South Dakota in Economic Jeopardy?

Fiscal quiz! Can you find the error in the following paragraph from Sara Bertsch’s profile of new Governor’s Office of Economic Development chief Scott Stern?

The biggest priority for the GOED office right now, Scheibe said, is to look at what the plans for 2017. The GOED staff, which has about 35 employees Pierre, Sioux Falls and Rapid City, will work to recruit new businesses to the state and with existing ones in terms of expansion, adding new products and new jobs.

“That’s really kind of mission No. 1 is working effectively to support the business community,” Scheibe said [Sara Bertsch, “Freeman Native Brings Experience, New Perspective to GOED,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2016.11.05].

You have 30 seconds…

Time’s up!

The response, properly phrased as a question, is, What are 35 people doing working in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development?

Also acceptable: Why are we spending public dollars to employ 35 government employees to do things that conservative South Dakotans would probably say can be handled by the free market, without government interference?

One more option: Is South Dakota’s economy so dysfunctional that we need a dozen bureaucrats in our capital and in each of our two biggest cities begging businesses to come and stay?

47 Responses to South Dakota in Economic Jeopardy?

  1. Richard Schriever

    Oh, I thought you were looking for errors in grammar. There are at least three of those in the three sentences of story as well.

  2. mike from iowa

    I was looking for the concealed carry blip and totally missed it.

  3. Stace Nelson

    @CAH Spot on! This is the difference between conservative Republicans and the crony-capitalist that masquerade as such to get into office.

  4. (On grammar, Richard, I copied verbatim from the MDR website. The same errors appeared verbatim in today’s AAN.)

  5. Darin Larson

    If they had done Medicaid expansion, the effect on the economy would be greater in one year than the effect these 35 people will have working the rest of their lives for GOED.

  6. You raise a valid point, Cory, but those 35 people are just a part of the big picture. Combined, those 35 people make less than the governor sends to Larry the Shiller every year to come up with catchy slogans like “Better to live in South Dakota than to die on Mars.”

    An even bigger slice of the pie is this: Those 35 people make far, far less every year than the amount of corporate welfare doled out by the governor every year from the Future Fund without any appropriation from the legislature. Maybe Sen. Stacey Nelson and his crew will exercise oversight over the Future Fund for the first time and clamp down on the crony capitalism. They can do that by budgeting revenue that comes into the Future Fund just as they budget money that comes into the general fund. That would make Governor Daugaard very sad if they did that.

  7. Mr. Rorschach, what if they just cut off the spigot of money completely? I suppose that would upset the future Governor JacNoeHueSan, though, wouldn’t it.

  8. Roger Cornelius

    You’d think one of GOED’s highest priorities would be to “drain the swamp” of the Joop Bollen’s that corrupt and abuse the program.

  9. Darin—bing bing bing!

    Stace, I’m telling you: we need to form a 21st-century Fusion Party. Platform planks:

    1. Disband GOED.
    2. Dissolve Future Fund, transfer tax back to general fund for K-12 education (no, not for the new vo-tech governance board or any other post-secondary project).
    3. Drain every other corner of the swamp that Ror points out.
    4. Decrease crony capitalists from majority to 10 seats in House, 5 in Senate.

    Once we achieve that, we can split up and start arguing about guns again.

  10. Sorry, Mr. H. Guns take priority over paying one small segment of the population more money just because they whine. If they sort themselves out and stand in line in order then we can give even more money than the millions from last year, but adding more taxes from me just for you isn’t going to happen this year. This year it’s guns, bathrooms, and attacking the moderates.

  11. Roger Elgersma

    We have low unemployment. We are not short of businesses, we are short of workers. But they tried to bring workers in and failed. We need better companies that pay higher wages and they think that being business friendly is to attract the opposite. Last in wages brings last in workers, brings last in businesses coming it. OH, but we do have workers, our kids keep leaving the state, so our growing workforce is leaving. Goes back to not enough well paying jobs. Once you get to deep in the mire, you never get out. But if you keep talking best business climate you will never see the problem because of to much positive attitude for the realism of the situation. Nothing against being positive, just need to be realistic along with the positive.

  12. Speaking of guns Grud, GOED has spent millions trying to lure a gun manufacturer(s) to SD. Unless I missed something, the return on that investment has been close to 0.

  13. Daugaard slow dance with Pence regarding Medicaid just got another, you lie to the gov. What a guy, house republicans are falling all over themselves wanting to change the subject of Obamacare. You can tell that Daugaard is not nor will ever be a businessman by turning down Medicaid Expansion. Poor soul can only be a red state governor or a banker, each for the bailout. As long as we are gonna get bailed out, lets protect our working poor as proof positive that we are business savvy.

