I’m shocked, shocked: forecasted budget surplus shrinks

I'm shocked, shocked... I can’t say I’m surprised that Minnesota’s projected budget surplus fell from $1.2 billion to $900 million for the remainder of the 2015-2017 biennium. The large surpluses we’ve experienced the past few years and the large projected surpluses are caused by the same phenomenon: our state government’s dependence on the income tax. The individual income tax yields about … [Read more...]

Craft college

Will machines take our jobs? It’s a perennial question, one posed regularly since the Industrial Revolution and probably since humans started making tools. Three recent articles focused my thinking about this question, generally, and how it applies to higher education, in particular. First, Steven Wilf and Peter Siegleman make an important point in their article, “How Digital Technology Spawned … [Read more...]

It Can’t Happen Here

I live in the land of Garrison Keillor and Sinclair Lewis.  Most of the time I find Keillor a more accurate guide to current American life.  That is, we’re usually much like Lake Wobegon: all the men are strong, all the women are good looking, and all the children are above average.  We go to Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery, attend Lake Wobegon Lutheran or Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility, eat … [Read more...]