OTHER OPINION: ECONOMY
Politicians should be humble about their ability to “create” jobs, but aggressive about creating the environment in which private employers can.
That thought in mind, the urgency with which the Dayton administration is addressing the matter of “jobs, jobs, jobs” is encouraging. It’s also worth remembering that this year’s high-conflict legislative session began with the new DFL governor and new Republican Legislature agreeing to streamline some regulation processes. Despite the taxing and spending disagreements that led to a three-week partial shutdown of state government, a tough economy and long-term fiscal challenges have combined to help focus policy-makers’ attention — on improving the jobs climate in Minnesota.For his part, Gov. Mark Dayton recently sponsored a jobs summit, collected ideas and suggestions ...Among them: Dayton ordered state investment managers to deposit more money in community banks, increasing the amount of money local banks would have to loan for business growth.Whether that will have much of an effect is to be seen, but along with it came Dayton’s assertion that in weeks to come he would “produce action plans for streamlining regulations, upgrading state highways essential to commerce, boosting Minnesota exports and extending high-speed Internet and reliable cellphone coverage from border to border,” the Associated Press reported.Those ideas require discussion. Each may be more or less the right job for government. But the combination of those with Dayton’s promise to find better ways to deliver government services and the influence of Republican legislative majorities could add up to something.State government can’t “fix” the economy. But intense focus on our business environment will help. If the governor and his commissioners have the attention span to grind through the details, to grind out savings and good ideas, they’ll make a difference.