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Compare us to Minnesota, not Illinois -- Dan Sidney

February 13, 2019

John Nygren, R-Marinette, is generally correct when he favorably compared Wisconsin to Illinois in a variety of areas, in his Feb. 5 guest column, “Let’s keep Wisconsin the land of opportunity.”

He concluded that continuing Wisconsin’s path established under former Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led state Legislature is the way to move Wisconsin forward, whereas a more progressive agenda implicitly favored by new Gov. Tony Evers would move Wisconsin backward.

But Illinois is probably not the most apt state for comparison with Wisconsin. A more similar state to Wisconsin is Minnesota, in terms of population, demographics, history and culture. By many measures, Minnesota has outperformed Wisconsin in the past decade: economic growth, wage growth, job creation and health insurance coverage. Furthermore, Minnesota has done this without massive corporate welfare, deregulation of environmental protections, anti-union legislation, voter suppression and defunding of education and infrastructure.

And Rep. Nygren knows all this. I would invite him to update his guest column to include Minnesota, and see if he can still make his case. But I doubt he can, because I think he intentionally and cynically excluded Minnesota from his argument.

Dan Sidney, Madison

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