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Source Noem Trusts: South Dakota’s Economy 43rd in Nation

Last month Governor Kristi Noem cited an article on IRS migration data from The Center Square to support her running gag that South Dakota has a more attractive economy than Democratically led places like California. On further review, we can see that Noem’s claim is bunk. However, Governor Noem’s citation of The Center Square indicates that Governor Noem considers The Center Square a reliable source.

Yesterday The Center Square saw fit to run a WalletHub report that ranks South Dakota’s economy as 43rd in the nation, far behind #5 California, #22 Minnesota, and all of our neighbors except North Dakota. South Dakota’s ranks better than only one Democratically controlled state—Hawaii.

Source: WalletHub

Both South Dakota and California have mixed scores, but they are inverses of each other. California ranks 8th for economic activity, 3rd for innovation potential, but 42nd for economic health. South Dakota ranks 43rd for economic activity, 50th for innovation potential, but 5th for economic health.

South Dakota beats California on WalletHub’s measure of economic health thanks to low unemployment. But on economic activity, which WalletHub scores not by raw GDP (that would be unfair, since, as WalletHub notes, California’s $3.6-trillion GDP is about to surpass Germany for 4th-biggest in the world, while South Dakota’s $67.5-billion GDP is only 47th in the nation). but on percentage growth of GDP in 2022. While California and 45 other states grew their GDP in 2022, South Dakota suffered a year-long recession. And on innovation, our below-average rate of patents keeps us from beating California, which ties with fellow Democratically led states of Massachusetts and Washington for the highest number of inventor patents per 1,000 working-age population.

So a journalistic source Governor Noem trusts says South Dakota’s economy is only the 43rd-best—or 9th-worst—in the nation. Now wonder she spent the last couple days on Twitter distracting us with the culture war and geographically challenged false fears of foreign invasion.


  1. Jeff Barth 2023-06-08

    90% of all statistics are made up on the spot. Few remember the repudiation.

  2. Loren 2023-06-09

    Not sure if it is true today, but “statistics” have proven that 1 out of every 2 children born in the world are Chinese. Ergo, if you plan to have more than 1 child, chances are it will be Chinese. Guess that is why politicians love “statistics.”

  3. John 2023-06-09

    50th in innovation. That screams a lot about a state devoid of vision, leadership, or its higher education system.
    Noem and her linear SD economic thinkers will be swept aside by the gathering exponential precision fermentation that will bankrupt the hoofed protein industries: beef, dairy, and pork. When those industries are cast aside like the horse and buggy – they’ll leave feed producers, transporters, and small town “ag banks” in similar bankruptcy. The nation’s beef cattle herd is the smallest now that its been in 60 years – when the nation’s people population was about half of what it is today. People are choosing to eat healthier.

    The rise of precision fermentation is occurring exponentially. In several segments like milk products it is out of the hands of consumer choice because 70% of milk product sales are B-to-B for ingredients in foods like diet shakes, candies, pizza cheese, etc. Precision fermentation allows food production close to its consumption – negating the expense of long, convoluted logistics. (Packing plants, like the recent Tyson departure, are also dead shops.) And the opposite of the exponential rise in precision fermentation is the exponential collapse of the hoofed animal and feed system.

    SD will likely ignore the systemic, phase change and be run over by it. SD may wake up in 5-7 years wondering what is the worth of the west river grazing lands, or the east river lands used to produce feed — when the property tax basis on the value of those lands collapses.
    This is 2 years old and prescient as if made this week, though a tad over-the-top flowery:

  4. Eve Fisher 2023-06-09

    There’s a lot of statistics about South Dakota that our Governor doesn’t want brought up.
    For example:
    South Dakota has the third-highest rape rate per capita in the U.S., with 72.6 rapes per 100,000.
    Back in 2020, the crime rate in Rapid City, SD was higher than in 92.2% of U.S. cities. And Sioux Falls’ crime rate was higher than in 83.1% U.S. cities.

    Ain’t it great to be free?

  5. P. Aitch 2023-06-09

    South Dakota people can’t even figure out how to open a beer bottle? That’s what being last in innovation skills means.
    What’s ironic is that without innovation skills SD will never figure out how to develop innovation skills.
    Farmers are generally innovative workers except that new things and new ideas are seen as bad and that’s just a stubborn German pig headed bad habit.
    Here’s a clue and this means you Edwin!
    – Innovation is often messy and unpredictable. It requires a willingness to take risks and embrace failure, to push the boundaries of what’s possible.
    – To increase its innovation potential, a state must foster an environment that encourages creativity and diversity of thought. It must attract and retain talented individuals who are willing to think outside the box and challenge the status quo. And it must provide resources to support research and development efforts.
    – But perhaps most importantly, a state must have a vision for the future, a grand vision that inspires and motivates its citizens to work towards a common goal.
    – If SD is to become better it must embrace the spirit of innovation to unlock its full potential and create a brighter future for all of its citizens.

  6. O 2023-06-09

    I don’t think there is any source the Governor “trusts.” From time to time, sources say what she needs them to say and she jumps on those opportunities. It’s a bit like staff that way.

  7. P. Aitch 2023-06-09

    unoriginal – unimaginative – uninventive – banal
    Does it bother you to be in a group described with these adjectives?
    These descriptions are the opposite of innovative.
    Maybe instead of promoting false histories you should emphasize real transformation.
    But what your little state prioritizes is none of my concern, is it?

  8. Edwin Arndt 2023-06-09

    Hi, P., how did you know I was reading?
    Unoriginal-unimaginative-uninventive- banal, terms like that possibly say
    more about the describer than the described. Innovation is, as you say quite often
    messy and unpredictable. That’s why you need to do some serious theoretical
    thinking before you blindly try to force some new technology on the market.
    You don’t often hear about some entity that was on the bleeding edge of innovation and went
    belly up but it happens. Farmers will adopt technological innovation that is proven to work.
    Farming continually changes but never changes. We have to put the seed in the ground
    and we have to harvest the crop. Those things don’t change. What we’re doing is tweaking.

    P., you seem in a particularly dour mood this evening. I recommend opening a beer and
    lean back and sincerely contemplate reality for a while. I’m goin to finish watching the
    Twins game.

  9. P. Aitch 2023-06-09

    Edwin – I know your life patterns.

  10. Edwin Arndt 2023-06-09

    Twins won!

  11. P. Aitch 2023-06-09

    Edwin – You could have been so much better but you’ve always been afraid to fail. Sad life that revolved around fear of embarrassment among others with the same sad mindset. Fifty out of fifty in statewide innovation skills? That’s pathetic.

Comments are closed.