Scott Walker’s Wisconsin vs. Dayton’s Minnesota: Which is doing better?

Three years ago, Minnesota elected a DFL governor (Mark Dayton) whose slogan was “tax the rich,” and in 2012 it gave his DFL party control of the Legislature. Three years ago, Wisconsin elected a Republican governor (Scott Walker) with a Republican Legislature pledged to implement the anti-tax, anti-union, least-government approach that 21st century conservatism says is the best way to produce jobs and economic growth and the greatest good for the great number.

In a must-read op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times, University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs stepped back to see which approach was getting better results so far.

It isn’t even close. Minnesota is growing and thriving far more than Wisconsin:

Three years into Mr. Walker’s term, Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. As a candidate, Mr. Walker promised to produce 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term, but a year before the next election that number is less than 90,000. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth….

Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business….

The lion’s share of Minnesota’s new tax revenue was sunk into human capital. While the state’s Constitution required that half of the new revenue balance the budget in 2013, Mr. Dayton invested 71 percent of the remaining funds in K-12 schools and higher education as well as a pair of firsts: all-day kindergarten and wider access to early childhood education. Minnesota was one of the few states that raised education spending under the cloud of the Great Recession. 

By contrast, Mr. Walker’s strategy limited Wisconsin’s ability to invest in infrastructure that would have catalyzed private-sector expansion, and he cut state funding of K-12 schools by more than 15 percent. Per student, this was the seventh sharpest decline in the country.

Health care presents another difference.  When Mr. Walker refused to establish a state health insurance exchange or to expand Medicaid…

Mr. Dayton is on course to improve Minnesota’s already low uninsured rate. He expanded Medicaid to cover an additional 35,000 people and accepted Washington’s offer to pick up the cost — as half the states, including a growing number with Republican governors, have. Mr. Dayton also created a state insurance exchange, which enrolled more than 90 percent of its first month’s target.

Comments (51)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/25/2013 - 08:39 am.

    Overcoming GOP messes

    Gov. Dayton had to overcome a $6,000,000,000 debt left behind by Pawlenty. Pawlenty pseudo balanced the budget by shifting money from education so he could look presidential. I suspect Walker has presidential aspiration too, so look out Wisconsin it is going to get much worse. The GOP wants to run the country but have already proven they can’t do that, reference George W. Bush’s and his mess. The GOP can’t even run their own party so they have some hard work ahead before they can handle grandiose presidential ideas.

    • Submitted by Kathi Malone on 01/16/2014 - 12:50 pm.

      So true

      Pawlenty failed on all accounts.
      Now we have a governor who is moving this state forward. Wis is left in the dust. Jus feel bad for the people. BUt they had their chance to recall him.

  2. Submitted by Tim Walker on 11/25/2013 - 10:20 am.

    Pretty damning facts, I’d say.

    I’d also say that I’m proud to be a Minnesotan.

    I’m sure this will be a topic of conversation over the Thanksgiving holiday when I return to my family home in Madison in a couple of days!

  3. Submitted by Brian Simon on 11/25/2013 - 11:32 am.

    You get what you pay for

    I moved here, from WI, 20 years ago because the opportunities were better. That seems more true now than ever.

  4. Submitted by MN Gopher on 11/25/2013 - 11:49 am.

    Not a comparison for Business

    Per The Tax Foundation’s 2014 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index….

    Minnesota #47 in Business Tax Climate (dropped from #45)
    Wisconsin #43 in Business Tax Climate

    I can’t say either of us should be proud.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/25/2013 - 02:32 pm.

      Proof of the Pudding

      If that (highly subjective) ranking means anything, why is Minnesota doing significantly better economically than Wisconsin?

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 11/25/2013 - 02:55 pm.

      Business Taxes

      Dan, that depends on what you get for your money. You can’t just look at raw figures and declare that one is bad and another good without first getting it into context.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/25/2013 - 02:57 pm.

      Of course

      While The Tax Foundation is nominally nonpartisan, it has a history of pro business bias and alignment with business interests.
      Be more interesting to look at the net inflow of businesses into the two states.
      I believe that businesses are voting with their feet for Minnesota.
      I’m talking about aggregates; not anecdotes which you can pick and choose to support whatever position you want.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/29/2013 - 02:21 pm.

