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Minnesota’s ‘labor shortage’ offers the opportunity for higher wages

The economy we should want for Minnesota should be one of high investment driving rising wages. It is the economic model Germany had so much success with in the post-war decades. The state's supposed 'labor shortage' should not be cause for panic and the pursuit of a labor intensive, low investment, low wage economy. Instead, it represents an opportunity to be grasped for a better economic future. ...

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Austin Pushes Businesses to the Brink with Potential 15 Percent Levy Hike

Minnesota's high income and business taxes put our state near the top of the least taxpayer friendly states in the union. But some local tax levy rates can be just as onerous, even in Greater Minnesota. Tonight, for example, the Austin City Council will consider approving a nearly 16 percent hike in the local levy. Much of the burden falls on small business owners, who told the Austin Daily Herald they're already stretched to the breaking point. Randall Fett currently owns 12 commercial properties in Downtown Austin. Some of his tenants include George’s Pizza, Rydjor Bike Shop and Heartman Insurance. And like some...

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St. Paul: Think Before You Act on Minimum Wage

On Wednesday evening, St. Paul city leaders came to a wider consensus of their plans to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Earlier last week, Citizens League sponsored by the St. Paul Foundation released a 446-page report confirming the minimum wage increase, having it indexed to inflation, and expected to be phased in over the next four to seven years....

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No support for minimum wage increase

We all want to see higher wages. They are the best way of guaranteeing a good standard of living. But, to be sustainable, they need to come from higher productivity, not the wave of some magic legislative wand. The policies that would encourage higher wages would focus on increasing the quality of labor, education, the quantity of capital it has to work with, investment, and the quality of the capital itself, innovation. These policies do not fit on a placard quite so easily as “$15 now!” But they do have the virtue of actually working....

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If tourism is an alternative source of prosperity for northern Minnesota, why isn’t it already?

When you make the argument for mining in Minnesota, a common response is that it would threaten the region's booming tourism industry. Mining jobs aren't needed, so the argument goes, because their are jobs in tourism instead. The trouble is that when you look at the data, you struggle to see this 'boom'. Low paid, seasonal employment such as this has not and in all likelihood will not provide the prosperity that our fellow Minnesotans in the north of the state both need and deserve.  ...

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“See You Next Summer!” Said the Tourism Jobs

Tourism jobs are important, but it also important to understand and acknowledge the economic limitations of these jobs. They generally have lower wages and are more seasonal. Mining Minnesota's copper, nickel, platinum, and titanium resources would create 1,900 high-paying mining jobs and support more than 3,000 jobs in the supply chain....

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