Minnesota and Wisconsin, Apples to Apples in business, apparently not to The Chamber

Here is an interesting little fact for you to chew on.  The US Chamber of Commerce ranked the business climate in Minnesota a 40, while they ranked the business climate in Wisconsin a 39.  So Wisconsin scored one point better than Minnesota, but what’s interesting is that in every single category, except for one, Minnesota earned significantly higher scores than Wisconsin.

For example, although Minnesota ranked 40th in the US for “Business Climate” according to the Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota’s overall performance rating was 15th, while Wisconsin’s was 44th.  And we are not talking golf scoring here.  So how does Minnesota’s overall business ranking that is 29 spots higher than Wisconsin create a push when it comes to business climate?

Here are other statistics: The Chamber ranked Minnesota 6th in the nation on established infrastructure.  Wisconsin ranked 17th.  In the rating of a pipeline for educated young adults, Minnesota also ranked 6th, and had the second ranking of educated young adults, and the 4th ranking of young adult productivity.  Wisconsin ranked 14th.  In innovation and entrepreneurial ratings, Minnesota ranked 27 and Wisconsin ranked 41.  In every category they ranked, Minnesota outshined Wisconsin except for exports, which ranked Wisconsin 9 places ahead of Minnesota, must be the cows…

So why is it that Republican politicians use business climate to compare say, Minnesota and South Dakota?  Just so you know, South Dakota ranks first in Business Climate, even though most of their rankings are in the 30s and 40s, and North Dakota ranks 1st in performance, but in the upper-mid and mid-levels in everything else.

How is it possible?  What the heck is business climate?  I looked at the Forbes annual business rankings from December 2012.  Minnesota outscored Wisconsin in every category except Environmental Regulation, and personally, I like environmental regulations.  I like seeing bald eagles every day, drinking clean water, and fishing in lakes that seem to get clearer every year.

Is business climate even a real thing?  Do they use business climate, but in reality, they mean temperature?  Because Wisconsin and Minnesota are pretty close there, but it isn’t even close economically right now.

A couple final statistics to ponder, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Minnesota as growing .1%-.5% and Wisconsin shrinking (-.1%)-(-.5%).  The Federal Reserve Economic Outlook from May 2013 ranks Wisconsin 42nd and Minnesota 19th.  The funniest thing to me is that Oregon, a bluer state than Minnesota is now ranked ahead of Utah, and Massachusetts has moved back into the top ten.  The consolation for Wisconsinites is that Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana, which have been “right-to-work” states for decades, I’m just sayin’, are still ranked lower than Wisconsin.

So tell us all you Sconies and Minnesota’s Republicans who cheered and danced at Gov. Scott Walker’s plans and actions, and cried and worried at Mark Dayton’s plans, how’s all that there working for ya?

Wisconsin with a Republican Governor, Republican House, Republican Senate, and let’s be honest, a Republican State Supreme Court, is dropping like a rock economically.  While Minnesota, with a DFL Governor, a DFL House and a DFL Senate (and a nonpartisan Supreme Court,) is rising up the rankings.  I just hope that Minnesotans don’t forget in 2014 what happened under Gov. Pawlenty, and what it was like with a Republican controlled legislature, and I hope we don’t ignore the lessons we are learning from Wisconsin.  You can’t compare the Dakota’s and Minnesota, it is apples and oranges.  But, you can certainly compare Wisconsin and Minnesota, it’s apples to apples in terms of almost everything, except for maybe alcohol consumption.

Elect Democrats in 2014!  Promises Made + Promises Kept = Progress.  Let’s keep moving forward!


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