GOP’s frequent praise of Indiana and Texas may give many a sinking feeling

Throughout this session, Republican legislative leaders have made repeated references to Indiana and Texas as states that Minnesota should emulate to compete in the future.

Certainly, for Minnesotans who have lofty views of our Star of the North, these comparisons can be jarring.

Indiana? Why, of all places, are Minnesota Republicans so keen on comparing Minnesota to Indiana?

Kurt Zellers
Kurt Zellers

“A Midwest state like us,” said House Speaker Kurt Zellers last week.

What brings a sparkle to the eyes of Minnesota Republicans when talk turns to Indiana is the job that Gov. Mitch Daniels has done in putting public employee unions in their place.

Interestingly, our state’s Republican legislators seem to speak more respectfully of Daniels than they do of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Daniels is seen as a governor whose head, heart and budgets all are in the right places. He’s done in Indiana what must be done in Minnesota, our Republican legislators believe, if Minnesota is to be “open for business.”

If low tax rates and small governments are the keys to attracting business and creating jobs — and the Republican legislators are convinced that they are — Indiana and Texas are more friendly than Minnesota.

In a Tax Foundation ranking of “business-friendly” states, a ranking based on taxes, Minnesota ranked No. 43, with Indiana was No. 10 and Texas 13th. (South Dakota, by the Foundation’s reckoning, is the most business friendly state in the land. New York is the least business friendly.)

But what Minnesota Republicans never mention when they talk so reverentially about Texas and Indiana is that unemployment is substantially higher in those business-friendly states.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Minnesota’s unemployment rate stood at 6.7 percent at the end of January, the 11th-lowest rate in the country. Meantime, Texas ranked No. 22, with 8.3 percent of its workforce unemployed. Indiana, with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, is 29th in the nation.

Our state legislators also don’t mention that Minnesota workers are paid better than workers in either Indiana or Texas. Census data shows that the median income in Minnesota is $55,616, a figure that includes benefits. In Indiana, the median is $45,424, with benefits. In Texas, it’s $48,259.

There is an oft-stated belief among the Republican majority that what’s good for business is good for Minnesota.

But again, using stats from the Census Bureau, there are a least a few clues that not all that glimmers for business is gold for workers.

In Texas, 13.4 percent of the families have incomes under the poverty level. In Indiana, 10.7 percent of the families survive under the poverty level. In Minnesota, 7 percent of families have incomes under the poverty level.

In Minnesota, 21 percent of those 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree. In Texas, the percentage is 17 and in Indiana 14.5 percent.

Healthy citizens?

Texas and Indiana may have healthier business climates, but neither state is as concerned about the health of their residents as Minnesota.

In Texas, a staggering 23.8 percent of the population has no health insurance. In Indiana, 14 percent try to get by with no health insurance. In Minnesota, according to the Census Bureau, that number is 9 percent.

All things considered, this is a reminder that politicians, like everyone else, always should be careful of what they wish for.

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Comments (37)

  1. Submitted by Douglas Shambo II on 03/25/2011 - 09:20 am.

    I can think of one reason the majority in the legislature like to talk about Indiana and Texas: If they mentioned Mississippi, they might reveal their real motives too clearly. They would prefer we not pay too much attention as they lead us to the bottom.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/25/2011 - 09:33 am.

    I recognize that the some people here rate a state by how many government services it provides, but Minnesota republicans are more interested in the vitality of the business climate because that it what creates jobs which generates the tax revenue that the democrats love to spend. Considering that, here’s a few headlines from Texas newspapers in the past week or so:

    “Texas could add 374,000 jobs this year, Dallas Fed economists say”
    Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas economists said Thursday that Texas could add 261,000 to 374,000 jobs this year, growing between 2.5 and 3.5 percent, based on movements in leading indicators.

    “Texas tops U.S. for corporate expansions”
    Houston Business Journal
    Texas topped a list of U.S. states with the most new and expanded corporate facilities, receiving the 2010 Site Selection Governor’s Cup in the process. With 424 new or expanded corporate projects, the Lone Star State had a 50-project increase over its second-place finish in last year’s contest and dethroned Ohio, which had won the previous four Governor’s Cups. Ohio had 376 projects in 2010.

    “Texas ranks first for business expansion”
    Texas claimed 424 business expansion projects in 2010, enough to win the Site Selection Governor’s Cup for the year, Site Selection magazine said Tuesday.

    Those last two are a sore spot with me, having had two former employers either move to Texas or expand to Texas instead of expanding here.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/25/2011 - 09:49 am.

