state legislature. The bill, which was introduced to the House on the 13th and is set to hit the Senate in the net few days is twofold: Firstly, the Guild wants to redefine the definition of “Microdistilleries” from an institution which produces up to 40,000 proof gallons per annum to 100,000. Secondly, they wish to allow distilleries with a lower product volume (40,000 proof gallons per year under the new definition) to obtain off-sale licenses which allow for the...

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English Language Classes for Cambria Workers Catching on at Other Companies

A program pioneered by the countertop manufacturer Cambria to offer English language classes to help immigrant workers better succeed at work and in society has become a model for both public and private sector employers. The Star Tribune recently profiled a Cambria employee named Baltazar Ruiz whose challenges with English still held him back years after immigrating legally to Minnesota--until he took advantage of the company's language course offered on the job. Cambria had an ambitious goal: make sure all of its 300 foreign-born workers at the 650-worker factory could read and write English at an eighth-grade level or above. The...

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Bill Kills Controversial Licensing Requirement for Independent Makeup and Hair Stylists

There may not be a better example of how occupational licensing requirements too often exist not so much to protect the public but rather the producers and providers already offering the service targeted for licensing. The state cosmetology board has threatened the livelihoods of small business owners who have the audacity to provide hair styling and makeup services for weddings and other special events without first obtaining a state license. In 2018 the board arbitrarily ruled freelance stylists and makeup artists need to have a license, backing up its threat with enforcement action detailed by MPR. The Minnesota Board of Cosmetology, a...

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Thomas Sowell on the Welfare state

Thomas Sowell is an American economist and social theorist currently a senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has been one of modern day`s big advocates against the social welfare state or its expansion thereof . He has spoken and written extensively on the unfounded presence of the welfare state, that keeps on expanding. I share some of his quotes that do sum up the illogical nature of the welfare state: The assumption that spending more of taxpayer’s money will make things better has survived all kinds of evidence that it has made things worse. I have never understood why it is...

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Childcare service shortage is bad not just for parents, but also for the economy.

In 2018, Wilder research provided data showing how much  Northeastern Minnesota's economy loses due to childcare shortage. Among other things, the report showed that: (1) Families in that region lose approximately $8.1 million in potential earnings due to a lack of access to childcare. (2) Employers face a 13% reduction in worker productivity which translates to a loss in thousands of dollars per worker without access to childcare. (3) Local, state, and federal governments lose an estimated $5 due to lost economic activity in that region. (4) The region will experience an estimated loss of $13.3 million in lifetime earnings from children currently without...

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