Posts by Stephanie Fenner

Local Control Benefits Minnesotans Statewide

Executive Summary Conservatives and large corporations are attempting to pass preemption legislation – an innocuous name for laws to restrict local communities from choosing greater benefits or wage laws than state minimum standards, like earned sick and safe time, and paid parental leave. These proposals look out for businesses’ bottom lines at the expense of…

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School Vouchers are the Wrong Choice

Many in the conservative movement advocate for “school choice”: aka educational reform in the way of school vouchers, but there are waves and waves of research that suggest private school vouchers harm students who receive them. But first: What are school vouchers? The concept originated with Milton Friedman, and is essentially a strategy to privatize…

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Comparing Health Care Premium Relief Proposals

This week, both Governor Dayton and the Republican-led legislature released proposals to help Minnesotans deal with spikes in health care premiums. Governor Dayton originally proposed his plan in October 2016, while the GOP plan is new. Both proposals spend about $300 million on premium relief, and include a 25 percent rebate. That’s about where the…

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Mid-Week Reads: Merkel and Minnesotans' Income

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week. Jeff Van Wychen Merkel’s Mettle The current world leader that I admire above all others is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel has risked her political career by welcoming one million Syrian refugees to…

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Mid-Week Reads: Minnesota's Economy and Colin Kaepernick

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week. Jeff Van Wychen The Center of the American Experiment Report on Minnesota’s Economy? It’s Politics, Not Economics. Saint John’s University economist and regular MinnPost contributor Louis Johnston critiques the recent CAE report on…

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Mid-Week Reads: Economics and Early Ed

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week. Jeff Van Wychen The Third Way: Share-the-Gains Capitalism Economist and for U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich outlines three economic systems in America: (1) “no-lose socialism” for the uber-rich, in which they get lavish…

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The 1% vs. the Rest of Us

We hear a lot about income inequality, and thanks to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), we now have some state-, county-, and metropolitan area-level data to take a closer look at local inequalities. According to EPI: “Income inequality has risen in every state since the 1970s and in many states is…

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Mid-Week Reads: Intelligence and Pollution

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week. Jeff Van Wychen The War on Stupid People Intelligence—narrowly defined in terms as the kind of “smarts” that is measured by SAT scores—is an attribute that only about one-third of Americans have, according…

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