        Nonpartisan?

        I’m surprised Paul! The Tax Foundation is basically the national incarnation of the defunct Taxpayer’s League here in MN, an extension of the Republican party. Neither entity knows a tax that it likes and both produce incoherent policy statements based on the ridiculous notion that tax rates in and of themselves tell you something about an economy or a business climate. They simply assume that the lower the tax rates are the better for business… this has no bearing on either business or economic reality. It’s not even pro-business, it’s just mumbo jumbo.

        • Submitted by Kathi Malone on 01/16/2014 - 12:53 pm.

          I agree

          They would not listen to me when I asked them to compare mn with Wis and they just said Wis will eventually overtake us. Blah they are so close minded.

  5. Submitted by John Edwards on 11/25/2013 - 02:18 pm.

    An objective evaluation: a half truth

    Let’s see: liberal professor writes an opinion piece for a liberal newspaper that a liberal website sees as evidence that a liberal state is superior to a conservative state—as determined only by who has been governor for the past three years.

    A more objective analysis of that proposition was done Aug. 29 by the liberal Milwaukee Journal’s Politifact team when it studied the identical claim made by liberal Minnesota State Sen. Joe Atkins. Politifact’s conclusion:”Minnesota outperformed Wisconsin by comfortable margins on four measures Atkins singled out, and on several other rankings that used various economic indices. On other measures, Wisconsin led or was about even with Minnesota. For a statement that is partially accurate, we give Atkins a Half True.

    I don’t know how much research that the supposedly non-partisan Jacobs did, but leaving out this easily found judgment of the liberal hometown paper certainly brings into question his alleged independence. Was his piece truly a scholarly effort, or was it political wishful thinking by another liberal professor whose views were quickly embraced by the liberal New York Times?

    Link: http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2013/sep/15/joe-atkins/rebuffing-scott-walker-minnesota-lawmaker-says-his/

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 11/25/2013 - 03:38 pm.

      Liberals

      Darn those libruls and their crafty facts. If it wasn’t for you meddling kids (and your little dog too) they might have got away with it!

      Thank you, Citizen, for exposing these charlatans for what they are. ‘Murica needs more upstanding patriots like you!

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/25/2013 - 05:11 pm.

      Liberal, liberal, liberal

      Do you get paid every time you use the word “liberal?” Or are you playing a drinking game (“Down a beer every time someone says ‘liberal.'”)?

      I bothered to read the survey that had the quote you cited (the whole article, not just the tag lines). The report in the liberal Milwaukee paper said that liberal Minnesota outperformed non-liberal Wisconsin on six measures, non-liberal Wisconsin beat liberal Minnesota on three measures, and the two states were pretty much tied on the others. Two of the three rankings in which Wisconsin outperformed liberal Minnesota were subjective measures (surveys of preferences of businesspeople, not liberal empirical facts like unemployment rates).

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/25/2013 - 05:15 pm.

      Aside from the fact that PolitiFact

      is a somewhat right leaning operation run by the Tampa Bay Times …..

      • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 11/26/2013 - 07:59 am.

        Rightwing?

        Did everyone else laugh out loud at this?

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/29/2013 - 10:30 pm.

          Everything is relative…

          I thought it was, however the reality is that if you are on the far left everything looks like it is to the right… Just as everything looks left when one is sitting on the far right…

  6. Submitted by Jeff Michaels on 11/25/2013 - 05:23 pm.

    Liberals stick together

    Larry Jacobs is that “objective” educator liberal WCCO-TV reporters always go to when they need a “fair and balanced” perspective on a news story.

    John Edwards nails it when he directs us to the newspaper column that reveals just how selective liberals such as Jacobs can be when it comes to “facts.”

    I look forward to the election of President Walker in 2016. It will make my day.

