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Wisconsin or Minnesota

A common meme among my liberal friends is that Governor Scott Walker has taken Wisconsin to the brink of disaster with his right-wing public sector union busting. And that billionaire 70’s star child Mark Dayton, who has raised taxes and spent a bunch of money and raised the minimum wage, has led a miracle of liberal utopianism in Minnesota.

What’s the reality? Well, I decided to take a look at the BLS to see how much truth there was to this meme. And I found the following graphs.

Without cheating, can you tell which of the below is Minnesota, and which is Wisconsin?

Minnesota

Wisconsin

While it looks like the recession hit one state a lot harder than the other, the employment recoveries look very similar.

Because they are. Here is the graph from the Star Tribune that normalizes the job recoveries of “selected” Midwest states:

Midwest Job Growth Strib

While Minnesota is doing a little better than Wisconsin, it’s the real-world equivalent of a rounding error. The real Midwest miracle has been North Dakota.

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