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Downturn exposes Duluth’s vulnerability to dependence on tourism tax

The economic downturn has exposed the shaky financial underpinnings of several Duluth city-subsidized facilities whose existence depends heavily on tourism taxes. Not only to meet payroll, but also to make payments on tens of millions of dollars in bonds that become the responsibility of city taxpayers in case of default. The lengthy list of liabilities compiled by the Duluth Monitor starts with the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center/AMSOIL Arena, which ran $600,000 in the red in the month of June alone. In addition to the lost business, the DECC will lose additional revenue due to the significant decrease in the city’s tourism tax...

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The Covid-19 induced recession may have just delivered the biggest economic blow to young people, especially Millennials

Generally, millennials are less wealthy compared to previous generations at their age and the shutdown has compiled on their economic hardships. For other young people (especially those just entering the workforce or still in school), the shutdown has dimmed their employment prospects and will potentially affect their lifetime earnings and wealth-building capacity. ...

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One way to put unemployed persons back in the workforce is to loosen occupational licensing laws

Economically speaking, there is no good reason for states to keep and even expand already existing onerous occupation licenses. Multiple jobs are lost annually due to licensing laws. And this is a burden that falls the hardest on low-income communities. So at a time when unemployment is especially high, loosening these laws is especially imperative for the recovery of the economy. ...

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Anti-Mining Special Interest Groups Are Trying to Kill Coal To Stop Mining in Minnesota

Yesterday the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured an article discussing how Minnesota Power, an investor owned electric utility in northern Minnesota, was relieved that the state's iron ore mines were starting production back up after being idled due to low demand as a result of the pandemic. The families of 1,700 miners are also relieved the mines are reopening because the wages paid by Minnesota's iron mines are some of the highest in the state. But these jobs are at risk of leaving if it becomes too expensive to mine in Minnesota, and affordable electricity plays a big part in that equation. As...

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