As Republican governors across the country destroy their economies and impoverish their own people, the states following liberal economic agendas are seeing their economies soar. CNBC recently declared Minnesota the best state for business in the nation, firmly debunking (again) trickle-down economics. Minnesota is known for it’s friendliness to organized labor, high wages, and high taxes- but opposite to everything the right wing would have you believe, Minnesota boasts a very low unemployment rate (3.8%) and high labor force participation (70.8%).
In a study which quantified sixty measures of competitiveness, Minnesota scored very highly in other important categories- third in quality of life for its low crime rate, clean air and water, strong education programs, and access to quality healthcare. CNBC emphasized the role that Democratic Governor Mark Dayton’s liberal agenda played in their rise through the ranks: “…to some degree, Minnesota benefits from a trend that we have sought to reflect in our study this year…rather than just seeking the lowest taxes or the highest incentives, companies are increasingly chasing the largest supply of skilled, qualified workers.
It casts a sharp contrast with the policies of neighboring Wisconsin, where Republican Governor Scott Walker ruined the state’s post-recession recovery by smashing union power, deregulating the economy, cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy, cutting funding for public education at all levels. Under Walker, Wisconsin has posted the slowest job creation of the Great Lakes states, falling far short of his campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs. Unemployment has grown in the past three years- by 3.65%. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel remarks that “This ‘open for business’ approach was supposed to provide incentives to unleash the “job creators,” Walker’s somewhat Orwellian term for his corporate cronies; manifestly, these “job creators” have failed to produce the kind of employment growth Walker promised.”
It’s a damning indictment of Republican economic policies- not that we needed another one after seeing the catastrophic economic damage that has been wrought in Kansas and Louisiana. Liberal policies work because they serve interests of more than just the wealthy and big business. When people are happy and have money to spend and are well educated, economies grow. It’s very basic, but Republians refuse to acknowledge the damage that they are doing with their relentless propagation of free-market fascism.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.