Latest Posts





Star Tribune Editorial Urges Bipartisan Focus on Center’s Economy Report

American Experiment’s new report on the state’s economy shows Minnesota’s performance has been average, at best, over the last 15 years, trailing many other states in job creation, income growth and other key benchmarks.  Moreover, leading indicators point to Minnesota’s economy performing below average in the years ahead. Today the Star Tribune published a lead editorial on the findings of our 37-page report, urging liberals to dig into the findings which deserve bipartisan attention. The report, “Minnesota’s Economy: Mediocre performance threatens the state’s future,” (http://tinyurl.com/joswboy) describes several worrisome trends. Among them: Overall growth in Minnesota as measured by gross domestic product (GDP)...

Continue reading

Is Minnesota A Good Place to Retire?

Financial World ranks the nine worst states to retire to, based on taxes and cost of living. They are mostly the usual suspects--New York, California, D.C., New Jersey, Oregon, Hawaii. And there at number 8 is Minnesota: The Land of 10,000 Lakes is consistently included in the list of least tax-friendly states for retirees. The state even taxes social security benefits. Even other retirement income like military, government, and private pensions are taxable. While the average household income for individuals 65 and older, which is at 13.7% below the U.S. average, is beneath the thresholds for highest tax bracket, the cost of...

Continue reading

When It Comes to the Economy, Minnesota Must Do Better

This is the op-ed that I had in the St.Paul Pioneer Press this morning. It is based on the groundbreaking paper by Dr. Joseph Kennedy titled "Minnesota's Economy: Mediocre Performance Threatens the State's Future." Some of the same factors that make Minnesota a great place to live ought to make for a strong economy — a well-educated work force, one of the country’s healthiest populations, a strong work ethic and plentiful natural resources. But a report by economist Joseph Kennedy released this week by Center of the American Experiment indicates that in recent years Minnesota’s economy has underperformed. In nearly every important...

Continue reading

The Left’s First Response to our Paper on Minnesota’s Economy

We have been all over Minnesota's newspapers and radio and television stations for the last couple of days, talking about Dr. Joseph Kennedy's important new paper on Minnesota's economy. We want to provoke debate and discussion, so we look forward to getting dissenting views from the Left. The first one came in yesterday, from the North Star Policy Institute. As one might expect, North Star whiffs. North Star begins by claiming that Minnesota is a red state, so if our economy is mediocre, conservative principles must be to blame. ("It is simply unbelievable to blame 'blue-state policies' for red state outcomes,"...

Continue reading

Watch This Space for Blockbuster Report on Monday

On Monday, the Center will release a comprehensive report on Minnesota's economy by PhD economist Joseph Kennedy. The report will be announced at press conferences at the Capitol in St. Paul, and later in Duluth. We will be looking for television as well as newspaper coverage, and have several newspaper op-eds and radio and television guest appearances scheduled to help amplify the rollout. What does Kennedy's report say? It is titled: "Minnesota's Economy: Mediocre Performance Threatens the State's Future." Dr. Kennedy finds that by nearly all conventional economic measures, Minnesota's economic performance over the past 15 years has been mediocre. Over...

Continue reading

Are Blue States Better?

Liberals constantly try to advance the narrative that blue (liberal) states perform better economically than red (conservative) states. Today the relentlessly left-wing New York Times printed an op-ed that was intended to demonstrate the superiority of blue-state policies. I wrote about it on my other web site, Power Line. Here is that post, with some additional comments at the end. *** The New York Times publishes a lot of dumb stuff, but this article by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson titled The Path to Prosperity Is Blue is a classic. It purports to show that liberal policies at the state level lead to...

Continue reading

Regulatory delay in approving pipeline puts tax revenue and jobs at risk in northern Minnesota

Enbridge—the company trying to gain approval to build the Sandpiper oil pipeline across northern Minnesota—just announced it is buying a $1.5 billion stake in the Dakota Access pipeline.   The purchase, according to the Star Tribune, puts the future of the Sandpiper pipeline “in doubt.”  That’s because the Dakota Access pipeline should provide enough new capacity to decrease Enbridge’s mid-term need for the Sandpiper pipeline. This is a huge blow to northern Minnesota’s economy.  An uncertain future for the Sandpiper pipeline means an uncertain future for $25 million in annual property taxes a new pipeline would contribute to revenue strapped northern Minnesota...

Continue reading

Top 8 Reasons to Hit the “Pause” Button on Light Rail and Fund Proven Steps to Reduce Congestion

As Minnesota road congestion grows, great sums of public dollars are being committed to an expensive and slow fixed rail system that moves few people and no freight. New transit spending should focus on much more cost effective ways to connect people to jobs, such as bus rapid transit. And projects to reduce congestion is the surest way to benefit our entire region. 1. Roads Work: Despite our social planners’ dreams to the contrary, the reality is that Minnesota’s businesses and workers overwhelmingly use roads to get to work and make the economy run. Over 87% of workers in the Metro...

Continue reading

Fergus Falls educators, manufacturers take on the skills gap

Facing an increasing shortage of skilled employees to fill jobs vacated by retiring baby boomers, manufacturers, educators and civic leaders in Fergus Falls teamed up last year to outfit a state-of-the-art manufacturing lab in the local high school--funded entirely by private donations. This triumph of community initiative prompted several representatives of Center of the American Experiment (CAE) to join longtime local legislator Bud Nornes in July for a town meeting to discover how activists raised almost $320,000 for high tech improvements to the lab in less than six months. “This is an example of what can happen when you have outstanding community...

Continue reading

Growth in Minnesota’s Median Household Income Doesn’t Lead the Nation

Last March Center of the American Experiment published “Minnesotans on the Move to Lower Tax States 2016,” in which I analyzed IRS migration data. Minnesota, according to this IRS data, has been consistently losing taxpaying households since 2002 and between 2013 and 2014 the state, on net, lost nearly $1 billion in income due to this negative migration trend. These data also provide convincing evidence that Minnesota’s high taxes are influencing decisions on where to move. People tend to be moving to lower tax states. Five of the ten states that, on net, receive the most Minnesotans don’t impose an income...

Continue reading