The numbers tell the tale of ideologies

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In the article “in fiercely fought race, Minnesota is yardstick” (Sept. 30), it became apparent that Wisconsin Gov. Scot Walker is desperately hoping voters don’t do their own homework and discover that almost all economic indicators point to Minnesota as the winner in the area of economic recovery.

At the Bureau of Economic Analysis website, the news release of June 11 shows that Wisconsin’s economic recovery has trailed Minnesota’s for all four years of data presented:

GDP growth rate
Minn.
Wisc.
2013 2.8 1.7
2012 2.0 1.0
2011 2.5 1.7
2010 3.7 2.8

At the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the news release of Sept. 19 reveals:

Unemployment rate
Minn.
Wisc.
August 2013 5.0 6.7
August 2014 4.3 5.6

The same news release provides job gains from August 2013 to August 204:  Minnesota, 44,600; Wisconsin, 45,500. Hardly the “trouncing” the Walker campaign attributes to this small margin and single measure of victory.

From the U.S. Department of Labor website’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, more bad news for Wisconsin:

Annual wages
Minn.
Wisc.
2013 $50,116 $42,77
2012 $49,349 $41,966
2011 $47,858 $41,003
2010 $46,787 $39,966
Another report on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the Economics Daily issued April 24, reveals that Wisconsin has been lagging in job growth over the last decade:
Number of jobs
2003
2013
Difference
% of change
Minn. 2,660,300 2,777,200 116,900 +4.4
Wisc. 2,773,800 2,818,100 44,300 +1.6
If Walker wins, it will demonstrate that voters value and are willing to vote based on ideology rather than their own experience. Also, there are ways to increase the take-home pay of the employed populance:  1) increase wages; 2) decrease taxes. Minnesota has taken approach No. 1 and Wisconsin has taken approach No. 2. It will be interesting to continue to track the difference in political and economic trajectories to see if the magnanimous approach of increasing the minimum wage will be more effective than the punishing approach of restricting collective bargaining rights of union public employees.

Ellen Hoerle
Eden Prairie
StarTribune, October 4, 2014