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Journal Archive

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Beyond Buggy Whips
By John R. Van Hecke August 16, 2013

Things change. Despite considerable complexity, the idea that things change is remarkably simple. Absent additional inputs, systems move from order to disorder. This scientific…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Would You Let Me Perform Heart Surgery?
By John R. Van Hecke August 09, 2013

Beware of painless public policy prescription promises. Be especially wary of the painless promise makers. Specifically, I’m leveling my sights on the top-down, corporate-driven,…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Good Talking Point, Poor Policy
By John R. Van Hecke August 02, 2013

Despite data affirming Governor Dayton’s public policy directional course change, conservative public policymakers remain utterly convinced that tax increases and government spending are bad.…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Redressing Grievances
By John R. Van Hecke July 26, 2013

The Minnesota State Capitol, like any aging building, needs a structural overhaul. And, it’s getting one but deconstructing the drama reveals a much deeper…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Poverty Plaguing Schools
By John R. Van Hecke July 19, 2013

Minnesota’s schools reflect Minnesota’s strengths and weaknesses. School success flows from state and community values, goals and investments. Our schools are strong because we…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: No longer “that” Minnesota
By John R. Van Hecke July 12, 2013

Minnesota is changing. Whether your family arrived in 1853, 1883 or 1903, we’re no longer that Minnesota. In fact, if you arrived just five…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: A Most Patriotic Act
By John R. Van Hecke July 05, 2013

I spent Independence Day in my neighborhood park. We packed a lunch, lawn chairs and blankets, settling in for the day. Local elected officials…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: When “Too Much” Means “Too Little”
By John R. Van Hecke June 28, 2013

Over the last couple of weeks, Minnesota conservatives have jumped into a number of 2014 electoral contests. These raw, no-holds-barred partisan campaigns reveal very…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Wisconsin Drifts
By John R. Van Hecke June 21, 2013

Wisconsin isn’t so different from Minnesota. We both brew and consume beer. We both like cheese and can distinguish between the input and output…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Slow Motion Train Wreck
By John R. Van Hecke June 14, 2013

Even schools have to pay the rent. That’s one lesson from a recent revelation that the Minnesota School of Science owes the Minneapolis Public…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Mississippi’s Governor Said What?
By John R. Van Hecke June 07, 2013

Retreat is not a solution. Fewer, lesser investments yield lower returns whether in education or in business. Slashing a budget may save money but…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: When the Music Stops
By John R. Van Hecke May 31, 2013

Music is taking a beating. Fewer financial resources flow to school music programs. The Minnesota Orchestra musicians remain locked-out. Record sales are horrible. While…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: “Truth Will Out”
By John R. Van Hecke May 24, 2013

The 2013 Minnesota legislative session pleased and disappointed me. I’m not alone. Many progressives feel shortchanged by some of the session’s public policy outcomes.…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Building on, not trapped by, tradition
By John R. Van Hecke May 17, 2013

Grain elevators and small towns go together like grain elevators and small towns. They’re inseparable. The one doesn’t exist without the other. What happens…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Conservatives’ Pizza Problem
By John R. Van Hecke May 10, 2013

Conservative policy activists have a problem. Minnesota is rejecting conservative policy prescriptions. Their policy product fails to deliver on its promise of a better…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Diabetes Makes Me My Brother’s Keeper
By John R. Van Hecke May 03, 2013

Diabetes makes the case for affordable healthcare reform in Minnesota. It’s a long-term, grinding, expensive problem that impoverishes families, isolates the afflicted and diminishes…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: K-12’s Funding Renaissance
By John R. Van Hecke April 26, 2013

Knowledge is power. Knowledge is also a job path to prosperity and stability. Prosperity and stability flow from the purposeful application of knowledge to…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Long Winter Focuses Policymaking
By John R. Van Hecke April 19, 2013

It’s been a tough week. The Boston Marathon bombing cast a discomfiting pall. Winter’s persistent grip further shaded this bleak week, requiring more than…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: They’re Pre-wealthy, not Poor
By John R. Van Hecke April 12, 2013

Scratch the conservative public policy advocate soul hard enough and you’ll hit laissez-faire economics. Buried in romance and nostalgia, laissez-faire markets represent a perfect…

Embracing the Sun Won’t Burn Us
By Samantha Chadwick, Guest Commentary April 08, 2013

It’s the 21st century. Embracing the sun won't burn us. Each year, Minnesota spends more than $20 billion importing coal, oil and other dirty…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: The CSA Path to Greatness
By John R. Van Hecke April 05, 2013

I renewed my CSA subscription. It’s my modest step toward eating better, living more responsibly, moving Minnesota forward and saving the planet. That’s a…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: I am Not Happy (A Soliloquy)
By John R. Van Hecke March 29, 2013

Stage direction: Enter, stage left, striding to lower mid-stage while consulting several small pieces of note paper. Pause to mark a page. Place pencil…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Ending Cheese Puffs Public Policy
By John R. Van Hecke March 22, 2013

It’s time to own up to the truth. Conservative public policy is failing Minnesota. After several decades, including the past ten, intensive-effort years, conservative…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Moving Healthcare Forward over Conservative Opposition
By John R. Van Hecke March 08, 2013

This week, the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation establishing Minnesota’s health insurance exchange. (The legislation now moves to a conference committee…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Improving Childcare Starts at Home
By John R. Van Hecke March 01, 2013

Minnesota’s childcare policy debate begins with two incontrovertible truths. Good childcare isn’t cheap and childcare providers don’t make very much money. It may seem…

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