  14. @Roger There is a great talent pipeline to fill many of the jobs that have been created in SD as of late, but I think Trump is trying to build a wall or something to keep these eager job seekers out.

  15. Rorschach @ 18:26 – ‘legislative oversight’; very very funny

    yet, with CAH @ 19:55 – great list; but realistically in this corrupt state if one achieves 1 item on the list (without it’s facsimile re-creation) it will be a seismic change.

  16. Greg Deplorable

    Why no word on the unexpected departure of Dilges? Seems odd.

  17. I’ve complained about this for years. Government has no business using taxpayers money to build private enterprise. If the banking and entrepreneurial systems aren’t capable of building business and economics in the state because of financial viability issues, then the system needs to be fixed rather than the taxpayer tapped for support. If the larger business community can’t expand it’s ranks legitimately, 35 people aren’t going to make one bit of difference. If we look at the size, over reach and influence of government in South Dakota today and compare it to Janklow’s last term as governor, there would be no question in anybody’s mind why we’re looking at yet another budget shortfall……..Government growth in SD resembles empire building.

  18. Porter Lansing

    South Dakota just isn’t attractive to business. Minnesota is so much better and it’s right there, across the border. MN has a safety net. MN has a workforce. MN has higher taxes which means more attractive things and newer things. Maybe if there’s some kind of business that deals in white supremacy, then you have a chance but competing with southern states and Texas makes even that unworkable. Business is only interested in SoDak as something to exploit. e.g. Tax laws that make hiding your corporate money from the IRS, easier. Laws that make dumping cattle poop into the environment, easier. Laws that make filling in low lying wetlands and tiling farmland, easier. If South Dakota had a reputation of being nice to everyone (like Vermont) it would be more attractive, but it’s far from nice to everyone. Businesses are people not just corporate bottom lines dictated by unwaverable German discipline.

  19. And now the GOP is bringing back the Bathroom Bill.

    Seeing what impact homophobia has had on the economies of Indiana and North Carolina, combined with our current shortfall in revenue…you gotta wonder what in the hell the South Dakota right wing is thinking.

    Add to that our warm embrace of the pay-to-play good old boy network and you have to ask yourself as a business looking to relocate in SD some hard questions.

  20. Porter Lansing

    Bottom line on business (pun intended) … Business is about new things and ideas. South Dakota is about resisting new things and ideas and stubbornly trying to keep things the same. The two never mesh. Changing the mindset of Russian German heritaged people is the only hope for future business attraction.

  21. Well this is interesting. It looks like the individual behind the new bill legalizing hating LGBT people is Jack Heyd of Eagle Creek Software.

    Now Eagle Creek was a great GOED investment for the taxpayers of SD and their much ballyhooed entry into Vermillion.

  22. I don’t think that most people get tea phony South Dakota politics regarding economic development. We do not want that here. There is no real money or reason for having it. If you cannot get something like EB5 to fund ideas corruptly, then you have nothing. There are a few businesses, I think they are referred to as some kind of fund, that gets the TIF money from taxpayers to build things that hire a few people to sell a few things that cost taxpayers more than they are worth. The future fund has a bright future because it is really taxpayer supported government subsidies.

  23. I can guarantee that Gov Mark Dayton will immediately boycott all state employee travel to SD if any anti-gay bills pass in Pierre. MN is a very pro-LGBTQ state and many many people here will support him on that.

  24. Don’t think Minnesotans would boycott. Democrats here have been raised to protest.

  25. would NOT boycott.

  26. Speaking of our worker shortage and recruiting young (millennials) to come to South Dakota, here’s just a little info for the GOP homophobes. “Millennials Overwhelmingly Support Comprehensive LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections”

    Welcome to South Dakota young professionals! Or not…

  27. Well, well. Looks like Fred Deutsch over at the press release blog is all behind this bill that is a solution in search of a problem. Wonder if Fred will comment on the impact of anti-LGBT issues on worker and business recruitment.

    They’d better kill IM22 because the GOP good old boy network runs on you-rub-my-back-I’ll-rub-yours and they should be able to buy the intended favor a bottle of wine to go with that massage.

  28. Here’s a somewhat related question: What’s the real story behind budgetary sock puppet Jason Dilges’ sudden and unexpected firing? Last week, he was put on administrative leave for a personnel matter. Today, buh-bye!

    The budget address is in 13 days and the session fires up right after New Year’s Day. Apparently making him disappear was somewhat urgent.

