Posts Tagged ‘high taxes’

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THE MINNESOTA ECONOMY

July 1, 2013

 

We really do have to quit complaining here in Minnesota….all in all, we’ve weathered the Great Recession better than most.  75% of the Star Tribune 100 experienced gains this year.  The SAMPLE of what I assume may be the top 12 ranged from + 16.4% to +151.8% increases.

 

Certainly, I am not dismissing the problems; the troubled economy and my own battles and physical therapy since the fall of 2011 have erased a bit of the “glow” I felt after my TWO BEST years in business in 20 years – 2010-2011.

 

But certainly, we can say “it is working” and better than the projections when the 2006 “cracks” and the 2008 “crumble” happened.  Remember the warnings?  The depths to which we fell led economists to project a 9-12 year recovery time and suggested we needed to RESET our expectations because what had just crumbled was “unsustainable”.  How quickly we forget the warnings!

 

Nevertheless, the naysayers continue to grumble and indeed, we all can cite examples of trouble and what still needs repair…and none of us are very good at remembering that life was not Nirvana before the Recession, nor are we very good at determining what is REAL and what is being played as trouble by an opposing political party – whomever that may be – anytime we have economic concerns.

 

So the timing was good for an interview upon of the retirement of the Minnesota state economist, Tom Stinson after holding the post for 26 years  [READ:  1988-2013- the Golden Years of the Republican Party under Reagan through today with Obama]

 

Stinson actually believes the Minnesota economy is stronger today than in 1988, and he suggests we can do better in the future.

 

“Minnesota isn’t broken says the state economist as he leaves the post after 26 years.  Don’t try to fix it without knowing the source of its success.”

 

The discussion that followed between Stinson and Lori Sturdevant of the Strib is worth noting:

 

What is the key things that has helped us? It is improvement in the education of the workforce and productivity of the worker.  Stinson suggests that we will need more output going forward…not achieved just by more workers but more productivity closely tied to education.

 

He reiterates one more time something we have all heard most of our lives here.  “We have never been a low-tax state.”  Rather, our competitive advantage is the quality of the workforce.  “Bright 20-and 30-year olds don’t make decisions based on tax rates.  They think about quality of life and the availability of amenities.”

 

Yes!  I thought.  For at least the last 30 years, I have been saying the same thing a little differently.  I have traveled around the world and spent a lot of time in some great US cities from coast to coast and border to border.  Many were nice places to visit and experience but no, I never wanted to live there!  The most tempting might have been the Canadian Vancouver – but no, I was not about to become an ex-pat.  The “anti-everything that is not a Republican-initiative” folks will loudly disagree of course as they weep and wail about tax increases and like Chicken Little,  keep up the cry of “the sky is falling; the sky is falling.”  And yet, as I have said many a time in past blogs – even the snowbirds fly home to roost at life’s end.  But I digress.

 

Stinson did expand on the disability of Minnesota to grow our own workers to meet the needs of the future.  His suggestion regarding mature workers staying involved in the workforce longer is a hot button as well; addressing the racial achievement gap and the growing gap between lower class and middle class is another, and his concern about education is key:

 

  • GED won’t do it; at a minimum we need tech school and community college education levels

 

  • Evaluate the pros/cons of high tuition for secondary education

 

  • Educate here results in greater worker base

 

  • Education access won’t solve issue; graduate-level research is another key strategy and challenge

 

We all would do well to keep his last thought recapped in the article in mind:

 

I have a lot of confidence that we’ll figure this out.  This state still has a great commitment to education and workforce development. We’ll figure out how to use those tools to keep our workforce more productive than the rest of the country.  As long as we don’t give up on education, we’ll continue to be successful.”

 

That all makes sense to me and I agree. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We really do have to quit complaining here in Minnesota….all in all, we’ve weathered the Great Recession better than most.  75% of the Star Tribune 100 experienced gains this year.  The SAMPE of what I assume may be the top 12 ranged from + 16.4% to +151.8%.

 

Certainly, I am not dismissing the problems; the troubled economy and my own battles and physical therapy since the fall of 2011 have erased a bit of the “glow” I felt after my TWO BEST years in business in 20 years – 2010-2011.

 

But certainly, we can say “it is working” and better than the projections when the 2006 “cracks” and the 2008 “crumble” happened.  Remember the warnings?  The depths to which we fell led economists to project a 9-12 year recovery time and suggested we needed to RESET our expectations because what had just crumbled was “unsustainable”.  How quickly we forget the warnings!

 

Nevertheless, the naysayers continue to grumble and indeed, we all can cite examples of trouble and what still needs repair…and none of us are very good at remembering that life was not Nirvana before the Recession, nor are we very good at determining what is REAL and what is being played as trouble by an opposing political party – whomever that may be – anytime we have economic concerns.

 

So the timing of the retirement of the Minnesota state economist, Tom Stinson after holding the post for 26 years  [READ:  1988-2013- the Golden Years of the Republican Party under Reagan through today with Obama]

 

Stinson actually believes the Minnesota economy is stronger today than in 1988, and he suggests we can do better in the future.

 

“Minnesota isn’t broken says the state economist as he leaves the post after 26 years.  Don’t try to fix it without knowing the source of its success.”

 

The discussion that followed between Stinson and Lori Sturdevant of the Strib is worth noting:

 

What is the key things that has helped us? It is improvement in the education of the workforce and productivity of the worker.  Stinson suggests that we will need more output going forward…not achieved just by more workers but more productivity closely tied to education.

 

He reiterates one more time something we have all heard most of our lives here.  “We have never been a low-tax state.”  Rather, our competitive advantage is the quality of the workforce.  “Bright 20-and30-year olds don’t make decisions based on tax rates.  They think about quality of life and the availability of amenities.”

 

Yes!  I thought.  For at least the last 30 years, I have been saying the same thing a little differently.  I have traveled around the world and spent a lot of time in some great US cities from coast to coast and border to border.  Many were nice places to visit and experience but no, I never wanted to live there!  The most tempting might have been the Canadian Vancouver – but no, I was not about to become an ex-pat.  The anti-everything that is not a Republican-initiative folks will loudly disagree of course as they weep and wail about tax increases and like Chicken Little,  keep up the cry of “the sky is falling; the sky is falling.”  And yet, as I have said many a time in past blogs – even the snowbirds fly home to roost at life’s end.  But I digress.

 

Stinson did expand on the disability of Minnesota to grow our own workers to meet the needs of the future.  His suggestion regarding mature workers staying involved in the workforce longer is a hot button as well; addressing the racial achievement gap and the growing gap between lower class and middle class is another, and his concern about education is key:

 

GED won’t do it; at a minimum we need tech school and community college education levels

 

Evaluate the pros/cons of high tuition for secondary education

 

Educate here results in greater worker base

 

Education access won’t solve issue; graduate-level research is another key strategy and challenge

 

We all would do well to keep his last thought recapped in the article in mind:

 

I have a lot of confidence that we’ll figure this out.  This state still has a great commitment to education and workforce development. We’ll figure out how to use those tools to keep our workforce more productive than the rest of the country.  As long as we don’t give up on education, we’ll continue to be successful.”

 

That all makes sense to me and I agree.