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Rick Nease, MCT/Detroit Free Press

Letter of the Day (Nov. 7): Economic development

  • November 6, 2012 - 9:41 PM

The Nov. 6 editorial about Greater MSP ("Positive first steps ...") was a rare but welcome contribution about the business climate in Minnesota. It was also reflective of where state leadership and investment have focused almost exclusively over the past generation: the biosciences and education. That has helped to build an economy that is above the national average in many measures, but that also is now not diverse enough to lead in technology and innovation for the next generation.

Minnesota has virtually no public or public/private investment in high technology or advanced manufacturing, especially compared with neighboring states that are pouring billions into such efforts across a much broader industry spectrum. Coupled with high corporate and individual tax rates and a high regulatory burden, Minnesota represents an anti-small-business climate by any measure, particularly for technology firms and startups.

Building on our base of a nation-leading educated workforce, Minnesota could truly begin to make itself a recognized leader for innovation -- as we were a generation ago. But to do so, we must diversify our outlook for economic development by looking beyond specific industries and shifting investments toward incentives for small high-technology business.


CHIP LAINGEN, ST. PAUL

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