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According to this article, the Center for the American Experiment is ruffling a few feathers with its recent report on Minnesota’s economy. Economist John Phelan, the author of the report, wrote that “The state’s economy is growing, but it’s growing below the national average.”

Later in the article, it says “Phelan cited data that has become popular with conservative economists: gross domestic product per worker. By that measure, Minnesota ranks 28th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., and is well below the national average. It’s in stark contrast to the figures cited by economists, including gross domestic product per capita. By that measure, Minnesota is indeed above the national average and ranked 15th. The difference is that per capita measures the state’s economy against its entire population, while per worker measures it against only those who are employed.”

Economists can argue which is the better way of measuring economic growth. The only thing that people care about are whether lots of good-paying jobs are getting created. They aren’t. If the economy was creating lots of good-paying jobs, there wouldn’t need to be a push for a $15/hr. minimum wage because the economy would be creating lots of jobs that pay more than that.

Further, companies and people are moving out of Minnesota for places like North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and other states because Minnesota’s business climate sucks. The DFL argues that we just need a well-trained work force. I don’t disagree that we need skilled workers but I’ll vehemently disagree that that’s all we need. I was stunned to hear during the campaign that Minnesota’s lowest income tax bracket was higher than the top bracket in 20+ states.

That’s before we talk about Minnesota’s regulatory regime. Saying that it’s stifling is understatement. It’s designed to prevent competition and prevent economic growth. Most of it is built to appease the environmental activists and encourage lawsuits.

Given the high taxes and punishing regulations, why would anyone build or expand their business in Minnesota? They’d have to be masochistic.

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