It took me awhile to edit this down so it made simple easy sense for my conservative friend in Milwaukee. The research is provided by Politifact:
Minnesota state Rep. Joe Atkins: "Minnesota is kicking butt relative to Wisconsin on everything from employment and job creation to school test scores, educated work force and a host of other factors and rankings"
In an interview, Akins got perturbed by what he said were Gov. Scott Walker’s attempts to lure companies across the border by portraying Wisconsin as the better place to do business.
Here's where the simple truth could really harm Walker's chances for reelection, if a smart Democrat would make the comparison first, and second, repeat it often:
Unemployment rate: The latest monthly figures, for July 2013, show Minnesota at 5.2 percent, nearly one-quarter lower than Wisconsin’s 6.8 percent.
Job creation: Atkins cited the latest month-to-month U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, which show the number of people employed in July 2013 vs. July 2012 … show that in Minnesota, an additional 55,000 people became employed, compared with 25,800 more in Wisconsin … that to be an increase of 2 percent for Minnesota, more than double Wisconsin’s growth of just under 1 percent.Congress’ Joint Economic Committee shows that since the recession, Minnesota job growth was 0.1 percent while Wisconsin lost 1.5 percent of its jobs.
Private-sector employment growth: Both Walker and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, took office in January 2011. Dayton was ranked 15th among governors, with a 2.01 percent growth rate during his tenure; Walker was ranked 40th at 1.07 percent.
School test scores: the class of 2013, among states where more than half the students took the ACT, Minnesota ranked first and Wisconsin tied with Iowa for second.
Educated workforce: Minnesota’s education attainment about one-fifth higher than Wisconsin’s. Minnesota, 31.9 percent of residents had a four-year degree or higher. In Wisconsin, 26.2. Minnesota kicked butt in the sense that it outperformed Wisconsin on all four measures, and by comfortable margins.
Business climate: The latest Forbes ranking of states for business, released in December 2012, listed Minnesota 20th and Wisconsin 44th overall. In terms of economic climate, Minnesota ranked 20th and Wisconsin 29th. And CNBC's "top states for doing business" ratings for 2013 ranked Minnesota 15th and Wisconsin 22nd.
Competitiveness: The Beacon Hill Institute, a free-market think tank ranked Minnesota third and Wisconsin 18th.
Economic growth: A U.S. Commerce Department report released in June 2013 showed Minnesota’s gross domestic product increased 3.5 percent in 2012. That was more than double Wisconsin’s 1.5 percent.
Business climate: In November 2012, Site Selection magazine ranked Wisconsin 13th on its list of top 25 states. Minnesota didn’t make the list.
CEO survey: by Chief Executive magazine ranked Wisconsin the 17th best state for doing business, with Walker’s election cited as a key reason. Minnesota ranked 30th, with Gov. Dayton’s support of tax increases cited.
Business taxes: The Tax Foundation’s "2013 state business tax climate index," rated both states as among the worst, with Wisconsin at 43rd and Minnesota at 45th.
Business climate: In an April 2013 report on small business the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Wisconsin 39th in business climate and Minnesota 40th … the chamber put Minnesota 15th, with high ratings for "talent" and infrastructure; and Wisconsin 44th, with low ranks for short- and long-term job growth.
Comparing the two states for business, Atkins said: "Minnesota is kicking butt…"
For a statement that is partially accurate, we give Atkins a Half True.