MPR: Shutdown would have big impact in northern Minnesota

The Minnesota Public Radio MinnEcon blog took a hypothesis of mine and ran with it. A while back I theorized that a state government shutdown could have a disproportionate effect on rural Minnesota and here on the Iron Range. Molly Bloom reports that, indeed, the hit would come from the fact that state government wages are a larger slice of the pie in northern Minnesota than in the metro area.

This makes sense. We have a different economy in northern Minnesota. Wages, taxes and real estate prices are lower. A state job that produces an average wage in the metro goes a little farther here. The people who could be laid off are big drivers in the local economy. (And yes, I’m one of the state workers in question).

Here’s hoping for a solution. The DFL and GOP are dug in for important reasons to their political bases, but also to the state as a whole. The state requires fiscal balance and a commitment to our world-class education, health care access and quality of life, opposing forces that will always create conflict. A shutdown is bad for both causes.


  1. If their goal is to “starve the beast” and replace it with a privatized theocracy…THEY ARE WINNING in a shutdown!

  2. If Dayton would sign the propose increased budget of $34 billion (up from the current biennium spending of $32 billion), there would be no shutdown. All he has to do is sign the bills before him…instead of veoting them.

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