ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith made some waves in Minnesota recently with speeches and media appearances related to his most recent masterpiece, a book that serves as something of a socioeconomic historical whodunit, entitled “Who Stole the American Dream?” Most Minnesotans probably know a little something about how overall economic inequality has worsened over the last 40 year... Read More
STAR TRIBUNE No word has been more effective than “competitiveness” in advancing a business agenda with a rather narrow focus over the last 30 years. Since the early 1980s, in Minnesota and across America, we’ve been told that — for the sake of international competitiveness — jobs had to be outsourced, wages and pensions and health care benefits downsized, and environmental and financial regulations reduced. In... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT Opposition by many whites to civil rights for blacks, in the South and elsewhere, was based not just on visceral racial bigotry, but on a fundamental misunderstanding of economics and sociology. In the view of many white farmers and workers, especially those on the lower rungs of society, if you gave your socioeconomic inferiors more opportunity to compete with you, or allowed them the education and resour... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT USA Today recently published an op-ed with a headline as stark and simple as any you’ll see in the ongoing debate over causes and remedies for our widening student success gaps along lines of income and race, and our overall decline on global education rankings. That headline: “A poverty, not education, crisis in the U.S.’’ Addressing the predictable hand-wringing over our nation&... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT A heated exchange about causes and possible responses to widening economic inequality broke out recently among some of the Minnesota Legislature’s more senior leaders in a meeting of the House-Senate Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy. The clash pitted Senate Minority Leader David Hann and state Rep. Greg Davids, who essentially argued that inequality trends were normal or unimporta... Read More
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