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Journal Archive

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Building Real Retirement Savings
By John Van Hecke February 07, 2014

No one is saving enough money to meet anticipated retirement needs. Not Minnesotans, not Iowans, not Mississippians, no one. This is a national problem…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Public Education and the Paradox of Value
By John Van Hecke January 24, 2014

When we debate public school bus transportation outsourcing, we’re really debating value. Does outsourcing, moving busing from a direct school district function to one…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Outsourcing Costs More Than It Saves
By John Van Hecke January 17, 2014

Outsourcing public services is a conservative article of faith. It’s the conviction that any collective community activity performed by government can be executed by…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Damned if We Do/Don’t on Asian Carp
By John Van Hecke January 10, 2014

Without considerable federal investment, Asian carp, an invasive, non-native fish, will reach and populate the Great Lakes. Even with that $18 billion projected effort,…

The New Year Brings Exciting Changes At Minnesota 2020
By Stuart Alger, Minnesota 2020 Board of Directors January 06, 2014

Last year was a banner year for progressives in Minnesota. We won a more progressive tax code, full marriage equality, a groundbreaking healthcare exchange,…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: True Liberty
By John R. Van Hecke January 03, 2014

This past year taught every Minnesotan about the high cost of conservative public policy consequences. The 2013 state legislative session revealed not just the…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Public Education as Commons
By John R. Van Hecke December 27, 2013

We’ve come to think of public education as a service rather than as a community asset for building prosperity, stability and growth. This attitude…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Helping Families Improves Schools
By John R. Van Hecke December 20, 2013

The one-room country school predates health insurance, medical clinics, food shelves, family planning services, after-school enrichment programs and community education. Yet, the one-room country…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: E-cigarettes are Bad for Minnesota
By John R. Van Hecke December 13, 2013

Electronic cigarettes have more in common with crack pipes than they do with conventional tobacco cigarettes. The traditional slender, white paper cigarette is a…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: School Memory Lapse
By John R. Van Hecke December 06, 2013

When I was in third grade, a sudden blizzard shutdown Walnut Grove schools, stranding the country kids in town overnight. My sister and I,…

Turkey to Soup to Progress
By John R. Van Hecke November 29, 2013

The day after Thanksgiving is sacred space for me. In my perfect world, I loll about the house reading, desperately trying to catch up…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Why Affordable Healthcare?
By John R. Van Hecke November 22, 2013

Affordable healthcare for all. That’s the progressive public policy goal. Expanding affordable healthcare increases family and community stability, serving long-term economic development, workforce development…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: From Demon Rum to Demonizing Teachers
By John R. Van Hecke November 15, 2013

Once upon a time in Minnesota, the Temperance Movement promised a simple solution to a complex societal problem. Prohibit alcohol’s manufacture, distribution and sale…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Voting for School Investment
By John R. Van Hecke November 08, 2013

Minnesotans sent a clear public policy signal in Tuesday’s elections. Schools are important and we’ll vote to put our pocketbooks behind our rhetoric. 77…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Challenge Poor Public Policy Ideas
By John R. Van Hecke November 01, 2013

Public policy and politics are inseparable. We can’t pretend otherwise. Good policy is almost always good politics but the reverse is rarely as neatly…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Craft Beer Strategy for Renewable Fuel
By John R. Van Hecke October 25, 2013

Ethanol is renewable fuel. It has changed public minds about renewable fuels’ legitimacy. The public policy question isn’t, consequently, about ethanol directly but about…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Healthcare Solutions Not Distractions
By John R. Van Hecke October 18, 2013

The goal is better, affordable healthcare. The Affordable Care Act steps in that direction. It’s a victory but not a triumph because this fight…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Obamacare and Occam’s Razor
By John R. Van Hecke October 11, 2013

Hard-right conservatives hate Obamacare. They’ve caused a partial federal government shutdown and are racing towards defaulting on the US debt repayment, all to force…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Washington’s the New Vegas
By John R. Van Hecke October 04, 2013

It took me awhile to figure this out but, among conservative public policy advocates, Washington is clearly the new Vegas. And, what happens in…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Gov’t Shutdown is a Wrecking Ball
By John R. Van Hecke September 27, 2013

A government shutdown is a bad idea. Let me repeat. A government shutdown—federal, state, township; any level—is a bad idea. It’s bad for business,…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Fear, Loathing, Distraction in Minneapolis
By John R. Van Hecke September 20, 2013

The dark arts of public policy distraction are alive and well in Minneapolis. When Minneapolis residents should be evaluating mayoral candidates’ policy and leadership…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Lifting Boats, Not Drowning People
By John R. Van Hecke September 13, 2013

Earning less money means having fewer spending choices. Less consumer spending ripples through the economy as reduced business activity but it tears through family…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: MNsure Operators Standing By!
By John R. Van Hecke September 06, 2013

On Tuesday, September 3, the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange’s telephone help desk went live. Next month, MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace, launches. And, in…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Immigration Reform’s Minnesota Impact
By John R. Van Hecke August 30, 2013

Immigrants are important to Minnesota. Rural or urban, north or south, first ring suburbs or newest exurb, immigrants are an essential part of Minnesota’s…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Recycling Ready for its Close-Up
By John R. Van Hecke August 23, 2013

Let’s get this straight. All recycling is garbage while most garbage is unrealized recycling. Got that? Good, because more recycling means less garbage. Less…

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