Friday, September 23, 2011

Job Watch: Comparing Minnesota and the Dakotas

I originally posted this story back on January 21, 2011.

For various reasons, I thought I would post it again.

January 21, 2011

President Obama will focus on jobs this year, he says, as the 2012 election approaches.

He might want to talk to Senator Al Franken (D) from Minnesota to find out what's happening out in the trenches.

For one thing, a very well-respected company and, should we say, an icon of Minnesota has recently expanded, building three new plants on the North Dakota side of the border.

Warroad-based Marvin Windows and Doors has opened North Dakota plants in Fargo, West Fargo and Grafton.
Marvin’s John Kirchner explained why the firm expanded to North Dakota in the last several years: “The regulatory and tax climate in North Dakota ... tend to be more friendly toward the business."
Also, Kirchner said, it takes too long to get state permits, delaying expansion plans.
While pledging that “we are not going to walk away from Minnesota” and saying Warroad will remain Marvin’s home and biggest factory, North Dakota is a good location for company manufacturing plants, he said. 
Wow, wow, and wow.
  • Regulatory climate.
  • Tax climate.
  • Too long to get state permits.
Wow, wow, and wow.

If I didn't know better, that sounds like Washington and the federal government.

If President Obama wants to keep jobs in the US from moving overseas he should note that it is not just the corporate taxes everyone seems to talk about.  And it's not just just the regulatory climate. But it's also the phenomenal delay to get anything done, generally due to a) bureaucratic inefficiencies; and, b) legal delays on minor or technical issues.

How long can it take? Well, just to get the environmental impact statement completed can take five years. Not five months, not even a year. But five years.

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