Hey Minnesota Liberals! Stop Complaining About Low-Wage Service Jobs Unless You Support More Mining

The new soup du jour of liberal talking points appears to be that the current economy isn’t very good at all because many of the jobs that are currently being created are low-paying jobs in the service and tourism sectors. But if liberals in Minnesota want to complain about the rise of low-paying jobs in these sectors, they had better be in favor of more mining in Minnesota.

Mining jobs are good paying jobs, often paying more than $95,000 per year in Minnesota. The high wages of these jobs leads to the creation of many more induced jobs as mine workers spend their hefty paychecks in the rest of the economy. In contrast, tourism jobs in northeastern Minnesota pay about $17,000 per year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fortunately, Minnesota has some of the largest undeveloped deposits of copper, nickel, platinum, and palladium in the world, and Minnesota’s cobalt deposits are the largest in the nation. Developing these resources in an environmentally responsible way would generate an enormous boost in Minnesota’s economy by creating the high-wage, family-supporting jobs that are in insufficient supply, according to liberal critics.

Using the economic modeling software IMPLAN, which is the industry standard software, American Experiment estimates developing these deposits could create up to 4,670 jobs in the mining industry, create 4,900 jobs in mining support industries, and support nearly 5,300 jobs indirectly as mining workers spend their very large paychecks in the local economy. It is important to remember that these estimates could end up being conservative because we only make our assumptions based on publicly-available resource estimates that meet the strict criteria established by Canadian financial regulators and many of the mineral deposits in Minnesota have no such estimates available.

However, when the topic of creating new economic opportunities in northeastern Minnesota comes up, liberal often say we don’t need these mining jobs because tourism jobs are the economic future of the region. In what appears to be a total lack of either self awareness or intellectual consistency, the same people who are lamenting the fact that the current economy is apparently a paper tiger full of low wage jobs are also the same folks who are adamantly opposed to new mining jobs.

Some of these anti-mining liberals even argue that the region will be better off economically without mining. Their source material for this argument is a private letter written to the forest service by Harvard economist John Stock, which American Experiment has debunked several times. The only way Stock was able to arrive at this erroneous conclusion was by omitting the substantial effect the mining industry would have on creating induced jobs. Ironically, many of these intentionally-omitted induced jobs would be in the service and tourism sectors.

In the end, Minnesota conservatives should challenge liberals who complain that the current economy is creating a lot of low-wage, low-quality jobs by asking whether they support any industries that actually create good jobs, such as mining, manufacturing, forestry or building Line 3. Maybe there would be more high-paying jobs if liberals didn’t protest every project that would deliver them.