AMERICAN SCENE: Minnesota: A State That Works

On an August Saturday afternoon, the scene is a slice of America's Norman Rockwell past. Barefoot children play one old cat and race their wagons down gently sloping sidewalks. Under the overhanging oaks, their fathers labor with hand mowers and rakes. On one lawn up the street, a rummage sale is in progress. Station wagons, laden with children, groceries, dogs and camping equipment, and trailing boats, slide out of driveways, heading north for a week or two at the lake.

It could as well be Little Rock, Ark., or Great Harrington, Mass., or Portland, Ore., for the nation is...

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