  7. Submitted by Randall Ryder on 11/25/2013 - 07:37 pm.

    Look At Income and Educational Attainment

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011 the median family income in Minnesota was approximately $7000 more than in Wisconsin. Per capita income in the same year was $3000 more in Minnesota than in Wisconsin.
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2009 the percent of individuals in Minnesota who obtained a high school diploma was 90.5% whereas in Wisconsin it was 89.8%. The percent of adults age 25 years or older who obtained a Bachelors Degree or higher was 31.5% in Minnesota and 25.7% in Wisconsin.Those with a graduate degree was 10.3% in Minnesota and 8.4% in Wisconsin.
    Wisconsin faces a brain drain problem. Note that high school graduation rates are quite similar for the two states, yet there significantly fewer adults in Wisconsin who have earned an undergraduate or higher degree. Graduates of colleges and universities in Wisconsin leave for better paying jobs elsewhere. Quite simply, Wisconsin needs to grow higher paid job opportunities.

  8. Submitted by Don Mashak on 11/25/2013 - 08:05 pm.

    MINNPOST: Correcting THE VIEW’s perspective of reality (& Obama’

    On November 12, 2013, this writer found himself accidently watching “The View”. Within 15 minutes, this writer was enraged by some the the comments being made by Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg & alleged Repubican Joe Scarsborough. This writer was so angered, he felt it prudent to wait at least a day to respond.

    OBAMA’S PRESS CONFERENCE

    In the meantime, President Obama decided to give a press conference today, November 14,2013. Before we address correcting “The View’s” perspective of reality, let us give appropriate time to President Obama’s Press
    Conference. President Obama has admitted he lied about keeping your current insurance and your current Doctor.

    At the same time, it is illegal for us rank and file Americans to make fraudulent
    misrepresentations to induce another to enter into a contract. Any
    contract which a rank and file Americans fraudulently induces another to
    sign is null and void and unenforceable. America’s Foundation provides
    that “All People are created eaual”. Another Foundation of America is
    the Principle of the “Rule of Law”. Ergo, All People being created equal
    are to be ruled by the same set of laws and legal standard. Further,
    the Natural Law upon which this country is founded, provides that “Truth
    is established by the Individual using their own observations and
    reasoning”. (Proof Country Founded on Natural Law http://t.co/rZswNupbeO )

    The
    margin of passage of Obamacare was so narrow that Obama’s admitted lies
    likely affected the outcome. Being fully informed, the overwhelming
    majority of Americans have established truth for themselves and and
    reject Obamacare. Ergo, in a nation predicated on “All People created
    equal” the just, honorable and only course of action is to rehash the
    debate with WE THE PEOPLE fully informed and recast the votes. But,
    alas, Obama is not only a liar, but he is a Progressive.

    Does The View’s perspective of reality match yours?

    For
    those unaware, the philosophy of Progressive Government Doctrine is that
    masses do not know what is good for them and, therefore, the
    Progressive Educated Elite are authorized to lie to the masses to get
    them to do what the Progressive Educated Elite proclaim is in their best
    interests.(You just can’t make this stuff up, research it yourself).
    With the forgoing introduction, all that is left to be said that
    President Obama is a liar. He subscribes to a Goverance Doctrine of
    Progressivism which specifically authorizes lying to the masses. To
    wit, at today’s Press Conference President Obama just made some more
    misrepresentations and told some more lies to advance the Progressive
    Agenda. And further, telling WE THE PEOPLE we can keep our present
    original healthcare insurance for another year does not make the promise
    we could keep your health insurance “period” any less of a lie.

    Finally,
    It just seems to this writer that before WE THE PEOPLE turn over 1/6 of
    the economy to the government, there should be an intellectually honest
    debate and vote to do so. Just call me crazy and unreasonable.(sarcasm)
    That having been said, even now, this writer feels he has devoted too
    many words to today’s Obama Press Conference.

    THE VIEW

    Which
    brings us to “The View”. Ladies and Gentleman of November 12, 2013
    program, today I will address you with respect as a fellow American,
    presuming you have the best interests of rank and file Americans at
    heart. This courtesy is only extended to you because at this point
    because this writer doesn’t know whether representations and statements
    you made that offended this writer and fellow Americans were made as a
    result of lack of knowledge or with intent to allign yourself against
    the best interests of WE THE PEOPLE. (President Obama recieved no such
    courtesy as he is full aware of his duplicitous agenda) This writer
    would ask you to “strike your colors” after reading this article so that
    this writer and WE THE PEOPLE may know whether you are freind or foe to
    the best interests of rank and file Americans. [On this episode of The
    View, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny
    McCarthy were the cohosts and Joe Scarsborough ,alleged Republican and
    author of “The Right Play”, was the guest host)

    That having been said,
    it angers this writer to the core to hear others assert what his or
    anyone else’s alleged perspective of reality is. Barbara Walters
    barking “They need to stop…

    To continue to read for free, please click here: http://goo.gl/iiY8g9

    Those were my thoughts.
    In Closing:

    Thank you, my fellow citizens, for taking your valuable time to read and reflect upon what is written here.

