News: An arcane American law protected by powerful interests is causing insane traffic jams   source: Quartz  

What does a hundred-year-old law that forces goods transported between American ports to use American-made ships have to do with traffic and L.A. and possibly our economy in North Dakota? Erik Olson asks the question (about the Traffic in L.A. part) and provides the analysis of the trickle down regulatory effect and the unintended consequences. This law is so ingrained in our culture we may have forgotten we can […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary: Our economic future depends on storytellers   source: Quartz  

Heard a good story lately? It’s kind of a trick question, because if you did, you may not even know it. Storytelling is a time-honored art form, but we’re just now discovering the relevance it has to what we think, who we trust, and how we act. And our ability to spin a yarn may just be the key to success in an economy that is rapidly evolving […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Tech workers brace for Seattle’s plan to ‘tax the rich’   source: NPR  

The City of Seattle is on a pathway toward attempting to solve their low-income housing and public transit challenges by implementing an income tax on individuals earning more than $250,000 per year and couples earning more than $500,000. It’s not the first policy initiative Seattle has undertaken to attempt to make the City more livable for lower income residents; Seattle is also in the process of implementing a […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: First tech, now financing: U.S. shale firms get creative to pump more oil   source: Reuters  

Necessity is the mother of invention, and we’ve experienced that first hand here in the North Dakota oil patch. The necessity was to survive an OPEC supply assault intended to force shale operators out of the market with lower prices. The invention was better, more efficient ways to drill. And as the term of the low prices extends, financing the operation seems to be the next part of […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: The amount of US land used to grow wheat is at the lowest in almost a century   source:   

Wheat markets are in flux right now, and the price is on the rise. A late season snowstorm in Kansas, drought in North Dakota are all factors, but so too is the fact that there were fewer wheat acres planted this year than at any point since the government began tracking the information in 1919. Quartz has the story on the market realities facing one of the area’s […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Commentary, News: The Government Shouldn’t Compete With Private Businesses for Profits   source: Say Anything Blog.com  

Rob Port with the Say Anything Blog weighs in on the City of Minot’s proposed garbage pick-up policy revisions that would result in a mandated change of service from private haulers to City-provided garbage pick-up. The law change would capture about 1,200 multi-residential units. At a Committee of the Whole meeting this week, members of City Council advanced the ordinance to consideration at the July 10 meeting with […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Five members named to state Economic Development Foundation board   source: Bismarck Tribune  

The Economic Development Foundation board was established by the legislature in 2001 to provide an oversight role for the state’s economic development efforts. What’s curious about the appointments and the larger board makeup is there isn’t a single member from Minot on the 17-member board. The larger question is does that matter? Is this a board that’s doing meaningful work, and if it is, is it a sign […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Minneapolis City Council gives tentative approval to $15 minimum wage   source: Star Tribune  

It appears the minimum wage experiments in cities across the U.S. will continue. Minneapolis is the latest large city to take up the economically-controversial topic with a proposal to raise minimum wages to $15 per hour. Seattle recently implemented their own mandated wage increase, and in that case, there’s data that suggest the policy backfired. In Minneapolis, the city is taking a more gradual approach by requiring the […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Seattle’s minimum-wage increase made the most vulnerable workers poorer   source: Quartz  

In the battle for a higher minimum wage, the logic seems clear; raise wages for the lowest earners among us to bring them closer to a living wage. It’s great in intention, but it would now seem that in real world practice, it doesn’t play out that way. Seattle has gone through two significant minimum wage raises since 2015, and the data is starting to bear out. Yes, […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

News: Grand Forks Voters choose to build on Arbor Park after close vote   source: Grand Forks Herald  

Grand Forks residents narrowly chose economic activity and a new development in downtown Grand Forks over keeping a park that was put in place following the 1997 flood. But a quote from Grand Forks City Council President Dana Sande is perhaps most telling in how the City will move forward. “The thing that should never be lost is, there are a bunch of people that voted ‘yes’ that wanted […]

Summary by: Josh Wolsky

Evidence for a New Economic Development Model?

Commentary, News: Evidence for a New Economic Development Model?

Economic growth, economic diversity, these are buzzwords in North Dakota and in Minot right now. The City’s NDR application talks about it; our consultant on the project, CDM Smith, even has a $300,000 budget to create an ‘Economic Development Strategic Plan for Minot & Ward County’. We also have the MAGIC fund, a sales-tax-funded pot of money earmarked toward providing ‘incentives’ for primary sector businesses. Luring new businesses […]