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 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 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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