Bill Cooper: TCF Bank CEO Is Minnesota's Poster Boy for Income Inequality

Categories: Economy

Stylish turtlenecks and seven-figure stock options equal winning for TCF Bank CEO Bill Cooper.

Dinging college kids and single parents with $37 overdraft charges sure does add up.

At least that's what can be gleaned from TCF Bank CEO Bill Cooper's phat 2014 compensation package.

See also:
TCF Bank Stadium built with U of M students' overdraft fees

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Amazon, One of America's Worst Employers, Wants to Open Center in Shakopee

Categories: Economy, Jobs

Scott Lewis
Amazon warehouse workers typically earn way less than even their counterparts at Walmart

Hourly wages approaching the poverty level. A supposedly flexible workplace where students are told, "We don't work around school schedules." A bonus program for employees that never pays out because of bionic expectations.

Minnesotans may soon be able to apply for jobs offering these perks. Internet giant Amazon is in negotiations to erect a distribution center on 66 acres in Shakopee.

See also:
Fast-food workers storm an Uptown McDonald's to demand $15 minimum wage

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Trucking Most Popular Job in Minnesota

Categories: Economy

Photo by Ray Forster

We all like to think the decline of "Made in the USA" coincides with a new era of information technology jobs sweeping the nation, but things aren't changing much up here in Minnesota. We were mostly truck drivers in 1978, and we're still trucking as of 2014.

Most of the country, in fact, consists of truckers, according to an NPR census crunch of the most popular jobs in each state.

See also:

Minnesota Rated Best State in the Country by Politico

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20,000 Layoffs Predicted in North Dakota Due to Low Oil Prices

Tim Evanson via Flickr
20,000 layoffs predicted by June
One of the happiest surprises American consumers have experienced lately is ridiculously cheap gas, which is now priced at a five-year low.

While consumers whistle while they pump, signs of a bust in the North Dakota oil fields are beginning to show.

See also:
University of North Dakota Suspends Basketball Announcer For Saying "Choke Job"

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Book: Vaporized Pig Brains Are Torturing Austin's Migrant Meatpackers

fleur design

Years have passed since Pablo Ruiz worked as a floor supervisor inside a swine slaughterhouse in Austin, Minnesota. Yet his body remains in constant pain, the result, medical experts say, of inhaling a daily dose of pig brain tissue mist.

According to Ted Genoways, author the new book The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food, Ruiz, was one of the roughly two dozen former workers -- 90 percent of them Hispanic -- at the Spam factory in southern Minnesota, who in 2006 showed symptoms of a bizarre neurological disease that caused body fatigue and extreme pain in the extremities, as well as swelling of the spine and brain.

See also:
Mist of pig brain tissue sickened slaughterhouse workers

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Essar, Minnesota's New Mining Giant, Caught Repeatedly Falsifying Pollution Records


The Essar Group will launch its $1.8 billion taconite plant in Nashwauk sometime next year -- with the state of Minnesota kicking in $66 million in loans and infrastructure bonds.

But riding along with the Iron Range's largest project in 40 years will be Essar's record of providing fraudulent environmental records to regulatory officials.

See also:
Will Mining Save or Destroy Northern Minnesota?

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Minnesota Isn't Very Socialist, but Some Red States Are Practically Commie

Categories: Economy, Politics

People from states where "Terrorist Hunting License" bumper stickers proliferate love to hear the Michele Bachmanns and John Klines of the world blister on about America's creeping socialism. The sickening growth of government, they warn, is about to suffocate the last gasps of the American Dream.

Under this line of logic, blue states are the driving force, with effete liberal cauldrons like California, New York, and -- weep! -- Minnesota leading the way.

The one small problem: It's just not so.

See also:
Bachmann battles nefarious socialists with Twitter

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The Numbers Don't Lie: Twin Cities Is Best Place for Millennials

Categories: Economy

Ben Johnson
Millennials have it pretty good in the Twin Cities

Over at Vox, writer Matt Yglesias crunched the numbers and found the Twin Cities offer the best economic conditions for millennials in the country.

Yglesias wrote that the metro's high median household income, low cost of living, housing affordability, and high level of economic mobility all factor into the Twin Cities' top ranking.

See also:
Minnesota Will be the Best Place to Live in 20 Years, Gallup Study Says

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Local Progressives Rejoice After Obama Finally Backs Net Neutrality

Blais Alleyne
Upcoming political and legal battles will determine the internet's future

In a statement that drew nonsensical metaphors from the right and belated optimism from the left, President Obama finally publicly supported equal internet access for all yesterday.

Obama's statement set the stage for a legal and political battle newly re-elected Sen. Al Franken has repeatedly called "the First Amendment Issue of our time."

See also: The Fall of Net Neutrality: Cable's Plot to Destroy the Internet

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Despite Feds Cracking Down on Shady Tax Moves, Medtronic Keeps Dodging

Categories: Economy, Taxes

Cover of our October 1 issue

The Feds are trying to hold Medtronic's feet to the fire for its shady, shady tax moves (as we outlined in last week's cover story), but it appears nothing will stop the company from moving overseas to avoid paying higher taxes in the United States.

The controversy stems from Medtronic's proposed purchase of the medical device company Covidien, based in Ireland, earlier this year. The purchase was tricky, designed so that Medtronic could stay in the United States but put its new headquarters in Ireland and take full advantage of the tax benefits.

See also:
Medtronic Isn't Leaving America, It's Just Stiffing Us With The Bill

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