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My Quick Conservative Take on the Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates Debate

I attended the Minneapolis mayoral candidates debate today at the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota.  The best part was the excellent questions asked by the moderators, Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey School and Lee Schafer, business columnist for the Star Tribune.  Their common-sense questions called the candidates to account for all the anti-business craziness that’s been coming out of City Hall in recent years.  Here’s what they asked: Are you seeking the support of business owners? What do you say to business owners who say that their complaints about hostility in city government toward the business community has fallen on...

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Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Here’s the lament we hear constantly from employers in Greater Minnesota: “We can’t find a skilled workforce—or grow as a community—because our kids can’t wait to leave town as soon as they finish high school.” One Minnesota high school—Wright Technical Center in Buffalo—is tackling this challenge head-on. Wright Tech is a consortium of eight school districts in Wright and Sherburne Counties, including Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose, Monticello, Delano, Maple Lake, Annandale, Big Lake, St. Michael-Albertville, and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted. In 2015, Wright Tech launched a program called Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) using a model conceived by Illinois entrepreneur and educator Craig Lindvahl. Students in the program...

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An Impressive “Hand’s On, In-the-Seat” Program in Staples

Staples is 30 miles west of Brainerd in Minnesota Lake Country, hence the name Central Lakes College, with campuses in both cities. I spent an exceptionally profitable couple of hours at Staples’ two campuses last week when I was in town to speak about American Experiment’s new multi-year project “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” at a dinner meeting sponsored by a group called “Crossroads Conservatives” at a restaurant and bar called “Twisted Sisters” (really).  In truth, the room didn’t seem terribly twisted at all and the crowd of approximately 35-40 men and women, plus a few high school students, wasn’t...

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Great Jobs and Inclusive Growth

My apologies in advance if what I write below about a recent conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis seems circular.  This is not a slam at the two-day meeting on “Opportunity and Inclusive Growth,” but rather pertains to the many inescapable connections among matters of education, families, jobs, income, wealth and other facts and conditions of local and national life.  Connections, for example, that are implicit in Center of the American Experiment’s major, multi-year initiative, “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree:  Good News for Students, Parents, and Employers.” One of the speakers at the conference, held May 22-23,...

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Governor Dayton’s Attempt to De-Fund the GOP Legislature: Troubling Tactics, Apocalyptic Prose and Fake Federalism

The governor of Minnesota has attempted to de-fund the state legislature, an equal branch of the government. Like a critical parent, Dayton dressed down GOP leaders in a dramatic letter, punctuated with emotional, apocalyptic language. ...

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Will Governor Dayton Sign or Veto Omnibus Bills Today?

The special legislative session wrapped up before dawn last Friday with a flurry of bills on their way to Gov. Dayton; K-12 Education, Transportation, Health and Human Services, Taxes, among others. Gov. Dayton, negotiating hard, got a lot of what he asked for from the Legislature. If he vetoes the Omnibus bills, he will be vetoing his own credibility, such as it is. ...

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Titanium Breakthrough Could Be Bigger Than Taconite for Iron Range

Another breakthrough moment for the Minnesota mining industry occurred this week. But will it matter, given environmentalists' reflexive opposition to mining, no matter how responsibly done? The Duluth News Tribune reports ilmenite, a widely available mineral in northern Minnesota, has a bright future. Scientists say they’ve successfully turned an abundant Minnesota mineral called ilmenite into valuable titanium dioxide in a pilot-scale demonstration project on the Iron Range. The announcement Thursday comes one year after the Natural Resources Research Institute of the University of Minnesota Duluth received $600,000 in grants for the pilot project that some scientists say could lead to a breakthrough...

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