News & Updates

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

Libertarianism’s Iron Cage: From Ayn Rand to Rand Paul

This article is the best exposition of libertarianism that I’ve ever read, tracing its intellectual origins and current popularity in conservative circles. In Wolfe’s view, libertarianism is rigidly individualistic, holding that government should not interfere in the rational pursuit of self-interest. Such a philosophy leaves no room for the state to act as a countervailing force to protect citizens from the vagaries of market forces and rationalistic capitalism. Libertarianism—as envisioned by its matron saint Ayn Rand—is the mirror reversal of Marxism; whereas Marxists view capitalists as leeching off the value produced by labor, libertarians posit the exact opposite.

Stephanie Fenner

Carli Lloyd: Why I’m Fighting for Equal Pay

Two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion and 2015 FIFA Player of the Year Carli Lloyd has been making news recently for standing up for equal pay. She joined four teammates in filing a wage-discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer late last month, demanding equal pay for equal work. In the New York Times, Lloyd defended her position, stating:

Our beef is not with the men’s national team; we love those guys, and we support those guys. It’s with the federation, and its history of treating us as if we should be happy that we are professional players and not working in the kitchen or scrubbing the locker room.

A powerful proponent for equal pay, Lloyd points out that women being mistreated financially is not a breaking news story, but that she and her teammates are done waiting around. It’s time to reward work no matter your gender.

Big Debt, Big Deal

Minnesota is living under a $27 billion mountain of student loan debt.1 A student graduating in Minnesota today has an average of $31,000 in debt.2 Whether we realize it or not, it is affecting both individuals and the broader community. The challenge of student loan...

Minnesota Business Tax Rate Equals U.S. Average

Business groups—including the Minnesota Business Partnership and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce—actively cultivate the notion that business taxes in the Gopher State are high relative to the rest of the nation. However, total state and local business taxes as a share...

Ensure Respect for Minimum Wage Laws

(Note: This article is co-authored with Laura Huizar, a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project in Washington, D.C.) A few weeks ago, the St. Paul City Council introduced a draft ordinance that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. That’s a...

Caring in Central Minnesota

Minnesota is getting older every day.1 The aging of our population is increasing demand for home health and personal care workers. We also continue to have population growth through both immigration and natural growth. To fill the needs of our changing population we...

Gas Tax Buys One-Third Less Today Than in 2000

The single largest source of funding for Minnesota’s transportation system comes from the state gas tax. However, the purchasing power of that tax has dropped by over one-third over the course of the century, leaving funding for state roads and bridges in a precarious...

State Aids: The Shrinking Slice of the City Revenue Pie

City property taxes have increased significantly in recent decades. Even after adjusting for inflation and population growth, the property taxes collected by Minnesota cities have increased by 48% from 1990 to 2018. However, real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per capita...

Government Growth in Context

Shocking claims of growth in government abound. However, viewed in context of the economic, demographic, and societal changes that have occurred over the last fifty years, the growth in government is far less astounding than the sound-bite statistics indicate. For...

Impact of Legislative Decisions on School Funding

State aid to Minnesota school districts—properly adjusted for inflation—has fluctuated significantly over the last fifteen years, but the overall trend has been downward, as documented in a recent North Star report. Of course, long-term trends are not exclusively the...

Minnesota’s Shared Health

Minnesotans value a high quality of life. It is part of the Minnesota story and one of our competitive advantages. This includes having healthy people in healthy communities. Historically, policy makers have recognized the importance of health care access by investing...

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