The Minnesota Daily

All content by Derek Olson

Studies point to school choice benefits

May 7, 2014

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked President Barack Obama earlier this year why he opposes school vouchers. “Every study that’s been done on school vouchers, Bill, says that it has a limited...

Will money corrupt our elections?

April 23, 2014

There is a lot of anger over the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down limits on the amount that individuals can donate to political campaigns....

Tax Day costs us more than we think

April 16, 2014

Yesterday marked the 101st year in which Americans reported their taxable income to the federal government. While many student readers likely have simple and easy tax forms, if any, older workers are likely...

There’s a new political blacklist

April 9, 2014

Same-sex marriage has become one of our generation’s defining issues. While public opinion on the issue has changed quickly in recent history, some supporters have taken advocacy to another level:...

Support free speech at the U

April 2, 2014

Higher education institutions like the University of Minnesota widely emphasize the importance of diversity. This is why I am positively flummoxed that some members of the University community do not seem...

No more special-interest spirits

March 26, 2014

On a typical autumn Sunday, I turn on the TV and watch more hours of NFL previews, games and highlights than I care to admit. At some point during the first game, I open my refrigerator to complement my...

An education goes beyond the classroom

March 13, 2014

I can still recall my fifth grade teacher moving a paper triangle — representing a ship’s sail — up and across a globe. She used this to demonstrate how Christopher Columbus witnessed...

How concerning is wealth inequality?

March 12, 2014

It seems noble these days to be concerned with inequality. There is a constant barrage of people across the news discussing how extreme income inequality is a problem in America, but how much should it...

Behind the numbers

March 6, 2014

There is probably no issue of more concern to students than the rising cost of tuition. The average debt load for graduating undergraduates at the University of Minnesota is $27,578, according to One Stop...

The reality of the 1 and 99 percent

March 5, 2014

Occupy Wall Street’s biggest accomplishment was embedding the view of the “1 percent” into political discourse. Now more than ever, political commentators use the statistics of income...

Broken promises

February 27, 2014

One of the principal selling points of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was that it would supposedly not put the government deeper in the red. In fact, supporters claimed it would reduce the deficit....

Health care is still an ongoing issue

February 26, 2014

It’s been the political talking point of the past several years, but health care remains an ongoing, vital political issue. It deserves to be: One out of every $6 spent in the U.S. economy goes to...

A tricky tax policy

February 20, 2014

One of the many funny moments I remember from my favorite TV show “Friends” is when Rachel receives her first-ever paycheck. Her immediate reaction is to exclaim, “Who is FICA, and why’s...

Part 3: Maximum obtuseness

February 19, 2014

In the first two parts of this series, I discussed the fundamental flaw of raising the minimum wage: It increases unemployment. Secondly, I explored how a strong body of empirical evidence confirms this....

Golf course closure

February 13, 2014

The city of Edina is considering closing Fred Richards Executive Golf Course, one of its two municipal golf courses, but hundreds of residents have shown enthusiasm in saving it. The potential closure...

Part 2: Maximum obtuseness

February 12, 2014

Last week, I discussed the fundamental problem with raising the minimum wage: It increases unemployment. In December, our duplicitous President Barack Obama said, “There’s no solid evidence...

Minimum wage, maximum obtuseness

February 6, 2014

From Gov. Mark Dayton to President Barack Obama, Democrats nationwide have made raising the minimum wage a prominent issue in 2014. In doing so, they are disingenuously inflating their false virtue. The...

Disparate coverage

February 5, 2014

Even after a number of recent political scandals, something feels different about the one surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. It’s because the press has never wanted a smoking gun in the...

Students’ free speech

January 30, 2014

Arizona State University  expelled the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity last week after it held a Martin Luther King, Jr.-themed party. Pictures surfaced on social media of students dressed in hip-hop...

Extending benefits won’t help

January 29, 2014

At the end of 2013, extended unemployment insurance expired, leaving most states with 26 weeks of benefits for the jobless. Democrats continue to advocate reinstating the extension that funded at least...

