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 Response Page - Kiedrowski  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Jay Kiedrowski  Interview of
07-26-2013.
 

Focus on state economic fundamentals to grow, compete

                                                                                                 OVERVIEW

Focus on the fundamentals to keep Minnesota's economy successful and competitive, says Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Focusing on the fundamentals means spending money on developing human capital and infrastructure, rather than on the gimmicks of economic development that provide inducements to specific businesses. Further, he contends that economic development activities are better suited to a regional approach, rather than limited specifically to state concerns.

Many comparisons of states illustrate that Minnesota has done quite well in national economic competition, but still has problems to address. He cites Minnesota's many strengths, such as productivity and human capital, and lays out his concerns about the state's weaknesses, such as lack of business incubation and some particular challenges in the area of human capital

He believes use of tax-increment financing and tax abatements by cities should be capped and that dipping into the region's fiscal disparities pool to help pay for the expansion of the Mall of America was "terrible." He says we must be careful about funding things like the Mayo Clinic expansion in Rochester, so we don't set a precedent encouraging others, who might be planning expansions independently, to seek public subsidies. On the other hand, he says there is no excuse for government not to be more efficient in the processes where it interacts with business, such as zoning and environmental impact statements.

For the complete interview summary see: http://bit.ly/1dQWfDU

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

Readers were asked to rank the following on a scale of 0-10 ("not at all" to "very").

1. Usefulness of topic. (8.9 average response) How useful to you is today's interview?

2. Importance of further study. (9.3 average response) How would you rank the importance of scheduling additional interviews on this topic?

Readers were asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points made during the discussion.

3. Work force a key asset. (8.1 average response) The productivity and quality of its work force are Minnesota's strongest economic assets.

4. MN lags in start-ups. (8.0 average response) Compared to other states Minnesota is lagging in entrepreneurial activity and new business start-ups.

5. Concentration vs. diversification. (8.5 average response) Enabling a critical mass or "cluster" of related industries is good but must be balanced by the need for a diversified economy.

6. Focus on fundamentals. (8.8 average response) Minnesota economic strategy should focus on human capital and infrastructure instead of inducements for specific businesses.

7. No property taxes for development. (7.0 average response) The state should restrain cities from diverting property tax revenues to promote business growth.

8. Focus regionally, not statewide. (7.3 average response) It is better to focus ecomomic development efforts on regions, such the Twin Cities metro area, rather than on the state of Minnesota as a single entity.

9. High taxes detrimental. (7.8 average response) Minnesota's progressive tax system may not have reached a level where significant numbers of wealthier people are leaving, but the level of personal taxation could become detrimental to our economic growth.

Response Distribution:

Not at all

Slightly

Neutral

Moderately

Very

Total Responses

1. Usefulness of topic.

0%

0%

0%

55%

45%

20

2. Importance of further study.

0%

0%

0%

35%

65%

20

 

 

 

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

3. Work force a key asset.

5%

0%

5%

48%

43%

21

4. MN lags in start-ups.

0%

0%

10%

57%

33%

21

5. Concentration vs. diversification.

0%

5%

10%

33%

52%

21

6. Focus on fundamentals.

0%

5%

5%

29%

62%

21

7. No property taxes for development.

0%

14%

24%

29%

33%

21

8. Focus regionally, not statewide.

0%

10%

19%

48%

24%

21

9. High taxes detrimental.

5%

5%

15%

25%

50%

20

Individual Responses:

Ray Ayotte (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Anonymous (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10) (5) (10) (10)

Dave Broden (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (10)

1. Usefulness of topic. A very excellent overview of the Minnesota scene, which gives the views of a person who has grasp on the big picture as well as some details. I am not sure the discussion added significantly but it did very much help to focus and gave a solid base to follow forward.

2. Importance of further study. This topic is the core of the future vision for growth in Minnesota and how it relates to other quality of life issues.

3. Work force a key asset. This is definitely true and demonstrated across the state. It is critical that productivity and quality is considered for all levels of the workforce including professional personnel. Too often these terms focus only on the lower and [middle level] skill groups.

4. MN lags in start-ups. Minnesota’s lag in start-ups is a critical concern. The reasons may be many and somewhat hard to focus [on] and pinpoint what they are and how to address the weaknesses. Two area of concern are: 1) U of M and other academia are not effective in transferring technology out to industry (too complex and not thinking about applications); 2) too many study groups and non-profits focus only on the jobs for the manufacturing and trade skills and not on the how professionals are needed to start and evolve businesses. Another is that MN does not/has not recognized some of its business strengths and addressed [how to] build these and related spin offs. Further the Minnesota regulation climate is too complex and hard to get through. Finally the attitude in Minnesota for business growth and corporate expression is not always positive.

