Twin Cities' National and Global Image

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Didier
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby Didier » April 16th, 2015, 1:07 pm

It's always interesting to read the dissenting opinion, and of course the original Atlantic article was overstated. However, I'm not convinced.

First, this new writer compared Minneapolis more against other midwestern cities, rather than against similarly-sized cities across the nation. So it's not really a surprise that growth in Fargo and Sioux Falls is faster, or that Minneapolis is the second most expensive city in the Midwest.

The idea of the North Dakota oil boom is interesting, too, but the author made that his primary explanation while littering the explanation with caveats like "We don’t know if Minnesotan migrants are sending money home, or in what quantities" or "I’ll readily admit I’m speculating here. And those aren’t huge numbers in the grand scheme of things."

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby mnmike » April 16th, 2015, 2:35 pm

mplsjaromir wrote:
Wedgeguy wrote:Because St. Paul had the foresight not to tear their depot down like MPLS did. Building a new train station in a city that got rid of their best available track for other purposes, would have probably cost them 2 to 3 times that much for a less then stellar operation. Look what we got for our Twins/Interchange money! People can drive out the airport in Bloomington ok, but then piss and moan that they have to drive or take LRT to St. Paul for a train is ...........
It's hard to fault Minneapolis for tearing down Great Northern Depot when they did. All rail lines leading to the Depot were abandoned, making the structure obsolete. I do not believe the city was in the position to operate a railroad. In place of the station Minneapolis got a new branch of world's second best central bank (SNB being #1, obs), and a fantastic riverside park. The bank pays $3.4 million in annual property taxes, I couldn't find a property in downtown St. Paul that pays more.

SPUD would still be rotting away if it wasn't for a huge influx of federal stimulus money. I agree with the spending the money, but its not like it was St. Paul who made it happen.

St. Paul is nice and cool. But St. Paul wants to be taken seriously as a cutting edge city, for that to happen they are going to actually implement some cutting edge policy and stop looking to the 1960s as guidance. Minneapolis and it leaders have moved into the 21st century for the most part, hopefully St. Paul can as well.
Just as an aside, It is my understanding...and this could be off, comes from my aunt who was very active in city politics and the historical society at the time and later served on the city council and as city coordinator...that the city didn't actually want the Great Northern demolished. She claims that the city would not issue a demo permit and was trying to make it historic, and that demolition began without one to the extent that it was unsafe, then it had to be torn down. I don't know details and maybe she's just wrong, but that is what I have always been told, for what it's worth!

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby min-chi-cbus » April 16th, 2015, 5:15 pm

Seemed like grasping at straws to me. It didn't seem very convincing.

I know I'm biased though, and agree to an extent that Minneapolis isn't a miracle, per se. It's what it is for two key reasons: education (is good) and weather (can be bad). When a whole bunch of smart people are grouped together in one region AND there's less competition for great jobs, the result is higher income/QOL/lower poverty/lower crime, etc.

That all being said, I think the "bad" is slowly but surely becoming less relevant to outsiders and as that perception continues to fall the "good" will slowly start falling along with it as competition heats up.

That's my take, anyways.

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Tiller
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby Tiller » April 16th, 2015, 7:10 pm

Best part of the article:
We don’t know if Minnesotan migrants are sending money home, or in what quantities. We know that international migrants do this. So really, it’s a question of plausibility.
So, as long as it's plausible, then it must be true (/sarcasm).

The article is half misleading statistics, and half speculation. He cherry picks the cities MSP is compared with, and doesn't differentiate between absolute and relative growth. Of course, Smaller and/or poorer metros' incomes easily grow faster than those of larger and/or richer metros. Likewise, of course the cost of living in small plains metros and less-prosperous rust belt metros will be lower, which isn't entirely a good thing.

His map and 2 graphs are also misleading. The map leads the reader to compare MSP to nearby rural counties, as opposed to its peer cities. The graphs' labeling unreasonably minimizes the differences between cities. A 500% range of income growth, and a $10k range in real incomes, are both significant in this context (cities within the same region of the same country). If we were comparing countries with different levels of development, or maybe even different regions of the US, then such differences wouldn't be as significant.

There are some interesting threads of truth in that piece, but he overstates his case (I'd have liked for the second half to have had more substance backing up the speculation).

xandrex
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby xandrex » April 17th, 2015, 9:58 am

Yeah, I generally wasn't impressed with the analysis. I don't know that comparing Minneapolis to Sioux Falls and Fargo is necessarily a winning strategy (metros of a couple hundred thousand aren't directly comparable to a metro over 3 million) and the author liked to jump between the city of Minneapolis, core counties, the Twin Cities metro, and the state of Minnesota. It was a bit dizzying. Were we talking about Minneapolis proper or Minneapolis the metonym?