    In a similar way to certain religious leader’s style of interpreting the scriptures, lifting out all the things that criticize groups they already dislike and ignoring the many more things that criticize their own Pharisaic styles,…

    Our Republican friends base their ideas on what they already believe MUST work, with all evidence to the contrary being so completely invisible to them as to exist only in some universe alternate to the one in which they dwell.

    Just as their religious leaders tend to create “god” in images which match their own psychological dysfunctions and ignore what the Bible, itself, especially what the Gospels and Epistles say about God,…

    So our Republican friends want to create budgets and government in the image of THEIR own dysfunctions regardless of whether or not it actually works.

    The end result is, that their “image,” their imagining of a “better business climate,” results in what Texas and Indiana already have – a far WORSE climate for actual people, for jobs, for employment, for the health and well being of the vast majority of the citizens of the state.

    Their imaginary “better climate” is only better for one group of Minnesotans – the fabulously wealthy.

    Whether the Republicans preexisting dysfunctions automatically align their ideas with enriching and protecting the fabulously wealthy or whether they are, somehow, in fealty to those people, or both, is difficult to discern, but the results are the same.

    When the Republicans get to call the shots, rhe richest get richer, the rest of us, including the high end of the upper middle class slide downhill.

    Thank God for Governor Dayton who, from the perspective of one of the already wealthy, sees what the state really needs (and what his income mates DON’T, despite the whining, keening, and moaning of their designated governmental representatives).

  4. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/25/2011 - 10:06 am.

    The real question is, “Where is the bottom”?

    Because the same old “We must make conditions for business better” argument is also being made in Indiana and Texas.

    In the race of cutting wages, benefits, taxes and government the real bottom is located an ocean away.

  5. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 03/25/2011 - 10:13 am.

    My dad lives in Texas, and I recently was there helping him get his house ready to sell as he moves to a senior complex. I was stunned by his property taxes. His house is valued about the same as mine here in Mpls, and yet he pays almost 150% more property tax. About $1,500 more per year!

    Such is the miracle of “low tax” Texas. They shove off more of the cost of government to homeowners and less on corporations and income. It’s still taxes, people.

    Texas is facing a massive state deficit this year, so being “open for business” isn’t helping in that regard. It is true that Houston has a lower unemployment rate than many major cities. But they have a budget deficit, terrible roads (both in terms of pavement and traffic jams), and crime is not so great there.

    Let Texas continue with their experiment in government on the cheap. The Minnesota Miracle really was the deal, it saved our bacon. We can’t let our legislature forget that living on the cheap up here on the prairie isn’t likely to be a winning strategy.

  6. Submitted by nick gorski on 03/25/2011 - 10:14 am.

    well, as I’ve been noting as of late – MINNESOTA, that’s Mississippi with two ‘n’s

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/25/2011 - 10:14 am.

    A friend of mine works down in Dallas, and Houston. It’s sad because he says the cities are clearly in decline, basic services and infrastructure are crumbling. Unemployment is high, crime is creeping up, etc. The numbers speak for themselves.

    As for Republicans, you just have to remember these guys hate America. When they cast around for a vision of our future instead of landing on places like Norway or the Netherlands, places with affluent populations, good wages, affordable health care, and low unemployment- Republicans land on places like China and Bangladesh. It doesn’t surprise me that when they shorten their vision for places in the US and a vision for MN they land on states that are in decline.

  8. Submitted by Janet Robles on 03/25/2011 - 10:45 am.

    @Dennis Tester, I get that this is a sore spot for you, but here are a couple other links for you to factor into your thinking on this topic:

    Emperor’s got no clothes! When you connect the dots — this article to @Ralf Wyman’s comment about the myth of “low” TX taxes — you’ll see the bait-and-switch scam Rick Perry’s really been running. All that fine talk about the fiscal health of Texas has been a well-orchestrated lie to get businesses to relocate there. Guess what? When those same businesses can’t a.) find anyone locally who’s educated enough to be employable and b.) can’t PAY someone from a better-educated state (like MN) to move to these pockets of third-world backwardness and take those jobs, they will have no choice but to move back. Or send jobs offshore. But then again, they’re sending them all offshore anyway and we’ve been too stupid, as a nation, to bring the fiscal pain that would discourage the behavior.

