Chanting Points Memo: We’re Number Eight!

The DFL chanting-point bots were out in force yesterday; a Forbes survey put Minnesota at number eight nationwide in terms of “Best States for Business“.

Recapping MN’s economy under DFL-led #mnleg: 8th best state 4 biz, unemployment falling, credit rating upgraded, thousands of jobs created.

— Matt Roznowski (@MattRoznowski) September 26, 2013

So look at the rankings.  And read Forbes‘ blurb:

Minnesota’s overall rank jumped 12 spots on the strength of an improved economic outlook. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is home to 62% of the state’s population. It also serves as the state’s economic hub, with companies such as Target, U.S. Bancorp, General Mills, 3M and Medtronic headquartered there. Minnesota has the second highest percentage of adults with a high school degree at 92.5%. With its good schools, low poverty rate and healthy populous, the state also scores well on quality of life measurements.

We’re reminded that the state jumped from #20 in last years’ rankings.

Two things to say about this article.

For starters:  everything the article measures about state business climate is directly related to changes made under GOP control of the legislature.  Everything.  What – you think Minnesota’s business climate is going to have a radical jump in business climate in the eight months since the DFL got the keys to the car?

Business climate changes slowly.  It improved under GOP control – for two years.  It was imperfect, but it was an improvement over 2006-2010.

And what’s the other thing this study tells you?

Look at the factors it measures:

  • Business Costs (Minnesota is 34th)
  • Labor Supply (18th)
  • Regulatory Environment (22nd)
  • Economic Climate (9th)
  • Growth Prospects (13th)
  • Quality Of Life (5th)

What do these factors tell you?

Labor Supply and “Quality of Life” are primarily issues for big businesses – the Targets and Best Buys and Medtronics, the big Fortune list titles that have their headquarters in Minnesota.  And we know – it’s a great place to be a CEO!

But how about small business?  What are the important measures?  A good economic climate is useful – but business costs and regulation are life and death.

And they were merely adequate over the past year – and have gotten much, much worse.

But we know that, since Minnesota has become the worst state in the nation for entrepreneurship measured in small business starts per capita since the DFL took control.

Which is not something the Forbes study visibly measures (or at least gives much weight to), and has little effect on the big Fortune 1000 companies that the DFL is most concerned with.

The big test will be how the state ranks next year and the following year.

Any bets?

Cross-posted at Shot In The Dark.