As House Speaker Kelliher communicated to the Governor: “Budget unallotment is a blunt instrument that reflects the difficult budget crisis confronting our state. It is important to identify the priorities that will ultimately make Minnesota stronger. That is one reason why the House wanted to ensure that resources continue to flow to our classrooms. While […]


Along with the immense financial and emotional toll job losses take on individuals, families and communities, there is a significant economic impact on state government and ultimately taxpayers. Several economists have studied the cost of unemployment on government. The most recent being a 2008 study by Lawrence Summers, the newly appointed Director of the White […]

The Ownership Society and Our Current Economics

The Bush administration promoted a new vision for how we ought to see ourselves in this country called ‘the ownership society’ and it is my belief we have just been witnessing the dark side of what that vision means from the Bush reaction to New Orleans to our current financial struggles all across the country. […]

Renewable Energy Payments Conference

A conference about a new way to create jobs and encourage renewable energy in your community. Sponsored by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance January 9, 2009 at Buntrock Commons, St. Olaf College, MN (click on names for directions) To register click here: To organize and inform decision makers via a one-day conference to highlight the […]


Gov. Pawlenty believes that the State of Minnesota still spends too much money and again wants to swallow the idea that we can solve our budget shortfall without increasing revenue. We have to live within our means, he says. He’s worried about the habit we have of living off our Federal credit card and so […]


Recently I was in a meeting with several legislators who got some advice from former Gov. Arne Carlson. He said we have two problems: one, the budget and the second, job creation. He urged us to be as creative as we could about the latter. He echoed the words of State Economist Tom Stinson who […]


(A series of blogs on our current economic situation) When you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answer. That bit of wisdom certainly holds when we face budget deficits measured in the billions of dollars and growing by the day. Here’s what I mean. The question we most often hear is this: “How […]

“My Spirit Sings of Wondrous Things”

I recently attended the St. Olaf Christmas concert and was reminded how moving the choir performances can be. It was a rich selection from a variety of cultural backgrounds of Lutheran and Christian music performed by the various choirs and orchestra. In addition to a number of folk tunes from across the globe I was […]

Minnesota’s Budget Forecast

State Economist Tom Stinson reported this week about Minnesota’s economy and the current budget deficit. According to Stinson, Minnesota is facing the longest and deepest economic recession since 1942. Having already lost 30,000 jobs over the last twelve months, Stinson predicts Minnesota will lose an additional 77,000 jobs by this time next year. The international […]