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Ah, this is getting serious folks! Major income erosion in Minnesota - implications for U...

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Richard Florida in the Atlantic reports bad news for Minnesota:

The big story last week was the census report on the fall-off in Americans' incomes. The New York Times' David Leonhardt called it a "lost decade" with 2008 median household income of $50,303 falling beneath the 1998 figure of $51,295. While the national pattern is troubling, the trend in U.S. income varies widely by state.

The first map below shows the change in income for the 50 states. There were some big losers - New Jersey (-$7,214), Vermont -($5,757), Georgia (-$3,304), Delaware (-$2,558), Minnesota (-$2303), Tennessee (-$2218), Arizona (-$1,891)and Florida (-$1,890).

Now part of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of our do-nothing governor. And our do-nothing President is about to pull off the same stunt. He has used stimulus money to artificially keep tuition down. Instead of making the difficult decisions that need to be made now - as Pawlenty did - he has borrowed forward on the backs of the students.

This strategy needs immediate and vociferous examination. The tuition increase next year should be as advertised and he should be forced to make the difficult choices that this will require - including cutting his own salary - rather than more of the usual smoke and mirrors for which Morrill Hall is becoming famous.

As the income situation of Minnesotans outlined above becomes clear, the President cannot reasonably expected the legislature to bail him out because the knife will be at the throat of students - which is apparently his current strategy. This kind of behavior has been common in the past: Give us the money we want, or we'll take it out on the students.

The jig is up, Bob.

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