Let’s Develop Our Resources!

As regular readers know, I retired from the law business at the end of 2015 and now am running America’s most dynamic think/action tank, Center of the American Experiment. We didn’t set out to be Trumpian, but we are aligned with the administration in advocating for the “real” economy. In my view, it is not enough to be a nation of app developers and investment bankers. If you look around, every single thing you see was manufactured, mined and/or grown. How did we get to the point where our national government stopped caring about the physical reality of our economy?

My organization fights for the tangible economy in a number of ways, for example our Great Jobs project, which advocates for technical alternatives to the traditional four-year college degree. Or our energy project, which exposes the inefficient cronyism behind “green” energy and promotes reliable, efficient energy sources.

Then there is our mining project. Minnesota is home to perhaps the greatest repository of undeveloped mineral resources in the world. Those resources, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, are undeveloped because of mindless liberal opposition. We are trying to change this.

Two weeks ago, we released a comprehensive report titled “Unearthing Prosperity: How Environmentally Responsible Mining Will Boost Minnesota’s Economy.” And the economic potential of non-ferrous mining is the cover story in the current issue of Thinking Minnesota, America’s #1 think tank-published magazine.

Our economist, holder of an advanced degree from the London School of Economics, estimates the value of developing even a modest portion of Minnesota’s mineral wealth at $3.7 billion per year for Minnesota’s economy, with an increment of 8,500 jobs. I don’t know whether Donald Trump is aware of our mining report, but this is precisely the kind of economic development that Trump is all about. And, as our report shows–it is co-authored by Debra Struhsacker, one of the world’s leading environmental consultants to the mining industry–modern mining coexists happily with a pristine environment.

In support of our mining project, we have placed radio ads on more than 70 Minnesota stations, and we have erected billboards around the state. This is what they look like:

On Tuesday, we launched a television advertising campaign that we expect will reach more than 1.1 million Minnesotans over the next three weeks. This is the TV ad. We were happy that Kevin McHale, a Minnesota athletic icon, agreed to participate:

We are promoting this longer version of the ad on the internet. It is getting an astonishing view rate of more than 60% as a YouTube pre-roll:

The ads were made by our friends at Madison McQueen.

A greenie Harvard professor named Stock tried to counter our mining report with a very silly report that claims–with no empirical basis whatsoever!–that developing Minnesota’s mining resources will somehow hurt the state by crushing the tourism industry. Before the weekend is over, I will have challenged that guy to a public debate in Hibbing, Minnesota. His report is so silly that I doubt he will agree to debate me, but if he does it will be a lot of fun.

Last Sunday, the Star Tribune editorial board wrote about the controversy we sparked with our report: “New mining studies help inform Minnesota governor’s race.” And yesterday, policy fellow Isaac Orr, one of the authors of our report, had an op-ed in the Star Tribune critiquing the Stock report.

Developing Minnesota’s vast mineral resources will benefit the entire U.S., not just our state. For example, cobalt is a critically important mineral. It is necessary for every laptop and smart phone. Currently, the U.S. imports essentially all of the cobalt used in such products, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where much cobalt is mined by children with no safety or environmental protections. But guess what: Minnesota has 95% of the cobalt in the U.S., none of which is now being mined due to liberal obstructionism. How about if we bring that wealth and those jobs home?

If you want to help Center of the American Experiment advocate for the real, tangible economy, for American jobs and American wealth, you can go here to contribute. Contributions in any amount are welcome, and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. You can be assured that I will put them to good use!

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