ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT The annual summit meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures, a big show that’s coming to the Twin Cities next month, features a breakout session labeled “Keeping the American Dream Alive.” That’s a rather cosmic policy objective on a calendar that includes wonky sessions on how to manage public employee pensions and the latest developments in voting technology. But ... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT A recent report by the national research group PolicyLink features three maps showing Minnesota’s changing demographics over the course of 60 years, with each of our state’s 87 counties shaded to indicate the evolution of our diversity. Source: Policy Link, U.S. Census Bureau, Woods & Poole Economics. The 1980 map is almost all homogenous, with people of color comprising more than... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT When popular will reaches critical mass around a common goal — whether it’s smoke-free restaurants, or landing on the moon, or ending legal segregation, or allowing women to vote, or letting people marry the person of their choice — things can move awfully fast. The dam breaks, the ice goes out, opposition becomes trivial, a new paradigm replaces the old, and we move on to the next obstac... 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 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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