As if low information voters weren't bad enough, we in Minnesota also have a number of low information Legislators ready to solve all our problems next month in St. Paul. As Exhibit A, but by no means an isolated example is Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley (44B) and chair of the House Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs. I submit as proof his commentary A Road Map For Prosperity in Minnesota appearing in today's (12/27) Minneapolis Star Tribune.
In my very first post Say The Secret Word in 2004, I said that I stop reading an article at the first mention of Halliburton, then Vice President Dick Cheney's former employer. You immediately knew the author had no case if they had to trot out this pointless canard. Over eight years later, the concept of "Living Wage" jobs is another reliable indicator of unreliable information.
Sure enough, Mr. Winkler repeatedly violates perhaps tenet one of serious debate, that correlation is not causation. He more or less pines for the good old days of the Minnesota Miracle, when we could somehow afford to triple state spending every twenty years. The bill came due about 10 years ago, of course, and our liberal intelligentsia have been trying ever since to somehow resume this course so that they can again give everything to everybody. With near total control of power, the DFL will get their chance in about two weeks.
Sprinkled in are a few non-facts, like that early childhood education actually works. The "research proves it" he claims, only the gains disappear well before age 10. Speaking of research, he thinks our universities can generate employment utopia by the simple expedient of giving them more money. Of course, the other 49 states can also do this and many have, to no discernable advantage. He also believes in things unseen like that mythical tax break employers get for moving jobs overseas.
And as "Senior Economist for The Late Debate With Jack and Ben" (and St. Thomas professor) Dr. John Spry observed, Ryan Winkler doesn't seem to understand how the economy even works. To read Winkler's article here, you would think it's some sort of wonkish machine that will respond favorably to wise policies, such as the ones he outlines. Again quoting Spry, "the economy is just lots of ordinary people going about everyday life as workers and consumers and hopefully entrepreneurs."
Rep. Winkler needs a new road map, one showing the burgeoning "mining" (oil) industry in North Dakota while ours (minerals) is hopelessly tied up in environmentalist red tape. Or the low taxes in South Dakota while our Governor seeks to push the total margin income tax rates over 50 percent. Or even Iowa, which quietly has become a top ten business friendly state. And of course, Wisconsin, that chose sensible state spending over public union largess.
Each in their own way, our surrounding states are embracing the future. The DFL prefers to chase a past that ultimately never was.