    If what is written here rings true to you, perhaps you should contact
    your local elected officials and let them know. If you are afraid of
    repercussions, snail mail it anonymously and ask them to respond in the
    local paper or their own monthly/quarterly internet newsletter. Even if
    this article refers to something outside you geographic area, it still
    likely applies to your location. Remember all those taxpayer training
    junkets we taxpayers send the bureaucrats on? They all learn the same
    “livestock management” techniques to use on WE THE PEOPLE.

    And that leaves WE THE PEOPLE with this conundrum: While our
    #Government works full time with compensation and funded with our money
    for the cause of #Tyranny; WE THE PEOPLE are forced to work part time
    without compensation for the cause of #liberty with what is left over of
    our time, money and energy.
    Finally, this article is written with the same intentions as Thomas Paine http://ushistory.org/paine. I seek no leadership role. I seek only to help the American People find their own way using their own “Common Sense” http://amzn.to/kbRuar

    Keep Fighting the Good Fight!

    In Liberty,

    Don Mashak
    The Cynical Patriot
    http://twitter.com/dmashak
    http://Facebook/Don.Mashak
    Don Mashak Google Plus http://goo.gl/1AUrE

    WE THE PEOPLE TAR #WETHEPEOPLETAR
    http://WETHEPEOPLETAR.blogspot.com
    http://facebook.com/WETHEPEOPLETAR
    http://twitter.com/WETHEPEOPLETAR

    End the Fed(eral Reserve Bank System) #ETF
    National http://bit.ly/ta3Rju Minneapolis http://bit.ly/tjZJKF

    Bring Home the Politicians #BHTP
    http://BringHomethePoliticians.com

    Lawless America #LawlessAmerica
    http://LawlessAmerica.com

    Term Limits #TermLimit
    http://TermLimits.org

    Justice in Minnesota #JIM
    http://JusticeinMN.com

    Critical Thinking Notice – This author advises you as no politician would dare. Exercise Critical Thinking (http://bit.ly/ubI6ve)
    in determining the truthfulness of anything you read or hear. Do not
    passively accept nor believe anything anyone tells you, including this
    author… unless and until you verify it yourself with sources you trust
    and could actively defend your perspective to anyone who might debate
    you to the contrary of your perspective.

  9. Submitted by jason myron on 11/25/2013 - 08:30 pm.

    I look forward to the election of President Walker in 2016.

    President of what?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/26/2013 - 09:42 am.

      President Walker

      He will take over the Presidency of the “Washed Up Governors Who Once Were Mentioned as Presidential Contenders by Some Republican Pundit” Club. Tim Pawlenty will be named President Emeritus.

  10. Submitted by jason myron on 11/25/2013 - 08:33 pm.

    As a long time former resident of Wisconsin,

    I have to laugh at anyone who describes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as “liberal.”

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 11/26/2013 - 08:56 am.

      That describes me to a T: I’m also a long-time former resident of Wisconsin.

      And I also had the same incredulous reaction to hearing that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was liberal!

  11. Submitted by John Appelen on 11/25/2013 - 10:41 pm.

    Timing?

    The thing I found most silly about the NYT opinion piece was that the opinion writer was complaining that Gov Dayton had been in control of the state for ~2 yrs and 11 mths. When the reality is that the DFL contingent did not start changing things in earnest until ~8 mths ago. Meaning that we have NO idea yet as to the consequences of their actions. From my perspective, the opinion writer is doing an excellent job of praising the fiscal constraint of Pawlenty and the GOP.

    It will be interesting to see the impact of the DFL increasing taxes and spending. However I am thinking we will not know these for at least 2 years.

    I think the strength of MN’s business climate has as much or more to do with our staunch and incredible corporate citizens. For example, imagine if Medtronic had not grown up here and made the metro into the healthcare device boomtown that it is. (not to mention Cargill, General Mills, Target, Best Buy, etc) Let’s reward them by taxing them more…

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/26/2013 - 09:07 am.

