Archive for October 2016

Minnesota City Spending Below the National Average

Among conservatives, Minnesota has a reputation as a high spending, big government state. North Star examined these claims earlier this year and found that state and local government revenues and spending—examined in the property context—were actually fairly typical of other states. Data from the quinquennial Census of Governments (CoG) from the U.S. Census Bureau that…

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U.S. and Minnesota Poverty Rates Down in 2015

In addition to showing sharp growth in income and earnings in 2015, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau released last month also showed a significant reduction in poverty, both in Minnesota and the nation as a whole. With the improvements shown in the new data, Minnesota now ranks among the bottom three states in…

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The Reason for School Referenda

The Fall season is in full swing. Leaves are dropping, there is a chill in the air, and school district referenda are on the ballot. Next month, 32 Minnesota school districts will hold operating referenda, while a number of other districts will hold capital project and building bond referenda. [Correction, 10/25/16: 31 operating referenda are…

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Union Jobs Pay Better Wages

The trend of stagnant and declining wages for low- and moderate-wage workers coincides with the decline of union membership, as demonstrated in the first part of this article. Both of these trends also coincide with a long-term pattern of anemic economic performance. Reversal of these trends will involve a restoration of workers’ rights to organize…

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How Wage Stagnation Contributes to a Lackluster National Economy

Wage stagnation—a major contributor to income inequality in the U.S.—is a particular problem for workers at the middle and lower end of the wage scale. While the wages of workers in high-wage jobs has continued to grow in recent decades, the wages of low- and moderate-wage workers have been stagnant, and have actually declined since…

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Education Alone Does Not Explain the Racial/Ethnic Earnings Gap

Americans in general experienced strong earnings growth from 2014 to 2015; this was especially true for blacks and Hispanics, as noted in the preceding article in this series. Over the longer term, however, the earnings gap between white Americans and most minority groups has increased. Disparities in education levels contribute to—but by no means fully…

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2015 Earnings Finally Surpass Pre-Great Recession Levels

Median earnings among Americans have finally exceeded pre-Great Recession levels, according to 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Current Population Survey (CPS), thanks to strong growth from 2014 to 2015. Growth in earnings was a major contributor to the substantial growth in total income, described in part one and part two of this…

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Billions in Tax Revenue Lost Through Foreign Tax Havens

U.S. corporations have stashed profits totaling trillions of dollars in offshore tax havens, potentially avoiding billions in federal taxes, according to a new report issued by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF). States also lose revenue when corporations and wealthy individuals avoid taxes through the use of foreign tax havens.…

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