5. Concentration vs. diversification. Strongly agree. Clusters are important and a factor but diversity provides opportunity for a wider range of workers and offers lower risk through business cycles. Clusters too often address product clusters rather than skills clusters, which [addresses] a wider range of businesses.

6. Focus on fundamentals. The solid foundation will set the stage for companies to see the benefits of Minnesota. While inducements may be needed in some way Minnesota must ensure the base is ready and capable.

7. No property taxes for development. While this is a common tool and has some plusses the debate on how, when, and under what conditions needs to be addressed in a "value" approach.

8. Focus regionally, not statewide. Regions are definitely more important than the state but only if they are considered as part of the whole. I would make a distinction as follows: Region is the multistate area such as the 9th Federal Reserve District, and sub-regions are areas such as metro, iron range, northwest Minnesota, etc.--or even the St. Cloud-to-Twin Cities-to-Rochester corridor. Region/Sub-region focus will enable clarity of goals and results but must also consider the impact and links across the larger area.

9. High taxes detrimental. There always is a crossing point in both the quantitative values of the taxes and the subjective messages that high tax rates communicate. Sometime the subjective has a stronger impact unless there are other reasons for "value' in Minnesota.

Gene Franchett (7.5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5)

R C Angevine (7.5) (10) (7.5) (5) (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (5)

3. Work force a key asset. They are certainly key, but there are other factors such as community assets, cultural and entertainment, etc.

5. Concentration vs. diversification. We need a broad based business focus, not one that is geared to only one or two industries.

7. No property taxes for development. I agree that it has been overdone in the past, especially with the MOA and to a lesser extent with the various stadium efforts.

Bert LeMunyon (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (2.5) (7.5) (10)

Don Anderson (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (5) (7.5) (2.5)

Paul Gilje (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Scott Halstead (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (5) (10)

4. MN lags in start-ups. We need to improve our research and development efforts and financing [of] new enterprises in Minnesota.

5. Concentration vs. diversification. We should cluster in agriculture and food production, medical technology, medical data utilization, mining/production of steel, use of waste to produce energy and reduce pollution, businesses with a heart, effective and innovative government.

8. Focus regionally, not statewide. We need to be very careful splitting the state economic development by regions.

9. High taxes detrimental. We need a more balanced tax system. We are losing retirees to other lower tax states.

Anonymous (7.5) (7.5) (5) (10) (5) (2.5) (2.5) (5) (10)

5. Concentration vs. diversification. Why is this a top down decision?

6. Focus on fundamentals. Is this an either/or?

7. No property taxes for development. Stop the government intervention. Allow for free markets and reduce business taxation. Diverting property tax revenues? Revenues?

9. High taxes detrimental. I personally know 4 couples that have put their homes up for sale due to taxation; Minnesota has reached the level where wealthier people are leaving. While Minnesota has been proud of the participation in philanthropy, how can it expect philanthropy to continue unabated if income is redistributed via high taxation?

Roger Johnson (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (5) (2.5) (0)

Dennis L. Johnson (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)

Dana Schroeder (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (8) (8)

Wayne Jennings (9) (8) (7) (6) (8) (8) (5) (5) (na)

Mina Harrigan (10) (10) (9) (6) (10) (10) (8) (5) (9)

Lyle Wright (DEED) (10) (9) (7) (8) (10) (7) (7) (9) (5)

Opinions expressed are strictly and totally personal and do not reflect the position of the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, nor any other MN Government agency or program.

Chuck Lutz (9) (9) (10) (6) (9) (9) (8) (7) (5)

Tom Spitznagle (8) (8) (7) (7) (7) (9) (2) (3) (8)

Tom Swain (9) (10) (10) (8) (8) (10) (10) (7) (10)

Jack Evert (10) (10) (8) (9) (4) (10) (8) (9) (6)

Roger A Wacek (na) (na) (0) (5) (5) (5) (5) (10) (10)

The economy is tied to oil. Since world oil production has peaked out so has the economy. All the discussion by the economically challenged about expanding the economy is a roadblock to an economy less dependent on oil.

    

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reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

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