Minnesota state economist Tom Stinson: The exit interview

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 29, 2013 - 5:08 PM

Minnesota isn’t broken, says its state economist as he leaves the post after 26 years. Don’t try to fix it without knowing the source of its success.

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supervon2Jun. 29, 13 5:23 PM

What he really said is we have a welfare culture that does not work and has no intention of working and the children learn from their elders that the lifestyle is acceptable and politicians will do (promise) anything for votes.

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eman2001Jun. 29, 13 6:01 PM

We have a social experiment going on where 40% of children grow up only with mom. This is a much greater problem in minority community. The ramifications for education, employment and crime are huge. Please talk about this.

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pumiceJun. 29, 13 7:14 PM

From the article: "One of the challenges we have in the next decade or more is intervening with [the group people who don’t graduate from high school at an appropriate level] and trying to get them to a level at which they can participate in the global economy." The way to do that, according to Tom Stinson, is through Basic Adult Education. Minnesota can maintain its long-time advantage--a workforce which is more productive than workers in the rest of the country--by catching the ill-prepared and giving them the opportunity of postsecondary training in community and technical colleges, by supporting research and, of course, by attracting bright 20- and 30-year-olds to the state and keeping them here.

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pumiceJun. 29, 13 8:02 PM

Excellent commentary, Ms. Sturdevant! Classic strategy: Get an expert, ask him/her open-ended questions, listen carefully, ask follow-up questions for clarification and so s/he will elaborate. Thanks also to Tom Stinson for a quarter century of service. Laura Kalambokidis has some big shoes to fill.

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jeff57flJun. 29, 13 9:38 PM

I just moved to Florida to escape Minnesota taxes. With my federal rate at 43.4% I can't afford a 9.85% state rate on top of that. I will create jobs down here. If you want to stay closer to home move to Hudson. The Wisconsin governor is actually taking that state in the right direction. It is absurd to think taxes at the new extremely high rates in Minnosata are anything but bad for the state. Nice try.

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heckyousayJun. 29, 1310:06 PM

jeff said: "The Wisconsin governor is actually taking that state in the right direction" Look again jeff; no matter how Walker spins it, the numbers prove Wisconsin is near last in economic development under his watch. Now re-read what Stinson says about quality of life and avaiilability of amenities.

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elmore1Jun. 30, 13 8:08 AM

Interesting perspective. With all of the focus on education as a key part of MN success I am surprised that he didn't mention the out of control cost of college and massive student debt. Controlling college costs and transforming them to make them more effective is a key area of concern. Short term bailouts to the bloated U and state college system by the state is only a short term fix.

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sundialJun. 30, 13 9:26 AM

If education is the key to success, then why do we have so many educated young adults who can't find a job in their field? I agree we need education, particularly education and training for the jobs of tomorrow, but that's not the whole picture. As long as companies can outsource jobs to other states and countries, we'll be challenged to achieve high employment. Minnesota is not an island. What happens outside our borders matters just as much as what we do here.

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hjlazniJun. 30, 1311:24 AM

Darnit, the writer did not ask the question in response to the remark "either more people making stuff, or the amount of stuff each person makes increases". With increased productivity, don't you lose jobs, in which case, how do those people who no longer have jobs support themselves and their families? Find writers who ask the right questions.

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mklundJun. 30, 13 2:26 PM

It is a pleasure to hear the rational comments of a public servant! We will miss Tom Stinson. Perhaps he will follow in the footsteps of John Gunyou and continue to educate us. Worker productivity, with any attendant job loss, will eventually be balanced with new jobs - as has happened repeatedly in our economic history. What we need is a commitment to the state and the region that brings local prosperity. Our burgeoning population of entrepreneurial refugees may be our salvation! Those who prefer Florida are just dead weight.

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