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Help Wanted!

American Experiment is growing. We are currently looking for a Policy Fellow whose primary assignment will be assisting our existing Senior Policy Fellows. You can read about the position at TalentMarket.org. This is the job description: Center of the American Experiment is Minnesota’s think tank. Its mission is to change Minnesota’s civic culture by promoting free-market, limited government policies. In addition to writing and commissioning papers, holding public meetings, and informing legislators, the Center engages in an aggressive outreach program including op-eds, radio ads, videos, emails, an active web site (www.americanexperiment.org), a quarterly magazine, Thinking Minnesota, Facebook, and more. Through these...

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Met Council signs $118 million contract to design 27 SWLRT trains despite ongoing uncertainty over funding

The Met Council just approved a $118 million contract to design 27 new trains for the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project. This hefty contract shows the Met Council is truly going full steam ahead with the project even after the 2016 Legislature refused to authorize the final $144.5 million in state funding required to complete the project. Last year Met Council Chair Adam Duininck pledged that the SWLRT project would not proceed without legislative approval.  In a July 2015 letter to Rep. Tim Kelly, chair of the House Transportation Committee, Duininck offered this assurance, “Should the Legislature ultimately choose not...

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What It Means To Be Minnesota’s Think Tank

You no doubt have noticed that our web site says Center of the American Experiment is "Minnesota's Think Tank." We use that phrase a lot--on t-shirts, on the radio, and elsewhere. We aren't Minneapolis's think tank, or the Twin Cities' think tank: we are Minnesota's think tank. The Center's mission is to bring our messages of opportunity, limited government and government accountability to all Minnesotans. Toward that end, we have placed op-eds in 59 Minnesota newspapers so far in 2016. Some of these are familiar, large-circulation papers like the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But we have...

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St. Cloud Mall Attack Raises More Questions About Gun-Free Zones

Nearly 48 hours later, new facts continue to filter out of St. Cloud on the investigation into what may be Minnesota's first "lone-wolf" terrorist attack. So far no evidence has surfaced to back up Isis' claim of involvement.  But after closer scrutiny of the security surveillance footage,  it turns out there's a tenth victim of Dahir Adan's stabbing rampage. The 21 year old St. Cloud man did not seek medical attention and did not report his injuries to authorities. Jason Falconer, the off-duty policeman who shot the perpetrator dead and prevented a likely bloodbath, has also kept a low profile. But...

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Even Where It’s Good, Minnesota’s Economy Isn’t Great

Mankato is one of Minnesota's most prosperous cities. Yet, as Peter Nelson pointed out in an op-ed in the Mankato Free Press, even Minnesota's best-performing areas are not enjoying an outstanding economy by the standards of our neighboring states. In a recent fedgazette article, The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis spotlighted how Mankato’s economy has been outperforming the state as a whole on a number of measures. The city boasts an unemployment rate well below the state rate and has experienced stronger growth in employment, labor force and population over the past 10 years. That’s good news for Mankato relative to Minnesota....

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Send Us a Photo In an American Experiment T-Shirt or Hat and Win Free Admission

Our own Kim Crockett is at Hillsdale College in Michigan, and sent us this photo wearing our new American Experiment t-shirt and hat, posing with Margaret Thatcher. Which gave us an idea: if you buy a Center t-shirt or hat and send us a photo with an appropriately conservative theme, you will win one free admission to any American Experiment event--even our Annual Dinner! Do the math! You could save a lot of money. All we ask in return is that you wear the t-shirt or hat frequently, and be prepared to answer questions from strangers. Like, "What is a think...

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Join Us On Labor Day at the Minnesota State Fair!

This year, American Experiment will have a highly visible presence at the Minnesota State Fair. We are sponsoring WCCO radio at the fair on Labor Day. We will have sponsor announcements hourly, along with 30-second ads, and we will man a table at the WCCO booth. We will greet visitors and hand out Center publications, including the next issue of Thinking Minnesota and the blockbuster report on Minnesota's economy by Dr. Joseph Kennedy that we will release on August 15. We will also raffle off t-shirts...

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Democrats’ health care law responsible for the turmoil besetting Minnesota’s individual insurance market

The Star Tribune editorial board continues to think ideological blinders are still in fashion.  That’s my main takeaway from their recent editorial on Minnesota’s individual insurance market. The editorial highlights the urgent need to fix a “colossal problem” with Minnesota’s individual insurance market. Colossal, indeed. Since the moment Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations were fully implemented in 2014, Minnesota’s individual insurance market has been under constant assault and, on its current trajectory, will implode sooner than any ACA critics, myself included, predicted. As editorialists, they could not help but call out someone for being responsible for this mess. Who were the lucky recipients...

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High Cost of Doing Business in Minnesota No Deal Breaker for CNBC

There they go again. CNBC just ranked Minnesota as the nation's fourth best state for business in the financial network's 2016 annual rankings. In a state where being above average is an integral part of the folk lore, there's a real temptation to take the ranking to heart. Sure, Minnesota appears in good company, behind Utah, Texas, Colorado and just ahead of North Carolina. Yet it turns out Minnesota's standing rests significantly on two factors that have little directly to do with the business of business--quality of life and education. When it comes to those metrics, Minnesota can hardly be beaten, finishing...

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Last night my wife and I, along with two of our adult daughters, saw the documentary Weiner. The film was shot during Anthony Weiner's campaign in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York. It offers an extraordinary look at a candidate and a campaign in the midst of an implosion. The documentary opens with a clip of Weiner giving a speech in the House. It is a reminder of what a vicious partisan he was. Watching that opening, you might think--as I did--that his downfall couldn't have happened to a more miserable son of a b****. On the other hand,...

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