Executive power that won’t stop

January 22, 2014

After five years of a derelict relationship with Congress, President Barack Obama has revved up his rhetoric about not needing those other 535 elected officials. Last year, Obama said he would act “with...

Location, location, location

February 4, 2013

  Local news outlets are buzzing about the potential new apartment complex proposed by the Opus Group in the heart of Dinkytown. Is this good for students, campus and surrounding businesses? Is this...

Congressional woes

January 28, 2013

  The year 2012 came to a close with a nail-biting climax: after two months of accelerating anxiety in the markets and awkward business preparations for the New Year, we averted the fiscal cliff....

Mansion welfare

December 10, 2012

Recent discussion in Washington has ignited a small fire of hope among many pundits and economists: The mortgage interest deduction has come into the spotlight. The mortgage interest deduction (MID) allows...

Death and Taxes

December 3, 2012

If you’re planning on dying soon, you might want to hurry up. It’s that other certainty of life you’ll want to watch out for. The estate tax, which taxes the inheritance you pass on to...

Saving money and living better

November 26, 2012

The nation’s largest retailer received yet another snippet of bad public relations last week. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which does not actually represent Wal-Mart...

Who’s taking advantage of whom?

November 19, 2012

Recent attention has been drawn to the shortage of gasoline in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy. Victims are facing long lines, or worse, they’re turned away because the pumps have run dry. Directly...

A moderate Mitt

November 5, 2012

In the last month of the race for the White House, Gov. Mitt Romney has been alone in his push for the moderate vote. President Barack Obama seems to have forgotten how much Americans crave bipartisanship....

Who’s looking out for the middle class?

October 29, 2012

President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney both advocate lower taxes for the middle class, but they disagree about how to accomplish it. In his first term, Obama used mostly tax credits, which reduce...

An impediment to democracy

October 22, 2012

If you want your vote to make a difference, you should probably move to Ohio or Florida. President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney are fiercely battling for these swing states, and history shows this...

Preserving a great art

October 8, 2012

The latest players to be locked out are neither athletes nor referees; they are the musicians who play in the Minnesota Orchestra. One week ago their contract expired after the union unanimously voted...

Reshaping the ‘ism’ debate

October 1, 2012

One can hardly think of two more contentious words in the American political lexicon than socialism and capitalism. Neither can I think of two words as highly misused and misunderstood. In the aftermath...

Solving the tuition problem

September 24, 2012

Last week University President Eric Kaler proposed a two-year tuition freeze contingent on increased funding from the state Legislature. I wonder who the scapegoat will be if tuition rises! In fact, it’s...

The power of Pigovian taxes

September 17, 2012

If you’ve filled up at the pump recently, you probably were reminded how much it costs  to drive. But all the gas, insurance, repairs and other things you pay for are not the only costs of driving....

Greek life boasts great outlook for students

September 10, 2012

Before I became greek, I had little inclination of the benefits it could provide. Deciding to take a chance, I was immediately blown away by how much the organization had to offer. The negative stereotypes...

STEM education is vital

August 1, 2012

Ever wonder what happened to those computer whizzes that spent their high school years hiding behind a laptop? Their talents are being fiercely recruited. Technology firms are touring the top U.S. colleges...

Finding a new Gophers culture

July 3, 2012

With a new athletics director, a fresh head coach and a beautiful stadium, Minnesotans are counting on Gophers football to turn around soon. However, there is another necessary ingredient: a culture of...

The fear of unpredictability

June 20, 2012

Recent reports are reiterating queries over why economic growth is so sluggish. The daunting question looms like a dark cloud over the heads of lawmakers and businesses who don’t know what to...

Is Burger King a manufacturer?

June 6, 2012

The U.S. just reached No. 1. But the No. 1 highest corporate-tax rate in the world is not a coveted recognition. Japan, which previously held the top spot, lowered its rate April 1 following a global trend...

War death tolls need context

September 15, 2010

Monday’s editorial about the human costs of war stirred my discontentment. Every day, readers of The Minnesota Daily’s editorials and opinions section are reminded how many U.S. soldiers and...