Public Office as a Public Trust Workshop — Thursday, March 28th

We have just held an election in which the American people put what we are more and more calling “tribalism” on the front burner of our politics. While it is important to understand the passions and fears of our fellow citizens, our constitutional republic was not established to foster tribalism of any kind.

The Preamble to our Constitution holds that: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Beating at the heart of our constitutional democracy is the ethical proposition that “Public Office is a Public Trust.” But what does this mean? Where did the idea come from? Is it still true? How can we tell a good public servant from an unworthy one?

Those who were elected to office on November 6th were chosen to hold public office. Before assuming such offices, they will be asked to take an oath to be faithful in the execution of that trust responsibility, faithful not just to those who voted for them but to all of us, our state and our country.

How can they more fully understand the law and the tradition setting forth the duties of office that will soon be theirs in service of our citizens? Through study and discussion as always since our founding as a nation.

I’m delighted to invite you to participate in the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s (CRT) workshop on Public Office as a Public Trust scheduled for 8:30 am on Thursday, March 28th at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The workshop is a new initiative to encourage and professionalize elected and appointed public officials at all levels, as well as those who aspire to elective or appointive office, to live up to the highest standards of stewardship responsibility.

The mission of the workshop is to promote good stewardship in office, thoughtful trusteeship and enlightened fiduciary practices using the CRT’s Principles for Government as best practices. The commitment of the workshop is taken from George Washington’s remarks to the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest may repair.”

For some time now and to the great detriment of our state and country, a narrowness in serving the common good has dominated our politics, resulting in a system of government that is polarized, fractured and unable to effectively address even its most basic challenges. The workshop will train you in the tried and tested ideals of public service.

The workshop will present historic, intellectual and moral foundations for the ethics of public stewardship, including the Bible, John Locke, Adam Smith, Max Weber and the Federalist Papers, among others.

The agenda will include:

1. Pew Research Center findings on political polarization

2. Movie High Noon: public trust and personal courage

3. The Moral Sense: human nature and natural justice

4. CRT Principles for Government

5. History of trust responsibilities

The two main presenters will be myself and Doran Hunter, Emeritus Professor of political science at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Tuition is $50 per person (does not include cost of lunch). Space is limited.

For more information or to register, please click here.

The session will adjourn at 4:30 pm.

The CRT is an international network of senior leaders from business, government, academia and non-profit institutions who work together to improve private enterprise and public governance around the world.

Cybersecurity and Business Responsibility Round Table – Thursday, February 21st

Since our first ancestor thought of using a tool to strike, maim or kill a friend, neighbor or foe, the technology which can make our lives better and more fulfilling can also be used nefariously for destruction and evil.

Defense against technology is therefore a necessary part of living well.

The Democratic National Committee could not defend itself against a hack and that did its presidential candidate no good. Huawei allegedly uses technology to steal intellectual property for its own advancement. Our own home computers need security protection against malware. These days, who doesn’t have so many usernames and corresponding passwords that they can’t remember most of them and need technology to keep track of their security codes?

Just the other day, I read that $1 billion in cryptocurrency had been stolen.

Cybersecurity is a new buzzword and necessity for living well. Few of us know about it. It is more and more a part of business success. Protection against those with malicious intent is a new ethical obligation of business, especially in finance.

Please join us and two local experts, Chip Laingen, Executive Director of the Defense Alliance and Corporate Vice President, Midwest Region, for Logistic Specialties, Inc. and Jeremy Swenson, CEO of Abstract Forward Consulting LLC, for a round table discussion on cybersecurity and business responsibility at 9:00 am on Thursday, February 21st at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

What Do You Believe Accounts for Wall Street’s Recent Volatility? Please Join Us on the 31st

What was Wall Street telling us in the closing months of 2018? How can we know? Should we care?

Who drives prices in financial markets anyway?

Financial markets happened just about from the birth of capitalism in Holland and England. The Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company Bubble demonstrated early on in the evolution of capitalism the incentive power of finance and the frequent irrationality of its pricing.

As we move into more and more advanced post-industrial capitalism, it seems prudent to reflect on the role of financial markets with the borrowings which keep them robust.

As the 2020 campaign begins, the issues around Wall Street will take center stage for the next two years.

Please join us for a round table discussion about Wall Street at 9:00 am on Thursday, January 31st at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

“Market Failure: What is Wall Street Telling Us?” Please Join Us on the 31st


What was Wall Street telling us in the closing months of 2018? How can we know? Should we care?

Who drives prices in financial markets anyway?

Financial markets happened just about from the birth of capitalism in Holland and England. The Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company Bubble demonstrated early on in the evolution of capitalism the incentive power of finance and the frequent irrationality of its pricing.

As we move into more and more advanced post-industrial capitalism, it seems prudent to reflect on the role of financial markets with the borrowings which keep them robust.

As the 2020 campaign begins, the issues around Wall Street will take center stage for the next two years.

Please join us for a round table discussion about Wall Street at 9:00 am on Thursday, January 31st at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

“Market Failure: What is Wall Street Telling Us?” Please Join Us on the 31st

What was Wall Street telling us in the closing months of 2018? How can we know? Should we care?

Who drives prices in financial markets anyway?

Financial markets happened just about from the birth of capitalism in Holland and England. The Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company Bubble demonstrated early on in the evolution of capitalism the incentive power of finance and the frequent irrationality of its pricing.

As we move into more and more advanced post-industrial capitalism, it seems prudent to reflect on the role of financial markets with the borrowings which keep them robust.

As the 2020 campaign begins, the issues around Wall Street will take center stage for the next two years.

