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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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Minnesota Supreme Court should find state law preempts Minneapolis minimum wage proposal

Update: The Minnesota Supreme Court blocked the ballot proposal from being placed on the ballot because the present city charter does not provide for submitting ordinances by a citizen petition.  The question remains open on whether state law preempts Minneapolis from adopting a minimum wage as I argue below. Today the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether a Minneapolis charter amendment to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15/hr should be placed on the ballot in November.  The arguments will also address the appropriateness of another proposed charter amendment to require Minneapolis police officers to carry liability insurance. The...

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Minnesota’s Economy: No Beacon of Prosperity!

Today, the St. Cloud Times published this op-ed by American Experiment Senior Policy Fellow Kathy Kersten: If you’re like most Minnesotans, you may believe our state is doing great economically. We’ve long been proud of our renowned work ethic, our high educational attainment, and the many Fortune 500 companies that call our state home. But a new report from Center of the American Experiment details the worrisome clouds on our state’s economic horizon. The report makes clear that in recent years, Minnesota’s traditionally competitive economy has underperformed other states on most major economic indicators. Worse yet, our own state agencies forecast an even...

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Minnesota’s Economy Faces a Turning Point

Minnesota's economy faces a turning point. That's the message of American Experiment's new report, “Minnesota’s Economy: Mediocre Performance Threatens the State’s Future.” It's a report with statewide implications, so the Center will be on the road to share the findings in communities throughout Minnesota in the weeks and months to come. Our first town hall co-hosted by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce this week attracted entrepreneurs, legislators and other local officials. We also met with the editorial board of the St. Cloud Times to discuss workforce, job creation, tax and regulatory issues raised in the report. Local media outlets play an...

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Download American Experiment’s Blockbuster Report on Minnesota’s Economy

On August 15, the Center published a report by Dr. Joseph Kennedy titled "MINNESOTA’S ECONOMY: Mediocre Performance Threatens the State's Future." The report has gained a great deal of attention and has been hailed as a wake-up call for Minnesota's policymakers. To read or download the report, click here. ...

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