      Corporations choose to stay

      in Minnesota despite its higher taxes,
      or in fact -because- of them.
      They value the state’s investment in infrastructure, the availability of well educated workers, and the attractiveness of the state to employees who have a choice as to where to locate (and they are the most valuable ones).
      If all you need is a plot of land and unskilled cannon fodder, than Wisconsin is great, but then the deep South is even greater.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/26/2013 - 03:29 pm.

        Trash Talking Wisconsin?

        Considering the number of MN kids that go to Wisconsin for Higher Ed, this may be a bit naive. Univ of Wisc Madison seems to draw some of our best and brightest graduates.

        Warehousing, repair and telcom may not need the best and brightest…
        http://unitedforjobsmn.com/b2b-taxes/

        By the way, I have no affiliation with Wisc. My background is in SW MN and SE SD…

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/29/2013 - 02:03 pm.

      Not really again

      Dayton has had no longer than Walker has had. If we want to look at how much time Dayton has had “in earnest” we would have to conclude that he’s accomplished a lot more in 8 months than Walker has in 35 months.

  12. Submitted by jason myron on 11/27/2013 - 07:47 am.

    John,

    what does the University of Wisconsin have to do with Scott Walker? Sure, Minnesota kids go to Madison, just like Wisconsin kids go to the U. This has zero to do with politics, and everything to do with wanting to get away from home, but not TOO far away. I’m finding it difficult to connect the dots between a student’s college choice and B2B taxes.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/27/2013 - 11:54 pm.

      Relativity

      I got a sense from the comments that many people here were saying that MN was excellent, and WI was lacking. My point is simply that WI is perceived as a great state with a great educational system by a large number of people, including a large number of folks I know that find Univ MN Twin Cities unacceptable. Most liked Madison better because it is a “college town”., whereas UMN TC is such a small part of the Twin Cities metro culture. My oldest daughter just chose Iowa State University in Ames for the same reason after being accepted to both.

      I like MN, but I am not naive or egotistical enough to say it is “much better” than our neighboring states. I noted recently on G2A that after looking at the satelite image of both states, I think we had better be very thankful that we have as much tillable farm land as we do. With yields and prices up the last few years, I am pretty sure that has given us a huge leg up. Imagine if most of our state was like North of 94, I am guessing our GDP would not be nearly as high as it is. Especially with all the in state food processing plants we now have.

      The point is making an argument that MN is better and WI is worse because of Walker / Dayton is way way way premature.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/29/2013 - 01:59 pm.

        Not really

        “I got a sense from the comments that many people here were saying that MN was excellent, and WI was lacking.”

        We’re discussing an article that compared some economic indicators between the two states.

      • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 12/02/2013 - 03:50 pm.

        Madison

        Is the biggest civilized area of WI.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/28/2013 - 12:06 am.

      B2B Taxes

      Regarding B2B taxes and Students, Paul seems to think folks in WI are “cannon fodder”. I assume that means “academically challenged”… Since I see MN and WI as very similar, I am thinking MN better stay competitive or companies that can move, will move.

      3PL’s, repair, and telcom firms are excellent examples. Just one short truck ride from Wisconsin. Who cares if the warehouse or repair site is in Mpls or Hudson…

  13. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/29/2013 - 10:34 am.

    Anti intellectuals and Republicans

    I think the at the end of the day the problem that’s killing the Republican Party more than any other is going to be their complete inability to do any intellectual work. Decades of anti-intellectualism and high-school debate mentality have demolished the intellectual capacity of Republicans. No where amongst the Republican ranks can one find anyone or any organization that is capable of analyzing a problem or observation or even recognizing a legitimate public policy problem, much less producing any kind of coherent analysis or solution.

    You can see this clearly in the commentary being offered here. None of the Walker defenders posting here seem to have the intellectual capacity to engage on the issue. I’m not trying to insult anyone, I’m just making an observation. Here we have a column based on an article that provides factual evidence. All we’re getting thus far is observations that this article and it’s facts have been produced by “liberals”. As if a fact can only be reliable if were produced by a “conservative”. This isn’t even a legitimate “bias” claim, this isn’t the lowest rung of the intellectual ladder, it’s failure to even step onto the intellectual ladder in the first place. The idea the the credibility of a proposition could be determined solely by the ideological orientation is absurd yet that all we get from these guys. And not just comentors here, it’s all you get from Republican “intellectuals” like Jason Lewis et al.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/29/2013 - 10:43 pm.