Please join us for a round table discussion about Wall Street at 9:00 am on Thursday, January 31st at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

Minimum Wage – Yes or No? Please Join Us Thursday

What is a fair wage? What is a living wage? What is a just wage? Why work at all? “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” reasoned Karl Marx in 1875.

But who gets to decide my ability and who gets to decide my needs? Me, perhaps, or you?

The threat to employment coming from Artificial Intelligence, automation and robotics has many proposing a universal basic income to carry us through the ups and downs of life. The St. Paul City Council just voted to use municipal police powers to mandate hourly wages for certain employees, seeking to give those who work more money for the exercise of their abilities in order to help them meet their needs.

Is this a good idea? Is it a slippery slope leading us to the embrace of Marxist doctrine? Who will pay and in what ways when certain prices rise?

Please join us for a round table discussion of work and wages at 9:00 am this Thursday, December 20th at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

Do You Think There Should be a Minimum Wage? If So, Why? If Not, Why Not? Please Share Your Thoughts with Us on the 20th

What is a fair wage? What is a living wage? What is a just wage? Why work at all? “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” reasoned Karl Marx in 1875.

But who gets to decide my ability and who gets to decide my needs? Me, perhaps, or you?

The threat to employment coming from Artificial Intelligence, automation and robotics has many proposing a universal basic income to carry us through the ups and downs of life. The St. Paul City Council just voted to use municipal police powers to mandate hourly wages for certain employees, seeking to give those who work more money for the exercise of their abilities in order to help them meet their needs.

Is this a good idea? Is it a slippery slope leading us to the embrace of Marxist doctrine? Who will pay and in what ways when certain prices rise?

Please join us for a round table discussion of work and wages at 9:00 am on Thursday, December 20th at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

Should There Be a Minimum Wage? Please Join Us on December 20th

What is a fair wage? What is a living wage? What is a just wage? Why work at all? “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” reasoned Karl Marx in 1875.

But who gets to decide my ability and who gets to decide my needs? Me, perhaps, or you?

The threat to employment coming from Artificial Intelligence, automation and robotics has many proposing a universal basic income to carry us through the ups and downs of life. The St. Paul City Council just voted to use municipal police powers to mandate hourly wages for certain employees, seeking to give those who work more money for the exercise of their abilities in order to help them meet their needs.

Is this a good idea? Is it a slippery slope leading us to the embrace of Marxist doctrine? Who will pay and in what ways when certain prices rise?

Please join us for a round table discussion of work and wages at 9:00 am on Thursday, December 20th at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

Please Join Us: 10th Annual Celebration of John Brandl & His Uncommon Quest for Common Ground

And what about the poor?

Can there be a moral capitalism if people are poor?

Whose fault is it that people are poor – the system or theirs?

Superficially speaking, the left blames the system and wants redistribution of wealth from rich to poor while the right “blames” the poor for not doing more to get up and go after jobs, education, self-discipline.

But what if each side is narrowly focused in their analysis of causes of poverty and so also in its advocacy of what might really change circumstances for those in poverty?

What if each side understands some but not all of the truth about poverty?

Last year, the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism (CRT) and other organizations brought to Minnesota for our annual John Brandl Program to continue John’s “uncommon quest for common ground” Robert Doar of the American Enterprise Institute and Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution to speak on blending ideas from the right and the left seeking to reduce poverty.

Inspired by common sense virtue supporting their collaboration, the Brandl Program organizers – the CRT, Center of the American Experiment, Citizens League, Growth & Justice and the Humphrey School – agreed last year on collaboration around the challenge of reducing poverty in Minnesota. We decided that our first step should be setting forth our separate ideas and concerns about how to do this. Each group wrote an essay on poverty and Dean Laura Bloomberg of the Humphrey School wrote an introduction. We will release these essays at this year’s Brandl Program.

This year’s program marks the 10th anniversary of our joint continuation of John Brandl’s uncommon quest for common ground. We are proud to mark this milestone for a country so divided in its politics and its cultures with a major collaborative effort seeking the common good for our state.

To mark the release of our essays, Robert and Ron are returning to Minnesota for the 2018 Brandl Program scheduled for 4:30 pm on Monday, November 26th at the Humphrey School in Cowles Auditorium and you are invited to join us.

The keynote speaker for the program will be Tonya Allen, President & CEO of the Skillman Foundation in Detroit. The Skillman Foundation works to ensure that Detroit youth have access to high-quality educational and economic opportunities and a strong, broad network of champions that work on behalf of young people’s interests.

The event is free and open to the public.

For additional information or to register, please click here.

Please Join Us, AEI and Brookings for a Discussion about Poverty in Minnesota on the 26th

In June of last year, we cosponsored an event with Robert Doar of the American Enterprise Institute and Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution to discuss their joint AEI/Brookings Working Group on Poverty and Opportunity report titled “Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream”. 

This report is most notable for its success in bringing together a common goal – reducing poverty – advocates from different policy perspectives.  Reading the report is like turning the clock back to when America worked reasonably well for the common good.

We are very excited to announce that Ron and Robert will return to Minnesota on Monday, November 26th to discuss what has happened since their initial visit and where they see things going forward.

We will also be releasing our own local, joint report on recommended steps to reduce poverty in Minnesota.  These recommendations will come from the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism, Center of the American Experiment, Growth & Justice and the Citizens League.  Ron and Robert will respond to the range of our suggestions.

Please join us for a very special round table discussion with Robert and Ron at 7:30 am on the 26th at the Minneapolis Club. 

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 7:00 am and the event at 7:30 am. 

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members.  Payment will be accepted at the door.

Copies of the report will be available at the event.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The Minneapolis Club is located at 729 2nd Ave South in downtown Minneapolis. 

Parking will be available in the Minneapolis Club’s parking ramp.

The event will conclude at 9:30 am.