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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

SD Biz: Poll Says Wow, Pollster Still Stays Put

Pollina Corporate just announced its Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2010:
  1. Virginia
  2. Utah
  3. Wyoming
  4. South Carolina
  5. North Carolina
  6. Nebraska
  7. Kansas
  8. South Dakota
  9. Alabama
  10. Missouri
This good ranking comes as Caterpillar prepares to bring up to 100 really good engineering jobs to Rapid City. Of course, after ranking South Dakota in the top 10 for most of the past decade, Pollina Corporate continues to maintain its headquarters in low-ranking Illinois. Perhaps Pollina sees Sioux Falls and Rapid City ranking 1st and 11th, respectively in business climate, but then see 76 other small cities that offer better quality of life for the two-thirds of the time they and their employees will spend outside of the office. Add how little we'll spend educating their kids, and Pollina and other business folks say, "Thanks but no thanks."

South Dakota's historical Pollina rankings:


  1. Rebuttal or capitulation, Mr. Ellis, Mr. Jones, Mr. Nelson...?

  2. Huh?

    What am I supposed to discuss? South Dakota has a great business environment, which is why it is coasting thru this recession.

    Or am I supposed to explain why Pollina is still located in Chicago?

    Or am I supposed to explain that South Dakota's education performance is superior to Illinois and we tax the people less to get this superior product.

    Or am I supposed to feel ashamed we don't spend more and get lower quality education.

    You really are goofy. Is everything ok?

  3. Actually, I'm a complete dolt, Troy; my rant should have been on the red/blue post. See you over there?

  4. If spending more money on education is the answer, DC and the reservations would be turning out geniuses. Throwing money at education is not the answer to a good education. If a business considering SD wants to evaluate education, look at ACT and SAT scores and graduation rates as compared to other cities, not on how much money is spent.

  5. Here's another take on rankings for business:


    Obviously the specifics depend on the analyst! I note that South Dakota holds its own in both versions.

  6. Stan, good chart! Interesting to note that our socialist nemesis Minnesota ranks right behind us at #8... and that Massachusetts beats us!

  7. Say what they want, but drive through Minnesota and the difference is obvious. With Technology/Innovation ranked at 49 and Access to Capital at 40 I'm surprised SD is ranked so high. Prosperity is not here like other places.

  8. "throwing money at education"—note that I won't advocate throwing money at education just for the sake of spending more. I can go to any school in this state and identify good programs, good equipment, good people we could use to offer kids more good opportunities that aren't happening now due to funding shortages.

    Besides, we certainly apply this thinking to big business: lower the taxes, throw refunds and incentives at them, and they'll come to South Dakota! We've got to make it worht their while! We apply that thinking to the Keystone pipeline; why don't we ever apply that same thinking to labor? Don't teachers need money to convince them to take some jobs?

    Or maybe it's simpler than that: maybe I just want every teacher to get a living wage that can support a family without sending the spouse out to work as welll, or forcing the teacher to take a second or third job to balance the budget. Maybe people simply deserve more pay for the good work they do.


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