      Flawed Logic

      Paul,
      Do you really believe that it makes sense to give Dayton and the DFL credit for the great current state of MN only ~8 months after they started changing things?

      That has to be one of the least intellectual views I could imagine. Now if you were giving credit to the GOP for their ~decade in power bringing us to this good place, now that may make more sense.

      In ~2-4 years we will know more about the impact of the DFL’s tax and spend plan…

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/30/2013 - 09:01 am.

    You’re logic not mine.. and your right

    John,

    Assigning success based on length of time rather than actually policy is illogical, but that was your logic not mine.

    What you have to explain is why it is that Walker with a full 35 months under his belt deploying the Republican plan has failed to surpass MN on these economic indicators? Unlike Dayton, Walker’s regime has been unhindered by partisan division. So if you’re going to credit 24 months of Republican policies with success in MN you have to explain why 35 months of those same policies have failed to produce the same or better results in WI?

    Better yet why don’t you just explain how it is you still support trickle down economics after it produced the biggest financial crises in six decades?

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/30/2013 - 11:18 pm.

      Change Takes Time

      First:
      It took 10+ years of Conservative leadership to make MN as strong as it is today. So we will see with WI.

      Second:
      Hopefully things change in MN before we see the negative impact of 10+ years of “tax and spend” policies. So we will see in MN.

      Finally:
      Liberals often attribute success in ND and other Conservative states to oil, sea ports or some other “good fortune”. I personally think that MN has had some excellent “good fortune” during the last 5+ years. We have a lot of tillable land, and agriculture has been booming in the State. Land that was $1500/acres is now worth $4500/acre. We missed some droughts and prices have been great.

      Looking at the map, it seems that most of Wisc has mostly pasture and woodlands. Neither has benefitted from the ag boom. In fact the higher commodity prices hurt the farmers that had to feed livestock. And besides the farmers themselves, we have equipment manufacturers, ethanol plants, etc in the state that have been rocking the last 5+ years. Imagine if most of our state looked like the iron range…

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/01/2013 - 09:39 am.

    We need minimum wage laws because we don’t have Unions

    We’ve already discussed the fact there is no such thing a “free” labor market, just markets that are skewed to various degrees one way or the other. (snip)

    Sorry, this I accidentally posted this comment here instead of the thread on minimum wage. I’ve moved it over now. Didn’t mean to get off topic.

  16. Submitted by John Appelen on 11/30/2013 - 11:01 pm.

    Buy American?

    This is one of my favorite topics. Do you really support American workers with your own choices?
    http://give2attain.blogspot.com/2013/11/why-do-liberals-buy-foreign-cars.html

    Will you personally buy higher priced American made products or willingly pay some more in repairs to pay those higher wages? And to ensure the remaining Unions stay strong? (ie UAW in Michigan)

    This is related to the WI vs MN discussion since my Chevy Suburban was built in Janesville WI before the plant was shuttered. And of course we also lost the Ford plant downtown.

    Of course, I believe the worker’s wages and union power were reduced because greedy American consumers chose to stop “Buying American” in the 1980’s. They liked their cheaper and higher quality Hondas, Toyotas, Subarus, etc. And now they love their Hyundais, Kias,etc…

    And now you want to mandate a higher minimum wage and make American products and services even more expensive. Do you see that in some way encouraging Americans to start Buying American? Or will that encourage even more Americans to buy foreign?

  17. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 12/02/2013 - 09:14 am.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too…

    How can you espouse a ‘free-market’ consumer system, and then complain when American consumers purchase, in your own words, ‘cheaper and higher quality’ products that are not produced by Americans, and then denigrate them for it?

    To the whole ‘Buy American’ argument, I don’t think it’s really related to the MN vs WI discussion, just because you drive a Chevy Suburban that was built in WI. I once owned a Sony Walkman that was built in Japan but that doesn’t mean I’m going to pontificate about the merits of universal healthcare in the discussion thread on a story about the Senkaku Islands.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/02/2013 - 12:07 pm.

