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Ideas for improving the lot of American workers (open minds requested)

A new book sounds at times like the stuff of a Democratic caucus, at others like grist for a GOP one. Either way, it sure makes you think.  This op-ed appeared in the Star Tribune on January 7, 2019. Most everyone has heard about leaving your anger at the door. For the discussion that follows about a new book by Oren Cass, “The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America,” you may want to leave ideology behind, too. A senior fellow at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, Cass writes from the right. But his ideas about the right...

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Shrimp Plant Picks South Dakota Due to MN Red Tape

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard didn't hold anything back in one of his last official acts in office when it came to his neighbor to the east.  Daugaard announced that South Dakota had beat out Minnesota after all for a new Tru Shrimp agricultural production facility the Star Tribune had reported would be built on the other side of the border in Luverne. It’s already generating revenue for Luverne. More than 30 employees from places like Hawaii, India and the fisheries division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are spending some of their paychecks in town. But at the last minute Minnesota...

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Turning Away Business

In a front-page story in the Star Tribune, “Help Wanted: Homebuilders Need Workers” (December 27), reporter Jim Buchta opened by noting how the “labor crunch is hitting home in the Twin Cities.” A short while later Buchta quotes the executive director of Housing First Minnesota, David Siegel, who says meeting Gov. Mark Dayton’s goal of 300,000 new homes of all kinds in the next decade “will be exceptionally difficult if we don’t address this labor shortage.” This is abundantly true....

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High taxes sap Minnesota’s productivity, economic growth

This op ed appeared December 22nd, 2018 in the Duluth News Tribune.  The economist Paul Krugman once wrote that, "Productivity isn't everything, but in the long run it is almost everything. A country's ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker." He was right. The ability to turn a given amount of inputs into a larger amount of outputs — productivity growth — is the essence of economic growth. Sadly, as we with the Center of the American Experiment illustrate in our new report, "The State of Minnesota's Economy:...

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