One thing of note - this is an old analysis that seemed to be discovered and then tweeted by some local media folks (I first saw it when Brauer tweeted about it). So it's really just another take-down-the-Atlantic's-admittedly-glossy piece. But is there any city that has inspired SO MANY take down analyses? Surely there's been a "Seattle is a gem" article that glosses over some of the city's issues and then gets (perhaps somewhat inappropriately) ripped to shreds by folks who really, really need to have their say on everything. But I just haven't seen those. Why do we inspire so much...rage?

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby FISHMANPET » April 17th, 2015, 10:20 am

I feel like a lot of the take downs are coming out of Chicago (that's how I came across it, via some Chicagoans on Twitter). Are they getting jealous of us?

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Tiller
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby Tiller » April 17th, 2015, 10:34 am

xandrex wrote:But is there any city that has inspired SO MANY take down analyses? Surely there's been a "Seattle is a gem" article that glosses over some of the city's issues and then gets (perhaps somewhat inappropriately) ripped to shreds by folks who really, really need to have their say on everything. But I just haven't seen those. Why do we inspire so much...rage?
It may be the "Minnesota is the Left's Texas" thing. There have been lots of partisan comparisons between Minnesota and (as an example) Wisconsin.

There are lots of google results for "Texas miracle", so it could just be a partisan thing.

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby xandrex » April 17th, 2015, 11:52 am

It's just funny because, yeah, on a statewide level, we probably are the liberal response to Texas (or they're the conservative response to Minnesota?), but all these articles came out because of the Atlantic heaping praise specifically on Minneapolis (err...well, at least metonym Minneapolis). But I don't feel like articles about Seattle, Portland, or Denver have raised so much ire that they merit responses from Salon, CNN, the New York Times, etc.

Viktor Vaughn
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby Viktor Vaughn » April 17th, 2015, 12:11 pm

I think news of our success does get pushback because it's so widely attributed to liberal policies. Seattle and Portland are West Coast cities, Denver is near mountains, Salt Lake City has mild weather, mountains, and mormons, and Houstan has the booming energy industry. We're just a town on the prairie that has outperformed the sleepy great plains and the declining rust belt without an easy explanation for our success.

A high-tax, high-spending, wealth-redistributing state doing well precisely because of those policies undermines the freshwater school of economics that underpins the right-wing world view.

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby xandrex » April 17th, 2015, 12:16 pm

That's true, but the pushback has been primarily from the left, not the right.

I mean, the Miracle in Minneapolis article even wrote about our gaping disparities, but I still had to have an endless assault of links to the [insert left-wing blog/"news" site here] takedown from every one of my Facebook friends who've made it their life mission to inform everyone that they're aware of their white privilege.

web

Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby web » April 17th, 2015, 12:22 pm

Salt lake city had their AAA baseball teams home opener delayed by snow on the field..........

Viktor Vaughn
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby Viktor Vaughn » April 17th, 2015, 12:36 pm

That snow is an asset. The powderiest snow in the US, from what I hear.

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby Viktor Vaughn » April 17th, 2015, 12:58 pm

xandrex wrote:That's true, but the pushback has been primarily from the left, not the right.

I mean, the Miracle in Minneapolis article even wrote about our gaping disparities, but I still had to have an endless assault of links to the [insert left-wing blog/"news" site here] takedown from every one of my Facebook friends who've made it their life mission to inform everyone that they're aware of their white privilege.
Right, absolutely. I think that blowback from the left was more an acknowledment that we're pretty great for white yuppies, but have some of the worst racial disparities in the country. That response was immediate, harsh, and justified. It seemed like self-criticism and goes to our nature as Minnesotans to downplay our own success and focus on what needs improving. Improvement in this case, is more liberal policies to level the playing field. We need to find a way to extend our policies so they benefit everyone.

I was responding to the latest article doing gymanistics to downplay the prosperity largely acknowledged by the liberal critics. This line of thought didn't seemed concerned with disparity. It sought to explain any relative success he was willing to acknowledge on the Bakken. He was seeking to prove there was nothing special about Minnesota policies.

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Tiller
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby Tiller » April 17th, 2015, 1:10 pm

That's just left wing SJW ideologues for you. Part of the push back is them looking at racial statistics in an overly simplistic way. Part is also the Right wing as mentioned before.

