Our view: Minnesota just can’t shake anti-biz rep

Article by: Duluth News Tribune - comments by Paul Thissen in an exclusive interview with members of the News Tribune editorial board

“When I go and talk to business leaders and community leaders, the thing that they most talk about is infrastructure investment and having a strong workforce. And one of the things I hear the business community talking to us about over and over again is we need to invest more in education and make sure education is working. And I think on both counts we took significant strides in this last legislative session.

“I think the down payment, particularly for greater Minnesota, we made on broadband expansion is going to be one of those things that’s going to keep a lot of parts of our state competitive economically.

“No one’s happy to pay more taxes, but they also understand that if we use that money wisely to put into education and into infrastructure … we are creating a good business climate. The governor is right when he says it’s hard to argue with success. And if you look at the facts on the ground, Minnesota’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country, our economy continues to grow at a decent pace, and since the recession we’ve had a better recovery than almost any other state. That’s not a testament to all government policies, but it is a testament to the hard work of Minnesotans and I think the hard work of businesses.

“I think we actually have a very competitive business climate. … Can we do better? We’re going to have to keep at it. But I reject the notion the sky is falling.”

With regard to Minnesota’s minimum wage increase, “I think all in all it’s going to be better for our economy from the perspective that these are folks that are on the margins, and they are going to be spending that money in their community. … So individual businesses, there may be an impact, but overall I think our economy is going to do better as a result.”

Read the full article at Duluth News Tribune.