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The land of sky blue waters

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    I’m a Minnesota native, as well as a Golden Gopher (class of 1969), so I usually pay more attention to the Vikings and the Twins than most other sports teams. Minnesota’s license plates read “10,000 lakes”, but the phrase in the title above comes from the Hamm’s beer commercials that aired in the 1950’s:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap20r_Nmtps

    My wife and I were in Minnesota this week for the funeral of her baby sister. As we drove through the suburbs of Minneapolis, I was struck by how orderly and PROSPEROUS the city looked. I remembered that Minnesota often winds up near the top of most surveys, which provides a neat segue into a discussion of the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

    First of all, if you looked up “the best and worst managed states”, you’ll notice that Minnesota is rated as the best managed state in the country.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/12/07/best-and-worst-run-states-america-which-one-top-rated/926586001/

    Here is a key phrase: “With a strong tax base, the state brings in about $4,400 a year per resident in taxes, more than all but four other states. In Minnesota, higher tax revenue means the government can save more. The state has saved the equivalent of 10.3% of its annual spending in a rainy day fund — more than most states and greater than the 8.2% average across states.”

    On July 1, 2011, the Minnesota government went into a shutdown as a result of an impasse during budget negotiations between Democratic governor Mark Dayton and the Republican-led legislature. On July 20, 2011, Dayton and the legislature reached an agreement, ending the 20-day shutdown. In the legislative session that ended in May 2013, Dayton pushed for and won a $2.1 billion tax increase, mostly on the wealthy and cigarettes, the largest tax increase in the state’s history.

    If you have the patience to look at all 50 states the USA Today story, you’ll notice that the worst managed states are low tax Republican led states, with Louisiana on the bottom of the pile.

    Now, contrast Minnesota’s approach with what the Republicans are doing in Texas:

    TX-12: The radical anti-tax Club for Growth announced Thursday that it was endorsing businessman Chris Putnam's primary bid against Texas Rep. Kay Granger, who is the top Republican on the powerful Appropriations Committee.

    The Club soon said that it would launch a seven-figure ad campaign against Granger, which Politico's Alex Isenstadt reports is expected to start this week. Whoever wins the GOP nod on March 3 should have no trouble prevailing in the general election for Texas' 12th District, a Fort Worth-based seat that backed Donald Trump 63-33.

    Minnesota also happens to be the 3rd healthiest state in the country, due to excellent medical facilities, as well as a high percentage of its population that has health insurance”

    https://www.activebeat.com/your-health/the-top-10-healthiest-states-in-america/

    Minnesota also puts all those tax dollars to work by investing in education. Officially, Minnesota is the 10 most educated state in the country.

    https://wallethub.com/edu/e/most-educated-states/31075/

    Due to its investment in education, the per capita income in Minnesota is roughly $10,000 a year more than the per capita income of Arizona, which is one of the worst states for education funding. Also, since companies need educated employees, Minnesota is headquarters to 17 Fortune 500 companies.

    https://www.americaninno.com/minne/inno-news-minne/here-are-all-the-minnesota-companies-on-the-2019-fortune-500-list/

    Arizona has 7, and one of those is a trash company.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_corporations_in_the_Phoenix_metropolitan_area

    Minnesota DOES have a few drawbacks, of course. The morning after we touched down, the wind chill was 14 below zero, and there was lots of snow on the ground. During the summer, those 10,000 lakes are great spawning grounds for the mosquito, often considered to be the unofficial state bird. The common loon is the OFFICIAL state bird, which probably explains how Michelle Bachman got elected to congress.

    Minnesota has long been considered to be a Democratic state, and today Democrats still have a slight advantage over the Republicans overall, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+1.

    In case you are wondering, churches still serve hotdish and Jello salads at funeral lunches.

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    That guy, on a personal note, I have been a Minnesota Vikings fan since age 7 (over 50 years) because at age 7 my favorite color was Purple. What better reason to pick a team.

    I have never had the pleasure of visiting Minnesota but I hope to one day.

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    Jack Brickhouse, Hamms beer commercial.

    youtube.com/watch?v=JsXYB0qYyvM

    Jack Brickhouse, announcer for the Chicago Cubs.

    youtube.com/watch?v=54asQc2INSA

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    I remember the Hamm's beer commercial. It was a good one. And it's also true that many "higher taxation" states, and Minnesota especially seem to fare better than others. One obvious comparison that often gets attention is the economic differences between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Dockadams can probably relate to that as Wisconsonites write articles debunking those comparisons. Anyway, here's one from July 2017 that is pro-progressive:

    The Great Midwestern Divide: Why Minnesota and Wisconsin’s Political Schism Matters

    It discusses the governorships of conservative Scott Walker and progressive Mark Dayton and how they have yielded dramatically different results. I don't know that the comparisons are fair as many of the differences perhaps are decades in the making before those two governors made an impact.

    I lived in both Louisiana and Texas and I could make a similar comparison. But it also depends on what parts of the states you are comparing. My impression overall is that rural America, no matter the state, suffers more than the bigger cities. Agricultural communities especially have suffered as automation and "factory farms" are taking over. They simply do not need as many workers, and without a supporting tax base, the small rural communities can no longer support their infrastructure, hospitals, schools, police and other things that make a community a nice place to live. Young people leave the family farm for a better future elsewhere...and without energetic innovative young people the family farm also dies.

    But that's not the whole story. Here's another perspective from a Washington Post article:

    Dairy farming is dying. After 40 years, I’m done

    I suppose you could find similar stories across America as automation, globalization, mobility, education and changing consumer tastes for not only milk and milk products but other manufacturing products affect the economic well being of communities. In the case of mobility, perhaps the grass is seemed to be greener on the other side of the fence...a short hop to Minnesota for many young people in Wisconsin who are tired of waiting for those good paying jobs at the Foxconn factory.

    I'll leave it at that...