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State’s economy is lagging

 This article appeared January 20, 2018 in the West Sherburne Tribune.  The recession that hit the U.S a decade ago may be over, but Minnesota’s economy hasn’t kept up with the rest of the country. That is the message behind a performance report by the Center of the American Experiment. Wednesday, during a Community Partners meeting at the Hideout Bar & Grill in Big Lake Twp., about 50 area stakeholders listened as economist John Phelan used that report to talk about the Minnesota economy. He said Minnesotans often hear about how well the state is doing economically, with things like high home...

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Those Crazy Californians! Oops…No, Wait

From California comes the latest news of the loony left. The federal government's tax reform, which dramatically reduces the U.S.'s formerly highest-in-the-world corporate income tax rate, has already sparked a stock market boom and has led many companies to announce pay raises and bonuses for their employees. A great result, right? Not if you are a leftist. Two California Assemblymen have announced an effort to at least partly undo the federal tax cut within their state: A pair of California lawmakers want to claw back some of steep tax cuts that corporations will receive under the federal tax overhaul signed last month...

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Here’s an issue we can all agree on: End ridiculous, anti-competitive occupational licensing

Reforming excessive state-based occupational licensing requirement is the issue that has a U of M labor professor sounding like a disciple of Milton Friedman and expressing strong support for legislation supported by the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress. Work to fix this anti-competitive abuse begun under the Obama Administration but progress has been difficult since all this regulation takes place at the state level.  But now a recent court case has opened the door to action by Congress that could spur reform at the state level. Even so, it was a joy to read in today’s Star Tribune the brilliant op-ed...

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Thousands of Minnesotans Get Bonuses and Pay Hikes Thanks to Tax Cuts [UPDATED]

UPDATE: Two more Minnesota companies have made the Americans for Tax Reform list of companies handing out bonuses to their employees as a result of the federal tax cut.  DTN, a Burnsville firm, and St. Paul-based Priority Courier Experts are among 164 companies with two million employees and counting that have already benefited from the tax relief measure, according to ATR. DTN, an independent provider of information and actionable insights in the areas of agriculture, transportation and energy, and publisher of The Progressive Farmer, gave $1,000 bonuses to nearly 700 employees. Priority Courier Experts paid a “TRUMP BUMP” [$500] to each of its 80...

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Minimum wage’s unintended consequences

We all want to see higher wages for workers. But these will only come in a sustainable way from increasing worker productivity. For this, we need to look at education, investment, entrepreneurship, and all the interconnected policies which influence these. True, this doesn’t have the attractive simplicity of a politician simply decreeing that employers will only be allowed to pay above $X, but it will work....

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When It Comes to Tech Jobs, Minnesota Is Out In the Cold

Minnesotans like to think of their state as a high-tech center, but unfortunately that is more fantasy than reality. The latest evidence comes from Forbes, taking off from an analysis of STEM jobs by the Praxis Strategy Group. The good news is that tech jobs are dispersing. No longer are they concentrated in a few hotbeds like Silicon Valley. The bad news is that they aren't dispersing to Minnesota: In the last two years, according to numbers for the country’s 53 largest metros compiled by Praxis Strategy Group’s Mark Schill based on federal data and EMSI’s fourth-quarter 2017 data set, the STEM...

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