Reader PeakTrader says the fortunes of Minnesota and Wisconsin “began to diverge decade before Walker”. I don’t buy it.
Figure 1: Log nonfarm payroll employment in Minnesota (blue), in Wisconsin (red). NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Orange denotes Walker administration. Source: BLS, and author’s calculations.
The graph shows that in the years before the great recession, the two economies tracked fairly well, and the divergence was widened significantly during the Walker years. One might reasonably ask does a analogous graph using GDP present a different picture. My answer is no.
I find useful to consult data before making statements. But that’s just me.