This SC Times editorial is frightening in its naiveté. When the Times says that “The IRRRB hasn’t properly overseen the use and impacts of its loans and grants”, that’s a polite way of saying the IRRRB’s loans haven’t created jobs like they were supposed to.

When I wrote this article, I was a little sad but mostly pissed as hell that these DFL politicians put political considerations ahead of creating jobs. It’s said that it’s possible to lie with statistics. That’s true sometimes. This isn’t one of those times, though. According to US Census Bureau statistics, Minnesota’s statewide poverty rate is 11.5% while its Median Household Income is $60,828.

Hibbing’s poverty take is an obscene 20.6%, which is respectable compared with Virginia’s poverty rate, which is a ghastly 26.5%. Hibbing’s MHI is $38,112. Virginia’s is $33,143. It’s easier to just state the truth. There isn’t a middle class on the Iron Range. Period.

Meanwhile, accountability is a 4-letter word in the IRRRB’s dictionary. The IRRRB was literally started before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The fact that the Iron Range’s poverty rate is double the statewide average and the fact that the Iron Range’s MHI is lower than in Appalachia shouts that the IRRRB has failed miserably. It doesn’t need a few reforms. It’s that somebody needs to bring a few sticks of dynamite and a slow-burning long fuse to IRRRB headquarters when nobody’s around, then light the fuse.

It’s a failure. Fixing it is a waste of time.

2 Responses to “IRRRB, accountability & failure”

  • eric z says:

    Easily said.

    So tell us – disclose the secret sauce known only to GOP bloggers – how would the same money have been spent to employ thousands of Rangers?

    The information, if disclosed, might have value.

    Sure, cronyism is inefficient. That part is easy. What’s efficient is the question, and what’s the evidence to back up such a disclosure of efficient spending? Simple enough questions, easily asked.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Thanks for missing the obvious point. It’s time to not just abolish the IRRRB. It’s time to change policies that have strangled robust, sustained economic growth in Minnesota & especially on the Iron Range. The Twin Cities DFL has gone too far with their environmental absolutism. They’ve opposed every project if there’s even the slightest hint of a possibility for pollution.

    You can’t build things that last a long time without mining. Period. It’s impossible. The environmental activist wing of the DFL live hundreds of miles from the Iron Range, yet they’ve opposed every project, even those that have gotten the MPCA’s & MnDNR’s seal of approval.

    The Citizens Board that was abolished last year is a nice step in the right direction. They were there to obstruct projects that had gotten permitted to build. They literally killed jobs. They weren’t a ‘citizen’ board. One of the spots on the board could only be filled by someone in a union. Please explain to me why someone in a union, whether a public employee union or a private sector union, had any expertise that would have a positive impact on the environment. You can’t.

    It’s time for the DFL’s environmental absolutists to stop wrecking the Iron Range’s economy. Most importantly, it’s time for Minnesota to embrace sound economic principles so that there’s prosperity in every county in Minnesota.

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