Sunday Mr. Kallis posted a diverting quiz that purports to tell us which states best suit our temperaments. Commenters have been having fun with that exercise all day.

But how would you like to know which state best fit your profession and your pocketbook? Touting South Dakota's low wages, the Governor's Office of Economic Development offers this fun little wage widget that spreadsheetifies our paychecks with taxes and cost of living to compare purchasing power for all sorts of professions from state to state.

Naturally, I'm keenly interested in our teacher salaries. We all know South Dakota has paid its teachers less than any other state in the Union since Kevin Woster first hunted pheasant with a stone knife and trained velociraptor. I've run the numbers before to show that even if we factor in taxes and cost of living, South Dakota teachers still sacrifice thousands of dollars in purchasing power by staying to fight ignorance in our fair state.

The numbers below, straight from the GOED widget, confirm my statement: hop the border to teach in any adjoining state, and you'll have more money in your pocket:

25-2031 - Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
Data from South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development
State 2011
Median Gross Pay
2011
Take Home Pay
2011
Purchasing Power
2012
Median Gross Pay
2012
Take Home Pay
2012
Purchasing Power
South Dakota $38,540.00 $32,433.25 $33,401.91 $39,040.00 $32,877.75 $34,939.16
Iowa $44,940.00 $35,420.00 $38,837.71 $45,680.00 $36,053.44 $39,970.55
Minnesota $53,180.00 $40,444.51 $36,568.27 $55,440.00 $42,040.50 $38,640.16
Montana $42,240.00 $33,428.18 $33,461.64 $46,510.00 $36,416.42 $35,390.11
Nebraska $46,240.00 $36,435.54 $40,755.64 $47,980.00 $37,690.79 $42,065.61
North Dakota $41,610.00 $34,380.39 $36,888.83 $43,590.00 $35,977.27 $37,950.70
Wyoming $57,530.00 $46,148.75 $47,773.03 $59,330.00 $47,554.25 $46,759.34

By GOED's reckoning, South Dakota teachers are within $500 of Montana teachers, but in every other direction, the difference is in the thousands.

Database administrators come out much better in South Dakota... but notice that Wyoming thinks teachers are worth more than these techies:

15-1141 - Database Administrators
State 2012
Median Gross Pay
2012
Take Home Pay
2012
Purchasing Power
South Dakota $68,530.00 $53,934.25 $57,315.89
Iowa $66,440.00 $49,279.53 $54,633.62
Minnesota $78,140.00 $56,182.15 $51,638.00
Montana $56,570.00 $42,700.78 $41,497.36
Nebraska $73,780.00 $53,818.07 $60,064.81
North Dakota $64,740.00 $50,220.62 $52,975.34
Wyoming $50,920.00 $41,719.25 $41,021.88

Being a reporter stinks everywhere:

27-3022 - Reporters and Correspondents
State 2012
Median Gross Pay
2012
Take Home Pay
2012
Purchasing Power
South Dakota $25,350.00 $22,008.25 $23,388.15
Iowa $26,250.00 $21,784.88 $24,151.75
Minnesota $31,840.00 $25,982.94 $23,881.37
Montana $26,050.00 $21,733.16 $21,120.66
Nebraska $23,330.00 $19,937.52 $22,251.70
North Dakota $29,150.00 $24,731.31 $26,087.88
Wyoming $25,550.00 $22,168.25 $21,797.69

Bus tables when you finish your shift at the paper, and you might make ends meet:

35-3031 - Waiters and Waitresses
State 2012
Median Gross Pay
2012
Take Home Pay
2012
Purchasing Power
South Dakota $17,970.00 $16,131.50 $17,142.93
Iowa $18,130.00 $15,755.37 $17,467.15
Minnesota $18,060.00 $15,761.92 $14,487.05
Montana $17,960.00 $15,764.10 $15,319.83
Nebraska $17,840.00 $15,747.27 $17,575.07
North Dakota $18,290.00 $16,275.55 $17,168.30
Wyoming $17,900.00 $16,070.50 $15,801.87

South Dakota lawyers come out all right, with about twice the purchasing power of teachers:

23-1011 - Lawyers
State 2012
Median Gross Pay
2012
Take Home Pay
2012
Purchasing Power
South Dakota $77,870.00 $60,408.75 $64,196.33
Iowa $88,140.00 $62,990.30 $69,834.03
Minnesota $107,590.00 $74,002.79 $68,017.27
Montana $64,900.00 $47,897.51 $46,547.63
Nebraska $81,950.00 $58,918.24 $65,756.96
North Dakota $74,130.00 $56,465.82 $59,563.11
Wyoming $78,420.00 $60,790.25 $59,774.09

Two of these professions, database administration and waiting tables, offering Minnesotans more purchasing power if they field Governor Daugaard's mall pitch and move to South Dakota. Click through the governor's data, and I'm sure we could find more.

But as we head for another of our perennial legislative debates about how much we should spend on good public education, even the Daugaard Administration's numbers show that South Dakota doesn't value teachers' work as much as our neighbors do.