    Then there’s this little gem. GE, one of the largest and most profitable corporations in the U.S., qualified for a $3.2B TAX REFUND. That any state’s corporate tax rate is “killing” business is a FILTHY lie. No matter what the actual “rate” may be, the only companies paying it are the ones who cannot afford or are not smart enough to hire corporate tax attorneys to find the loopholes that get many out of paying any tax at all.

    Please, wake up. We need tax reform on a state and national level. Not more policies that will help us all race to banana republic irrelevancy.

  9. Submitted by Mary Jo Anderson on 03/25/2011 - 10:48 am.

    Here is another good article giving further proof why we do not want to be Texas: “Austin City Limits?”

  10. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/25/2011 - 10:49 am.

    Clearly at least one of my fellow posters, here, wants to move to Texas.

    And if not WHY NOT?

  11. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 03/25/2011 - 10:52 am.

    Perhaps the MN GOP’s praise of Indiana is also related to their co-Republicans calls for inciting violence in Wisconsin.

    Yep, now two Republican county prosecutors in Indiana have had to resign over contacting Scott Walker and urging him to use illegal violence (to be blamed on pro-union folks) as a tactic in the fight over collective bargaining.

    These are the kinds of quality individuals with which, one presumes, the MN GOP plan to pal around with. Sheesh.

  12. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 03/25/2011 - 10:57 am.

    Wow. We’ve been asking the conservatives for years why they’re trying to make policy that is consistent with the crappiest states in the union and now they come out and just tell us yes, that’s what they’re aiming for. It boggles the mind.

    And then we have Mr. Tester there quoting news articles about speculation rather than responding to the fact that our ACTUAL unemployment numbers have been excellent, comparatively, through the whole recession.

    Oh, and we’re educated and healthy and our state’s environment is mostly intact. But we can fix that! All aboard the Conservative Idiolotrain! Next stop, Mississippi!

  13. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/25/2011 - 11:15 am.

    “His house is valued about the same as mine here in Mpls, and yet he pays almost 150% more property tax. About $1,500 more per year!”

    So he pays an additional $1,500 a year in lieu of income taxes. I’d take that deal in a heartbeat. I’m surprised that liberals are so opposed to property taxes, which are, after all, a tax on wealth, in favor of income taxes which are a tax on a working man’s labor.

    If you really want to tax the rich, tax their wealth not their income. Mark Dayton collected $1 as his U.S. senate salary if you’ll remember.

    And as we all know, corporate taxes are simply passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices but we keep it high because it makes the liberals feel good about themselves because they think they’re actually sticking it to evil corporate America.

  14. Submitted by Jennifer McNertney on 03/25/2011 - 11:24 am.

    As someone who grew up in Texas, I can say that folks in that state definitely get what they pay for. Relying on sales taxes and property taxes instead of income taxes pretty much guarantees huge disparities in public education, not to mention health, transportation, libraries, and other public services. Texas prides itself on being a low-service state that lets people fend for themselves, where those who can afford services pay and those who can’t are left on their own. That attitude is NOT what I moved to Minnesota for 10 years ago, and it is horrible to see it becoming a majority view here.

  15. Submitted by Bill Kellett on 03/25/2011 - 11:49 am.

    Dennis, your numbers for projected TX job growth are impressive. 374k new jobs is not to be sneezed at.
    I looked at a comparison with MN and discovered that the TX employment total is over three times more than MN, a much bigger economy. IN on the other hand is very similar in size to MN and their job building efforts are easier to compare to MN.
    MN total employed 2.6-2.8 million depending on CES or CPS survey, year over year job growth 14.9-38.5 thousand, again depending which survey.
    IN total employed 2.8m, both surveys, YoY growth 30.7-27.6k
    So MN is doing much worse or much better than IN.
    All figures from CES is Current Employment Survey, CPS is Current Population Survey for a explanation of the different methods Some differences include CES does not include self employed or farm workers and other catagories.
    Bottom line, MN hasn’t cut off teachers bargaining rights, slashed all spending for the less fortunate, slashed infastructure spending, etc YET. So when we do look out, we’ll have a better business climate than Bengladesh.

  16. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 03/25/2011 - 12:19 pm.

    Real easy to talk about low-tax Texas. I’ve been there several times on business. It sucks. The roads are awful. The road between Dallas and Fort Worth, which runs by the airport, looked like tar poured over the prairie. The poverty is staggering in parts. The only times I have ever been propositioned by a hooker were both in Texas. Lots of hidden taxes, no public transport to speak of so you have to rent a car at the airport to get anywhere. Why was I there on business? Because the industry of one of my clients needs a lot of cheap convention space, so they hold a convention there in the staggering heat of August. And what’s funny to me is, Texans are worse than the French when it comes to defending their home state. I wouldn’t live there at gunpoint.

