The end of the year is a great time to reflect -- to take stock of personal and professional progress, to ensure we kept promises we made to ourselves the year before. So as 2018 comes to a close, let’s all ask ourselves as humble Minnesotans: How many different ways did we crush Wisconsin this year?
Let’s face it – we're two states cut from the same historical cloth. We’ve got similar sizes, similar populations, similar backgrounds, and similar weather. We’re like siblings, and because we’re the cooler, sexier sibling, it’s fun to compare the two.
There’s the classic point of comparison, of course -- the economy. This year, the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan D.C. think tank, pronounced Minnesota the economic winner over the past seven years in terms of job growth, wage growth, median household income, lowered poverty rate, and health insurance coverage. Our economic growth was stronger than our sister state’s by more than 2 points.
Then there’s our population growth -- which was nearly double Wisconsin’s over the same period of time. Maybe we're growing because we don't lock nearly as many people up?
And remember that time when we stole all of Wisconsin’s millennials? In May, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker approved $6.8 million to be spent on attracting workers, including an ad campaign that was supposed to bring more millennials from other Midwestern states. America’s Dairyland has a median age of 39.1 compared to our positively spry 37.8. Most years, more Wisconsinites have a change of heart and move here than the opposite.
Oh, and those 2.6 million Minnesotans that voted in the Midterms? With our turnout rate, we didn’t just beat Wisconsin (although it should be noted that we totally did). We beat every state in the g-danged nation by getting 64.25 percent of our eligible voters to the polls. (Plus we did some pretty cool stuff with our votes.)
But wait, you may be saying -- there are plenty of things Wisconsin does better than Minnesota does. Like college football. What about the Gophers’ 14-year tradition of losing Paul Bunyan’s Axe to the Badg-OH WAIT THIS YEAR WE WON THAT, TOO.
Let us not rest on our laurels. A new year is upon us, and a new year means a new slate, and fresh opportunities for our two states to try and outshine one another. If nothing else, our rivalry pushes us to be better as a people -- to try new things, to innovate, to be the best Midwesterners we can be.
Next year, let’s try to crush Wisconsin in twice as many ways.