      No Trade Wars

      I whole heartedly support free trade, and Paul was saying there was no free trade.

      Often Liberals contend that the Corporations/Wealthy are in charge and have somehow reduced wages and union power. I just like to remind folks that it is actually us consumers who are in charge and we reap what we sow.

      Now “Conservatives” openly say they will buy or do what they think is best for themselves no matter the impact on others. (ie Ayn Rand-ish) Whereas Liberals say they are worried about their fellow co-workers, Union members and wages in the USA, so I find it hypocritical when they critique the corporations / rich while they themselves are behaving like “true capitalists”. (ie buying what they want, even though it reduces wages, weakens unions, etc)

      Does that makes sense?

      • Submitted by Sarah Nagle on 12/02/2013 - 09:59 pm.

        No.

        The average consumer has a lot less buying power, given stagnant wages. The middle class spends money locally and in the country, instead of shipping it offshore. Just look at the last 30 years of the economy. It doesn’t matter how cheap the foreign-made goods are if people can’t buy them.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/03/2013 - 12:02 pm.

          New Cars

          Sarah,
          I see lots and lots of news cars on the road every day. At least half of them say Toyota, Honda, VW, Hyundai, KIA, Subaru, Mazda, BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Nissan, etc. It seems people do have money and are willingly and happily sending it overseas with the jobs and wages.

          And don’t forget cell phones… Motorola and Apple products may be made there, however their profits flow back to American companies, employees, R&D, intellectual property, etc. Where as the money spent on those Samsung, LG and other brands phones are headed overseas.

          My point is people started buying foreign which lowered the USA work load which reduced the wages. And this cycle just keeps repeating as consumers are now starting to buy Samsung, LG and other major appliances… (ie this follows clothing, electronics, cars, etc) Maybe it will be the end of the Maytag Repairman after all…

          Thankfully I work for a company who exports high end test equipment to these foreign companies. So some of the money is recaptured.

          So why do you believe consumers have less buying power/ lower wages?

          By the way, I was running a bumper sticker survey. Of cars with Liberal bumper stickers on them, everyone so far was a foreign car… I am not sure what that means.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 12/04/2013 - 12:09 pm.

            Your ‘survey’ means nothing. It’s anecdotal, biased, and un-scientific.

          • Submitted by Allan Holmstadt on 12/06/2013 - 03:26 pm.

            Many of those *are* made in the USA

            That they are headquartered in other countries does not mean that they aren’t built right here in the states. Many of those brands do build vehicles in the US, even the luxury brands. For example, every BMW x5 sold the world over is made in South Carolina. And besides that, parts suppliers are working in a global market. Even an American branded car is going to have parts that were made all over the world. So buying “American” isn’t as simple as you think, at least as far as autos are concerned.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/06/2013 - 10:53 pm.

              Good Try

              The only 2 foreign firms that do a modest of job of being “American” on a few of their models are Toyota and Honda. And they setup shop in places where the Unions would have little power. However they have worked hard to setup large development centers in the States.

              Here is the best “American Content” index I have found. It accounts for more than just production.
              http://kogodnow.com/autoindex/

              At 32 out of 100, the X5 did score the highest for a BMW. Whereas a Chevy Tahoe scored an 83.5…

              It likely isn’t this simple, but if you spend $40,000 on an X5 only ~$13,000 goes to Americans. Whereas if you spend $40,000 on a Tahoe ~$33,400 goes to Americans.

      • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 12/04/2013 - 11:45 am.

        It doesn’t make sense. Paul’s comment, as he amended, was meant for a different article anyways. As Sarah goes on to mention, the need to purchase cheaper goods stems at least in part from a real wage stagnation or loss for the majority of people in this country. So, hammering “liberals” for making financially responsible decisions for their own family (which in your mind is to the detriment of society) as hypocrites while you yourself talk about fiscal responsibility is, well, hypocritical.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/05/2013 - 05:09 pm.

          Chicken or Egg

          I believe the consumer choices are the key driver of the “real wage stagnation or loss for the majority of people in this country”…

          However many would prefer to blame someone else for their choices and problems…

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