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/25/2011 - 12:47 pm.

    //If you really want to tax the rich, tax their wealth not their income.

    See, this is why Republicans can’t balance budgets. I’m not a great fan of Bill Clinton but I have a favorite line of his, he was once asked why the economy did so well during his administration, how he produced surpluses instead of deficits, and what exactly it is that he “brings to the table”? His answer: “Arithmetic”. So now you see Republicans trying to balance the budget with numbers they pull out of their rear ends and we see an underlying economic theory- you can separate a wealthy man’s wealth from his income. Wizardry to be sure- if only there really were such a thing as magic.

  18. Submitted by Brian Simon on 03/25/2011 - 01:04 pm.

    More on the TX budget:

    “A budget shortfall as high as $27 billion is projected as lawmakers work through the 2011 legislative session, according to estimates from economists and the comptroller’s office.”

    Later, they list the various approaches that might be tried to solve this budget shortfall (where have I seen this before?):

    Budget cuts
    Increasing revenue
    * Draining the Rainy Day Fund
    * Cost-shifting
    * Fees
    * Gambling
    * Personal income tax

    and, not unlike here in MN, in TX “the structure of the revenue system creates deficits each year.”

    I’d say Doug’s question bears repeating: “Why, of all places, are Minnesota Republicans so keen on comparing Minnesota to Indiana?” Why, indeed.

  19. Submitted by Steven Liesch on 03/25/2011 - 01:05 pm.

    Dennis Tester:

    If you really want to tax the rich, tax their wealth not their income. Mark Dayton collected $1 as his U.S. senate salary if you’ll remember.

    Does this mean that you are in favor a tax “wrap account” system?
    Perhaps a small transaction fee for every stock trade?

    Sorry about the devil’s advocate position but when the race to the bottom means throwing thousands off medical protection and letting them fend for themselves by lining up at the food shelves,we have to decide what kind of society we wish to have.

  20. Submitted by Arito Moerair on 03/25/2011 - 01:20 pm.

    @Dennis Tester

    Corporate taxes are high? Tell that to GE. Or Bank of America. Or Exxon. Or Boeing.

    Or just stick to your talking points. Whichever.

  21. Submitted by Tim Walker on 03/25/2011 - 01:43 pm.

    Dennis misses the point.

    And the point is this: If one doesn’t look too closely, one can say Texas is a low-tax state. How? Easy. Just compare income taxes, and ignore sky-high property taxes.

    Do you get it now, Dennis?

  22. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/25/2011 - 02:02 pm.

    Dennis (#13)

    2009 income per capita:

    MN 45,220
    TX 40,498

    2009 total state and local taxes per capita:

    MN 4,651
    TX 3,197

    Income after state and local taxes:

    MN 40,569
    TX 37,301

    Hmm, it’s all about which numbers you focus on.


  23. Submitted by Sam Wilson on 03/25/2011 - 02:28 pm.

    I’m not one to normally post comments here, but this issue hits a cord with me. You see, I’m a 15 year employee of 3M that is in the process of relocating my family to Austin TX to follow my job.

    You folks might not realize it, or perhaps you just refuse to accept the obvious, but the fact is that vis-a-vis the business climate, Minnesota has been digging itself into a hole for the past 30 years, and it seems it is finally about to hit bottom.

    My employer, 3M, has not invested any capital in Minnesota, it’s supposed home base for many years. You might have noticed the empty lots on the East side of St. Paul where 3M buildings used to be and wondered “what happened to those jobs”. Allow me to answer that for you folks.

    They moved to Texas, Alabama and yes, Mississippi. And most of those plants have expanded at least once since they were built.

    It’s not just taxes that drive away business. Issues such as regulation, right-to-work, workers comp and yes, education come to bear.

    Texas has problems, like any state however my wife and I have found the schools to be as good, or superior to those our kids attend in Maplewood. The infrastructure is certianly better and the housing stock is excellent and the neighborhoods extremely pleasant.

    Minnesota certaily has much to offer, but it is foolish to suppose that it has such appeal that you can afford to ignore what the rest of the country is doing.

    Best regards,


  24. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 03/25/2011 - 03:21 pm.

    Forbes, no lefty rag, rates Minnesota’s business climate as 15th. They realize taxes are just part of the story.

    Also, Republicans care about supply side only. Cheap labor. A job is a job and the cheaper the better.

