Latest Posts




  • Manufacturing companies are starting to see more job losses

    A lot of states are experiencing tremendous job loss due to the economic shutdown. In the beginning most of these job losses were concentrated in the service industry. But the manufacturing sector is starting to feel a squeeze from the shutdown. Manufacturing companies are temporarily cutting employment for sustainability or permanently cutting their workforce. Manufacturing has been hurt by both loss of business and also the high level of uncertainty surrounding the lockdown. Minnesota Manufacturing  Minnesota manufacturing companies are experiencing a worse downturn caused by the virus. Manufacturing companies are now laying off employee at higher and increasing rates. A...

  • Conflict of Interest Concerns Dog DFL Senator Hired by Duluth College

    No, it’s not a misprint. It’s the same guy, DFL Sen. Erik Simonson, who raised conflict of interest questions and concerns in some quarters in his last public sector job in his home base of Duluth. The state senator’s latest notch on his remarkable reinvention, from retired fireman to CEO of the Duluth Public Zoo to a top level administrator in higher education now at Lake Superior College, drew criticism in the Star Tribune. As the legislative session got underway in mid-February, Sen. Erik Simonson introduced a bill to secure nearly $1 million in state infrastructure bonds for a major expansion at Lake...

  • Our Perspective: New Suburban Solar Projects Part of a Wave of New Projects in Minnesota

    On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the Star Tribune ran a story entitled “New Suburban Solar Projects Part of a Wave of New Projects in Minnesota.” The article discusses businesses that claim the solar panels installed at their facilities will offset significant amounts of their electricity use, and will have a three to five year payback periods. Energy issues are complex, and the solar industry has a strong financial interest in only presenting the “sunny” side of their industry without discussing the negative consequences that stem from adding solar to the grid. Unfortunately, the article could have have been more balanced by...


  • A Blue-Ribbon, Blue-Collar Life

    As reported in a February obituary, it took an old high school friend a few years to learn he liked working with his hands a lot more than wearing fancy suits. Photo Source: The Baltimore Sun

  • Gov. Walz extends stay home order to May 4

    Governor Tim Walz has extended the stay at home order to May 4. Minnesotans are being urged to voluntarily comply with the Executive Order, which directs us to limit activities outside of our homes beyond essential needs. The Center urges Gov. Walz to consider adjusting his order to include relaxed restrictions for rural communities struggling to function.

  • To produce more masks, President Trump should lean on the FDA and CDC, not 3M

    Bashing a major multi-national like 3M might make for good Twitter, but it is very dangerous public policy. In the fight against the Coronavirus, it is more important that usual to think clearly: What is the problem? What is the solution? What are the obstacles to that? How can we get rid of them? Anything else, however satisfying emotionally, is a distraction. 

  • Teaching kids kindness during National Autism Awareness Month

    School bullying can occur in any educational setting. And even though students aren't in classrooms right now, veteran teacher Rebecca Friedrichs lists several ideas to teach children more about empathy for others and how to live out the Golden Rule even from home.