Fixing Minnesota's employment gap

  • Article by: DANE SMITH
  • Updated: June 15, 2013 - 7:41 PM

A look at the causes and what can be done.

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pumiceJun. 15, 13 6:17 PM

From the article: "[The racial gap in homeownership] is the latest in a drum roll of grim news accounts of wide race gaps here — in educational attainment, in unemployment, in health outcomes, in incarceration rates ..." Another gap which deserves to be named is "loss in wealth following the crash of the mortgage/credit bubble." Hispanics and African Americans--last to experience the American dream of home ownership--lost wealth at a very high rate. Higher rates of unemployment led to a vicious cycle of foreclosure, loss of retirement accounts, loss of savings, increased credit card debt at a higher cost and a widening wealth gap in addition to a persistent income gap.

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jackpine091Jun. 15, 13 6:21 PM

Until some of the cultures addressed in this article embrace the importance of education, the nuclear family and a sense of responsibility for their own success, nothing will change. If people want a better life, they should look in the mirror first.

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pumiceJun. 15, 13 6:21 PM

From the article: "[A]ssets (money, property, education, skills and networks) compound success, while a lack of such assets compounds failure." Maybe Ronald Reagan's optimism was misplaced... maybe someone's already gotten the pony that was in the pile of manure.

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jbpaperJun. 15, 13 6:31 PM

Is it a coincidence that Minnesota, known for it's social programs, has wide gap in things such as education, employment, incarceration rates, home ownership among other things?

While we do need to have programs to take care of those among us that are truly needy, we need to be careful not to go to far with these programs. If we go to far, we start attracting people who are more interested in living off the system than being productive members of society. Why be productive when you give live off the government and if that's not enough, commit crimes to make ends meet?

Maybe the Strib and/or Mr Smith's organization could look into what percentage of people receiving government assistance have lived here for 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. They could even go further and look at those that dropped out of school or are incarcerated and see how long they have lived here.

Bottom line is, are these gaps a homegrown problem or is it a result of people moving here from other cities/countries. You can't have an honest discussion about this without looking at all the elements.

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jurburJun. 15, 1310:16 PM

This piece is a convoluted mess.

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mdachsJun. 16, 1312:55 AM

If we honestly look at long term immigration trends over the past 100 years, we will see that immigrants from Europe (Germany, Italy, Ireland, etc.) were in the bottom rung of society with respect to income, education, and quality of life. Why do we expect that current immigrants from various countries should expect to be at the middle or the top of the quality of living standard? Our national history is that immigrants start at the bottom and work their way up the economic ladder.

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djb813Jun. 16, 13 6:38 AM

It is interesting that this comes out on fathers day because one of the biggest determiners of poverty is being raised without a father in the home. No amount of government programs and education can make up for the absence of a father.

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time4changeJun. 16, 13 7:33 AM

We are willing to spend millions to give poor people subsidized or free housing (for years & years), monthly cash, and food stamps, but we aren't willing to fund and require training in even a 2 yr tech school program to get them employed. We create dependency. Other states don't have near the great welfare we do, neither do they have the high taxes we do. Business also needs to do their part. I haven't made $12.00 an hour for over 20 years, but I sure do now. It's not just jobs disappearing, its wages regressing. When I lost my job, I got roommates that I didn't want to have to help me make my house pmt so I didn't lose my house. I'm just say'n.

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unionbossmanJun. 16, 13 8:02 AM

Employment gap is due to the education gap. Education gap is due to parents not caring enough about their children's education to work with them at home and hold the accountable. It's not rocket science.

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Flicka1492Jun. 16, 13 8:13 AM

Dane: poor research, poor writing. The "gap" exists because most of the "cosmopolitan colorfulness" comes from a wretched background: inner-city Chicago, Detroit, Gary. They are the product of LBJ's Great Society. They have come to Minnesota in large part because of higher welfare benefits...so don't be surprised when they bring with them all the problems of a welfare state. You really think a single mom on welfare and her three kids who move from Chicago are going to compete academically with a married couple and three children from (fill in the Minnesota town: Glencoe, Hibbing, Rochester, Minnetonka...) Sez the article: Racial bias must be admitted and faced head-on. As Minnesota has been transformed over the last 40 years from 98 percent white to a more cosmopolitan colorfulness, we’ve all winced on hearing otherwise decent Minnesotans imply that “they” are just too “different.” In our Upper Midwest parlance, that translates more or less to “inferior,” and at least implies something like an inevitable apartness, a separate fate.

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