Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wisconsin beat Minnesota...

...yesterday, 20-7, to retain Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the 10th consecutive year. It had to be a disappointment for Golden Gopher fans as the team had won four straight in Big Ten play, its longest conference winning streak since 1973. (I'm sure my brother is moping around his house right now.)

But take heart, Minnesotans, you may be beating Wisconsin in the things that really matter. According to a piece in the Times by Lawrence Jacobs, a professor at the University of Minnesota (my emphasis):

Three years into Gov. Scott 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. Mr. Walker’s defenders blame the higher spending and taxes of his Democratic predecessor for these disappointments, but according to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half.

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. Republicans deserve some of the credit, particularly for their commitment to education reform. They also argue that Minnesota’s new growth stems from the low taxes and reduced spending under Gov. Mark Dayton’s Republican predecessor, Tim Pawlenty. But Minnesota’s job growth was subpar during Mr. Pawlenty’s eight-year tenure and recovered only under Mr. Dayton.

While it would be really nice to win back that axe some day, it may be even nicer knowing that you live in the more prosperous state.

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