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Mark Perry’s remarks at American Experiment’s minimum wage forum

Update: Minnesota Public Radio covered the event, listen to its report here: “How would $15 minimum wage affect workers?” Thanks to the Center for the American Experiment for the opportunity to participate today. As a native of the Twin Cities, I feel especially fortunate to be here. What’s not so fortunate is that we’re here debating a topic that has actually been settled science in economics for several hundred years. Generally, the first thing we teach on the first day of Econ 101 is that if you raise the price of a good or service, you’ll reduce the demand for that...

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What’s Happened to Minnesota’s Entrepreneurial Spirit?

In the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dileep Rao, a professor of finance, bemoans the fact that Minnesota is no longer producing the cutting-edge, rapidly growing companies that once fueled the state's economy: Glen Taylor built Taylor Corp. into the country's largest wedding-invitation printer. Earl Bakken built Medtronic into the world's largest electronic medical-device company and founded the medical electronics industry. Bob Kierlin built Fastenal into the country's largest fastener company and one of the best stocks on U.S. stock exchanges. Dick Schulze built Best Buy into the world's largest electronics retailer. And Richard Burke built UnitedHealth Group into the world's largest health...

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Not Even One Minnesota Business Makes Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies List

Fortune just published the 30th edition of their Fastest-Growing Companies list, the annual who’s who of hot publicly-traded companies and industries across the nation and world. In their review of the list, the magazine offered a few highlights.  First, the “roster now reflects the rise of small banks and other financial institutions.”  Second, not only does finance represent the most companies, but these companies are geographical dispersed across the country.  Florida, Georgia, and Arkansas are each home to more fast-growing finance companies than New York.  Third, more of fastest growing businesses in California—the state with the largest number of businesses on...

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Duluth City Council Rejects Anti-Mining Measure

No one blinks anymore when activist city councils pass kooky or feel-good resolutions on the politically correct issue du jour. Potholes, garbage collection and other consequential, but mundane issues should hardly distract local pols from what really matters. So Richmond, California, councilors pass a resolution to ban the threat of space-based weapons. And Minneapolis and St. Paul join Seattle as the only cities supporting “indigenous opponents” of the Dakota Access Pipeline, citing the Battle of the Greasy Grass and Custer’s Last Stand in the process. But a funny thing happened this week when a trifecta of Duluth City Councilors tried to pass an...

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Why the Minimum Wage Is a Bad Idea

In anticipation of our dialogue on the minimum wage that will take place on Tuesday, I recorded a three-minute segment on the issue with the Rookie, Matt Michalski, on KSTP radio. The segment played yesterday. Here it is; I think it is a pretty good short explanation of why a high minimum wage (higher than employers are already paying to entry level employees) is unfair to young people; If you haven't been hearing our Monday segments with the Rookie on AM1500, as well as the 30-second ads we have every day on the Joe Soucheray show, you should start listening for...

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Southwest Light Rail: An Expensive Mistake

Lots of alarm has been coming from the Star Tribune editorial page during the past few weeks, regarding the Southwest light rail project. The Strib is fretting over the possibility of losing “free” federal money for the project, and charges opponents with a short-sighted failure of vision. But in the desperate pursuit of the “free” $928 million from Washington, no one mentions the hefty operating costs (starting at $32 million and reaching $58 million a year by 2040) we will be locking ourselves into. The Star Tribune is worried about the $140 million already spent on the project, but better to...

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Blue State Exodus: It Isn’t Just Minnesota

The Center's Peter Nelson ignited a statewide debate over Minnesota's liberal tax, regulate and spend policies with his blockbuster report Minnesotans on the Move to Lower Tax States 2016. Peter showed, using the Internal Revenue Service's database, that Minnesota is a net loser of population and household income to other states. In 2014, Minnesota lost a whopping $948 million in net household income. Moreover, the loss was overwhelmingly to lower-tax states. The problem is two-fold. First, as has been widely reported, thousands of Minnesotans are moving to other states. But second, equally important, Americans from other states who are deciding...

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Quotas on the Menu at General Mills

The Star Tribune recently reported on Golden Valley-based General Mills' plans to pressure the food giant's advertising agencies to adhere to strict racial and gender staffing quotas or forget about landing the account. From now on Madison Avenue will have to hire fewer Mad Men and at least 50 percent women and 20 percent people of color in order to get a slice of the Fortune 500 company's $700 million annual marketing budget. The announcement seemed to be viewed as a great step forward by some, even as the Wheaties' cereal producer "forecast weak sales growth for the first quarter" of next...

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Minnesota’s high-tech industry can do much better

A new documentary film on Minnesota’s high tech industry is set to premiere on September 22.  As the Star Tribune’s Lee Schafer explains, “the gist of the movie is that the technology industry here is diverse, vibrant and sits atop a foundation of groundbreaking computer success.” It appears the main aim of the documentary is to promote Minnesota as a great place to run a high-tech business.  The film was borne from Nick Roseth’s frustration with how, in his view, people inside and outside the region don’t know that Minnesota’s high tech industry is thriving.   Roseth is a technology consulting executive. Efforts...

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Are Voters Catching On to the Minimum Wage?

The minimum wage is a classic feel-good measure: who wouldn't want relatively low-paid workers to earn a little more money? No one. In my view, the minimum wage doesn't do any harm as long as it is equal to or less than what employers are paying to entry-level employees in a given locality. But if you increase it beyond that point (as a $15 wage would do almost everywhere) the result is fewer employment opportunities for young people. Almost all minimum wage workers are young people trying to catch on to the bottom rung of the economic ladder. At one time, this...

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