  25. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 03/25/2011 - 03:30 pm.

    Even if Sam were correct and Mississippi and Alabama were running away with our jobs – and this particular anecdote isn’t consistent with the hard data of unemployment numbers – it still begs the question as to why we are accepting this race to the bottom rather than reevaluating how to run our country in such a way that we don’t need to become China to have jobs.

  26. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/25/2011 - 04:12 pm.

    There’s no reason to be “business-friendly” unless those businesses with which one is “friendly” are willing to pay their fair share of what it costs to establish and maintain that same “business-friendly” environment. If they don’t, then they’re actively working to lower the standard of living in the communities where they operate. In what is rapidly becoming all too typical of the Republican approach to an increasing array of public issues, one side does all the giving while the other side does all the taking. A business that pays no taxes (e.g., General Electric) is providing a relatively small number of shareholders with a return on investment, and doing so by passing on to the public at large the entire cost of the tax-supported infrastructure, from transportation to electrical power to law enforcement to medical care, which allows that corporation to operate in the first place.

    What Republicans propose as “business-friendly” policies leave the general public at the mercy of corporate officers and policies that are not publicly accountable. Most big corporations operate as feudal political states, and are as far removed from the democratic as one can imagine. That the political party which lately yells the loudest about individual rights should support and even promote the corporate as some sort of model that deserves adulation is more than a little ironic.

    Since big corporations aren’t really people, there’s usually no such thing as a “good corporate citizen.” The bean counters in the accounting department tell the CFO what the projected benefits are to the company of sponsoring some civic activity or involvement. S/he (usually “he,” but I’ll try to put the best possible light on this) passes that information on to the CEO. If the cost is too high, the projected civic involvement or activity never happens. If the PR and direct economic benefits to the company outweigh the costs, then the company is often involved, not because the company cares about the community, but because its involvement will increase the company’s sales and/or profits and/or shareholder’s return on investment. If and when circumstances change so that what used to provide a direct benefit to the company in question no longer does so, then its sponsorship or involvement ceases, and sometimes abruptly.

    My poster child for this year in the “Why business-friendly is self-defeating” contest is Polaris Industries. Janet’s point (#8) about jobs being sent offshore is one we skip over far too lightly. Without completely eliminating our middle class, there’s no way we can maintain our collective standard of living when American companies send jobs elsewhere without penalty.

    I’d say Mr. Tester is essentially irrelevant, unless and until he’s willing to work for one-third of his current salary or wages.

    That’s what Polaris will pay its Mexican workers, in Mexico, to produce ATVs and snowmobiles which, if exported, will get Polaris a tax credit for “providing jobs” by selling “American” products overseas. The fact that they’ll be produced in Mexico, by Mexicans, after putting 515 people in Osceola, WI out of work is very business-friendly, but as corrosive to the fabric of American society as the strongest acid. And for devastating the economy of a Wisconsin town and the surrounding county, the CEO of Polaris will be paid a bonus of 175 percent of a salary which is already higher than what we pay the President of the United States.

  27. Submitted by Bill Coleman on 03/25/2011 - 05:39 pm.

    I am just hoping that the GOP wants our Gopher basketball and football programs to improve. Indiana turns out lots of basketball players and Texas certainly cranks out the football players.

    Business climate is important. The fact is that Tim Pawlenty did nothing to promote job creation in Minnesota. He was so busy criticizing the state and tooting his own horn in Iowa and New Hampshire that he was too busy to develop and implement an economic development strategy.

    Texas has made significant strategic investments in the University of Texas in science and technology. Austin Tx is a very cool town. Colleges, government workers and high technology companies. Just like Minneapolis.

    And of course the Johnson Space Center and about a million military installations have nothing to do with job creation in Texas. The pork has flowed fast and furious to Texas for decades. And you know what – government investment stimulates jobs!

    Texans have a remarkable ability to ignore the plight of their needy. It is not a problem if you don’t see it, so keep you eyes closed. If they actually ensured health care and education, their budget and tax system would be very different.