Additionally, Some people take it upon themselves to take Minneapolis down a notch because of how it makes their cities look in comparison (even if it only marginally lowers their relative standing). Coastal cities and rust belt cities alike want to minimize their own flaws, and maximize ours. Gotta keep up their self-esteem~

kirby96
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby kirby96 » April 17th, 2015, 2:03 pm

I think his article is weak for the reasons stated, incluing the comparison of Minneapolis with smaller cities where it's easier to attain growth, but also the casual (and certainly mis-leading) switching between statistics for 'Minnesota' and 'Minneapolis'. That said, I think his premise is likely correct: I doubt it's policy that has caused the high quality of life in Minneapolis. As the Post rebuttal to the Atlantic basically asked, "If it's your policy that's to great, why isn't it great for everyone?" I think there's really two alternatives: a) our policies are only great for white yuppies, OR b)it's reasons other than our policies that have largely driven the high quality of life.

I think it's b). If someone told you that we should be more socialist because, "hey, look at the quality of life in Norway!", would you buy it? I certainly wouldn't, at least not at face value. It seems to me that the high quality of life in Norway is possible because it's a country of 5 million, largely homogeneous culturally, and has a ton of oil. I suspect similar drivers are at work under the surface here in Minneapolis...

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby at40man » April 17th, 2015, 2:37 pm

Viktor Vaughn wrote:I think news of our success does get pushback because it's so widely attributed to liberal policies. Seattle and Portland are West Coast cities, Denver is near mountains, Salt Lake City has mild weather, mountains, and mormons, and Houstan has the booming energy industry. We're just a town on the prairie that has outperformed the sleepy great plains and the declining rust belt without an easy explanation for our success.

A high-tax, high-spending, wealth-redistributing state doing well precisely because of those policies undermines the freshwater school of economics that underpins the right-wing world view.
You're giving too much credit to the policies as opposed to the hard-working people who live in this state and want to see it do well regardless of one's neighbor's political ideology.

Further, the same policies which you cite also helped lead to the demise of Detroit. They certainly weren't the only factor in that one-horse town, but Keynesian economic theory does have a disturbing tendency to cave in under its own weight when it hits a critical mass...

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby EOst » April 17th, 2015, 2:51 pm

kirby96 wrote:I think it's b). If someone told you that we should be more socialist because, "hey, look at the quality of life in Norway!", would you buy it? I certainly wouldn't, at least not at face value. It seems to me that the high quality of life in Norway is possible because it's a country of 5 million, largely homogeneous culturally, and has a ton of oil. I suspect similar drivers are at work under the surface here in Minneapolis...
The ethnic/cultural homogeneity of Scandinavia (except Finland) is easily overstated, and is used as an excuse far too frequently. France's non-ethnic French population is somewhere between 10-15% of the population (most of them from elsewhere in Europe; North Africans only around 5%!); Norway's is 13%; Denmark's is something like 8%. All of these countries are still vastly more homogeneous than the United States, and yet they've had very different outcomes.

EOst
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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby EOst » April 17th, 2015, 2:51 pm

at40man wrote:Further, the same policies which you cite also helped lead to the demise of Detroit. They certainly weren't the only factor in that one-horse town, but Keynesian economic theory does have a disturbing tendency to cave in under its own weight when it hits a critical mass...
Can you explain?

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby xandrex » April 17th, 2015, 3:14 pm

EOst wrote:
at40man wrote:Further, the same policies which you cite also helped lead to the demise of Detroit. They certainly weren't the only factor in that one-horse town, but Keynesian economic theory does have a disturbing tendency to cave in under its own weight when it hits a critical mass...
Can you explain?
Seconded.

Detroit is a huge failure, but I've never seen a solid argument that it was policy on the ground there. More like a one-horse town that thought it could rest on its laurels while the rest of the world made better cars and passed them by. UAW probably also played a role, as did no small amount of racially-based policies.

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Re: Twin Cities' National and Global Image

Postby kirby96 » April 17th, 2015, 3:17 pm

EOst wrote:The ethnic/cultural homogeneity of Scandinavia (except Finland) is easily overstated, and is used as an excuse far too frequently. France's non-ethnic French population is somewhere between 10-15% of the population (most of them from elsewhere in Europe; North Africans only around 5%!); Norway's is 13%; Denmark's is something like 8%. All of these countries are still vastly more homogeneous than the United States, and yet they've had very different outcomes.
I guess I consider 87% ethnically homogeneous very high (relative to the U.S.) add in the oil wealth and small population size and I'll stick to my claim: It would be absurd to adopt policies simply because 'they got 'em in Norway, and look at them', which is more or less the claim the original Atlantic article made: Minneapolis is great, and they do these things. One must cause the other.

You're right, though. The Middle East has oil wealth and homogeneous populations that aren't large (at least not in all countries), and the outcomes are different. The point should probably be more nuanced: policy is probably a necessary but not sufficient, condition for quality of life.


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