  29. To the SDGOED and our GOP friends like Troy, Fred, Lee and Tony V who read this blog. Here’s the impact of your tacit or direct support of anti-LGBT laws. From Texas no less.

    Sure glad you guys reminded us during the Obamacare debate that markets hate uncertainty.

  30. 96Tears, whatever Dilges’ indiscretion was, the powers that be and the good old boy network will bury it like a cat in a litter box.

    I doubt our emasculated press corp will even look at following this story up.

  31. Porter Lansing

    Fred Deutsch needs to live in a state where people haven’t realized chiropractors are quacks. That’s no doubt why he left Chicago. Keeping people backwards and believing in witch doctors is good for his business. Suppressing the rights of minority groups is also.

  32. The KSFY news article on Dilges says his dismissal was not related to criminal activity or improprieties with taxpayer money. That says to me that there was possibly an office affair or some sort of sexual harassment or hostile workplace matter. Regardless, in appears that Dilges peed in his own oatmeal some way or how. On the bright side he seems like the kind of person who can get a job from Trump.

  33. OK, pushing the off topic boundaries. But expenses have a direct impact on revenues and this matters.

    Bob Mercer points out that legislators no longer want to have accountability for expenses in the laws that they pass when it comes to incarceration and prison costs. Trying to figure out what they have in mind that they want to keep secret…could it be Muslim internment camps?

    Mercer is usually better than this at getting the story behind the action, but I’ll give him time on this one. I’m not sure if it’s the LRC saying it’s Too Hard like math and if they need more help or if it’s someone pushing for less accountability for our legislature and the bills they pass that cost taxpayers real money.


  34. I would think that it might actually ‘take a village’ to attract businesses to a state that is just slightly closer to America than Mars (figuratively).

    Quite simply, we allow the employment of these 35 people because South Dakota conservative voters are inconsistent, disengaged, and unable to discern between state and national politics.

    Lets face it, moving your business to South Dakota is a particularly risky venture. It takes encouragement.

    If it weren’t for the dramatic quality of life improvements specifically in the Rapid City area over the last 5-10 years, along with the rock solid expansive beauty of the Black Hills, I’d likely have moved myself and business outa here years ago. I am almost blown away with how Rapid City has improved over these last few years. I don’t think Pierre has had much of anything to do with it.

  35. Richard Schriever

    Jan _ “…..wonder what in the hell the South Dakota right wing is thinking……”

    Who started the rumor they’ve started thinking??

    Feelings, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, feeelliings!!

  36. Porter Lansing

    Great to hear good news, Adam. Living in CO, we see Rapid and Cheyenne as “under our wing” and that things are improving for the people is heartening.

  37. Adam, I totally agree with the quality of life improvements that have happened in Rapid over the last 10 years and I see it getting better. It has nothing to do with Pierre. As a matter of fact, the right wing nut jobs from West River who are in Pierre actually hurt growth rather than help it.

  38. mike from iowa

    Peeing in his oatmeal sounds like the type of litmus test Drumpf would demand from a little person interested in fluffing Drumpf, ROR.

  39. Porter Lansing

    It’s been brought to my attention that all chiropractors aren’t quacks. The unscrupulous sales tactics of “treatment plans” aren’t always used to enrich the chiropractor.

  40. John, ye of little faith. Get Stace and I on a ticket together, and I guarantee you better TV ratings and Legislative action on GOED and the Future Fund.

  41. I agree that the potty bill, enacted either by the Legislature or by voter initiative, will single-handedly undo all the work Scott Stern’s 35 GOED staffers are doing to build our state economy. Trump’s will undo any remnants of what Costello and Benda did before him.

  42. Jana, are you sure that’s the same Jack Heyd?

    Mention of Dilges got me clicking, and I’m surprised to see that we appear to be spending the Future Fund down. After ending FY2014 with over $60M, the Future Fund is projected to end FY2017 with $3.6M on hand. Dang it! Now Stace and I will have to think of another plank for our Fusion ticket.

  43. Porter Lansing

    What is stopping those whose job left town from learning to write computer code? Laziness? Stubbornness? Aversion to new things? It seems it’s easier to blame Washington, when it’s really your own fault. Lots of jobs for programmers. Pays really well. It’s not our fault that you won’t even try.

  44. CAH, that’s what came up on Google…so I deserve to be fact checked. If I’m wrong, I sincerely
    apologize to whichever Jack Heyd is offended.

  45. The name is the same, Jana, but I’m not finding any connection between Jack Ray Heyd of Box Elder and Jack Heyd of Eagle Creek Software. Let’s keep looking!