  28. Submitted by Janet Robles on 03/25/2011 - 05:58 pm.

    Sam, please note that Austin, TX, is one of the only Democratic stronghold and heart of whatever passes for a progressive movement in TX. It’s a college town, and quite blue, through and through. My guess is that 3M knew exactly what it (thought) it was doing by relocating so much business there and not, say, Laredo. Feels a lot like home, doesn’t it? That’s why. It’s even considered “lake country” …by TX standards anyway. They can drain their own water for their irrigation system, because in spite of their best efforts, MN, WI, MI and Canada couldn’t be bribed into giving up the water rights to Lake Superior and allowing TX to build a pipeline to drain it. Water rights — who has it (MN, for example), who doesn’t (TX, for example) and who needs it (that would be every one of us) — holds the key to the future wealth of not only this nation, but this world. Preferably not the kind that has to be desalinated before use, or I’m sure TX would have been happy to suck the Gulf of Mexico dry instead of casting their eyes northward for the better pickings. I can’t help it — I do wonder if you’d be quite so eager to move if you were being forced to relocate to Dallas (the pretty sister with the ugly personality) or Houston (the ugly sister with the pretty personality). Sure, you’d find nice houses in both — provided the foreclosured parties hadn’t stripped them of anything of value. But both are educational nightmares with skyrocketing crime rates. At last in Austin, 3M doesn’t have to pony up the extra salary for the cost of private schools. See how well they’re taking care of you? Remember though, you’re still just in the “engaged but not even living together yet” phase. Let the honeymoon begin! Then come back (online, here) and post about what you think of your new home in 3-5 years. I did my time in a state where the red Repubs ruled. Nothing like giving the patients the keys to the medicine closet and free reign of the asylum to drive the previously apolitical (me) to stake out a solidly center-left position.

  29. Submitted by William Pappas on 03/25/2011 - 06:00 pm.

    AS Republicans race to the bottom we should remember Pawlenty’s former education commissioenr Cheryl Yoecke. She tried to emulate Mississippi and Louisiana in rewriting grad standards for our schools. Revisiting the science on evolution was another big push for Yoecke as well as sanitizing US history to enhance our patriotism. One thing I find odd is that Minnesota’s work force is arguably the most hard working and efficient labor in the entire world. That is the last thing Republicans want anyone to know. Every business that does work out of state knows this. The reason: the level of education, the quality of education and the presence of unions that drive the quality of overall labor sky high. Sorry REpubs, that’s just a fact.

  30. Submitted by Jim Roth on 03/25/2011 - 08:13 pm.

    Sam, it’s good you’re so happy about moving to Texas. I hope you keep your bags packed because according to your CEO he’d rather send jobs like yours to India.

  31. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/25/2011 - 11:00 pm.

    See, this is why Republicans can’t balance budgets. I’m not a great fan of Bill Clinton but I have a favorite line of his, he was once asked why the economy did so well during his administration, how he produced surpluses instead of deficits, and what exactly it is that he “brings to the table”? His answer: “Arithmetic”

    That’s rich. Think about it. All of Bill Clinton’s successes, including balancing the budget, were from signing republican legislation. And even though he was dragged kicking and screaming to Gingrich’s balanced budget, he now has the temerity to claim it was all his doing. Typical liberal. Has no idea where the money comes from, but claims the right to spend it.

  32. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/26/2011 - 07:57 am.

    You don’t suppose 3M is moving to Texas because they can contaminate the water supply down there with more impunity do you? And Diane, judging by the numbers, once you get to Texas your salary will be dropping.

  33. Submitted by Patrick Hickey on 03/26/2011 - 11:24 pm.

    3m is not moving to Austin Texas. APC Industries‚ Inc.‚ was acquired by 3M in December 1982 and it has been there ever since.

  34. Submitted by Patrick Hickey on 03/26/2011 - 11:35 pm.

    Sam Wilson states-“My employer, 3M, has not invested any capital in Minnesota, it’s supposed home base for many years.”
    3M has been in the plant in Alexandria MN since 1968 and it has been expanded 5 times.
    I think the last expansion was within the last 3-4 years.

  35. Submitted by Peter Westre on 03/28/2011 - 10:49 am.

    Art Rolnick (retired Fed Bank economist) points out that until 1973 MN was relatively backward. Once we started ivesting in infrastructure our economy boomed.

    Infrastructure is much more than bricks and mortar. It is also people and living spaces. MN is far from perfect but we do produce hard working literate citizens.

    MN workers have an excellent reputation for quality. (I can attest to that from personal experience based on comments I heard when I was in the military.)

    Visit San Antonio TX. Walk the Pasa Del Rio. Two blocks away the business district is dead. It shows the facade of conservatism for what it really represents. A shiny surface with a hollow core. Hollowing out MN through erosion of wages, benefits and social services will result in the same phenomenon here.

    If you want real growth you need the human and physical capital to build the future.

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