The United States is "experiencing one of the slowest economic recoveries in our nation's history," Republican Minnesota Senate candidate Mike McFadden said in Saturday's GOP address, and people in his state, like many, are feeling overwhelmed.
"Minnesotans feel like we're falling behind," said McFadden, who is trying to topple Democrat Sen. Al Franken
in Minnesota. "Wages have been stagnant but the cost of everything from gas to groceries keeps going up."
More than half of the state's workers are underemployed, McFadden said, and weekly wages have only raised by pennies.
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"Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes," said investment banker McFadden, who is in the middle of a campaign tour of his state's 87 counties. "But when it comes to the challenges working families are facing, all we get from Democrats is 10,000 excuses."
McFadden said there are many ways to turn the economy around, and focused in his speech on regulation and education.
"President Obama and the Senate Democrats are great at creating regulations," said McFadden. "But when it comes to jobs? Not so much."
Smarter regulation, not over-regulation, is what's needed "to create jobs and unleash our full economic potential...so that the American free enterprise system can do what it does best — innovate."
In Minnesota, for example, a company wants to use advanced technologies to safely mine copper and nickel from one of the largest deposits in the world, which would bring good jobs back to the state's Iron Range.
"But seven years and $150 million later, we still don’t have an answer because there are seven different regulatory agencies responsible for making this decision, which is crazy," he said.
Smarter regulation and common sense will allow the nation to develop natural resources in a way that both creates jobs and protects the environment, said McFadden, and "whether it’s the PolyMet Mine in Minnesota, or the Keystone pipeline, there are good-paying jobs waiting to be created if we just use more common sense in regulation."
Education is also vital for moving the economy forward, said McFadden.
He gave the example of the Cristo Rey School, an inner-city facility in Minneapolis.
"The students come from some tough neighborhoods and very hard backgrounds, and our typical freshman test one to two grade levels behind when they enter our school," said McFadden. "Yet for the past two years, we’ve had a 100% graduation rate and every student being accepted either into college or is serving in the armed forces."
People want to know the secret behind Cristo Rey's success, and McFadden said there is a simple answer: "Because we care."
"We care enough to develop a curriculum that conforms to our own standards — not a one-size-fits-all approach from Washington," he said. "And we care enough to direct money into the classroom where it can benefit the students the most."
McFadden is on the board of directors of the school and is currently on leave as the co-CEO, according to the Jesuit high school's website.
He concluded by calling for voters to take advantage of November's "tremendous opportunity for America to elect new leaders, with the vision to turn our country around, and get us back onto the path of growth and prosperity."
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