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Noem: Copy South Dakota’s Economic Success.. with Big Government

Rep. Kristi Noem retools Mike Rounds's "South Dakota common sense" mantra to say the the economy would be fine if the feds just did things the way South Dakota does. Her weekly column cites the new French cheese plant as affirmation of South Dakota's tax policies and work ethic:

...Our state tax policy makes it cheaper to run a business. The workforce is one of the most dedicated and talented in the country. We put our hearts into everything we produce. And we are surrounded by communities that generously support each other during the good times and pull together like a family would during the hard times.

It’s probably no wonder, then, that I joined Gov. Dennis Daugaard to welcome a new manufacturer to Brookings. In addition to 3M and Daktronics, Brookings is now home to a new Babybel cheese manufacturing facility. It was an honor to welcome them to our state [Rep. Kristi Noem, "SD's Economic Policies Worth Copying," Mitchell Daily Republic, 2014.10.07].

First, let's be clear: most people everywhere work hard and help their neighbors. South Dakota workers are not uniquely virtuous. Working folks in New York or Texas or California are not uniquely lazy or anti-social.

As for the Bel Brands cheese plant, let's review the main reasons the French decided to build in Brookings:

  1. South Dakota saved its dwindling dairy herd by luring foreign investment through a government program to sell green cards.
  2. South Dakota handed Bel Brands $5 million in corporate welfare.
  3. Brookings offers Bel Brands access to skilled graduates of one of only two university programs in the country offering degrees in dairy production and manufacturing. That program is at South Dakota State University. State University, as in, made possible by good big government.

So really, Republican Kristi Noem is telling the country to be more like South Dakota: use big government to benefit big business.


  1. larry kurtz 2014.10.09

    Bel Brands got at least $6.6 million in Future Fund cash alone, Cory.

  2. mike from iowa 2014.10.09

    Noem makes it sound as if she herself works there,which I kinda doubt. She also confuses corruption with good governing practices. Since that seems to be the only type governance she is acquainted with,I can see where she is coming from.

  3. moses 2014.10.09

    C.H. ouch, you really took some one to the wood shed there, she sounds like she is the one who brought it in.

  4. moses 2014.10.09

    C.H. ouch, you really took some one to the wood shed there.

  5. Steve Sibson 2014.10.09

    Cory, I thought the exact same thing you just said when I read her column. So why are you Democrats still in favor of Big Government when it is used by the crony capitalists that are establishing the New World Order? Do you now understand how Neo-Marxism and Neo-Fascism are walking hand in hand?

  6. o 2014.10.09

    Steve, I favor what you call "big government" for the things it can do right. Although we agree that crony capitalism is a corruption, we disagree on how to address that corruption. You choose to execute the patient for cancer; I prefer to remove the cancer and allow the patient to recover and thrive.

    To help raise up and protect the weakest of its members is a purpose of government I will not shy from defending. It is those who have no other but that very agent to turn to for help. It is not big government that seeks to impose your new world order, but big business. In the absence of a strong agent of society, who will stand against that corporate greed and exploitation? The defender must match the threat.

  7. Steve Sibson 2014.10.09

    "Although we agree that crony capitalism is a corruption"

    Due to a too big of government, the system of corruption has been made legal. It is like cigarettes, which is a cause of cancer. I prefer that we stop smoking so we don't get cancer in the first place. I appreciate your intentions, but unfortunately we live in a world where good intentions are used by others to advance their narrow agenda.

  8. o 2014.10.09

    But Steve, what institution holds up to that standard: that corruption dictates disbanding? No institution, not government, social, religious, business, NONE can claim to be completely free of some corruptive influence. I also do not concede that it is the "big" that has been the door for corruption. Crony capitalism would (and has) writhe its way into any size government or social institution when due diligence is not kept. It is a straw man to claim this is only the ill of the "big."

    To renounce all institutions is to promote only the individual - the weakest prey for the strongest to exploit. Where does your position put us , Steve? If institutions are what you are against, what can you be for?

  9. Richard Schriever 2014.10.09

    Steve - SD is "small" government in real comparative terms, and it's leaders are all committed to use of the "small government = good government" rhetoric, aren't they? Problem is - see - they don't actually believe their own rhetoric. And that hypocrisy is what this post is all about - not being "anti-bog government".

    Still, for a SD student, I'd give a "C" for reading comprehension. You got the words' meanings, and you got "an idea" from them, but you didn't really get the actual point of the story.

    Finally, if you really think that your various small town governments in SD are "free of corruption" - you need to get your eyes checked.

  10. Richard Schriever 2014.10.09

    PS - the only reason SD is able to maintain "low taxes" is due to the tremendous support being thrown our way by the Federal Government - you know, the collaborative/cooperative/communal efforts of our fellow states to support us in our needs.

  11. Steve Sibson 2014.10.09

    "if you really think that your various small town governments in SD are "free of corruption" - you need to get your eyes checked."

    Even though South Dakota's and my town of Mitchell's government are relatively small, they are too big in scope. Mitchell's government is run by the Chamber of Commerce, as South Dakota's government is run by the SD Chamber. Go ahead and make the governments bigger in scope and size so these crony capitalists have more power and money.

    If there was a truly free market, and a certain business was corrupt, we could go work for and buy are goods and services from another, or start up our own business and compete them out of business. Collectivism does not allow that.

  12. o 2014.10.09

    Steve, again I have to disagree on your unfounded conclusions. If a business is corrupt, under pure capitalism, it can become a behemoth, a monopoly that takes over such a large segment of market share that its continued existence is guaranteed. They, through any terrible means imaginable, can drive competitors out of business. Capitalism, unchecked, gives that the thumbs-up. Regulation and collectivism, as a check on unfettered (even crony) capitalism is not only THE answer, but the ONLY answer in reality. To which, it was the collectivism of strong unions that created safe work conditions and the middle class. Even accounting for the corruptive influence inherent to some groups, especially when money is concerned, unions did good work. That work certainly ought to be continued without the corruption not thrown out because if corruption. The same applies to government.

    Size is not inherently the rise of corruption. A bad apple does not in fact ruin a whole barrel.

  13. bearcreekbat 2014.10.09

    This whole personification of "government" seems like a complete misunderstanding of the word "government." Our government, whether big or small, is made up of a group of individual people. I can understand it when someone does not like an individual person, or even a group of people, because of policies, race, sex or whatever. But simply because they don't like the individual or group has no relationship to the word government, and it seems an incorrect use of our language to transform the hated group of people into the "government."

    If you are saying you don't like the people your fellow voters have elected to run our government, then why not criticize those people rather than criticizing "government?" Indeed, blind criticism of our "government" instead of the particular people that you disagree with is the type of comment that fuels anti-government sentiment, regardless of who our leaders are, and is the best tool groups like ISIS have to recruit young people who hear how bad you think our "government" is.

    The only valid criticism of our "government" is one that argues our Constitution is flawed, and ought to be abandoned for some different form of government, such as Communism. Even then the objection goes not to the "government" but to an argument that we should choose a different form of "government."

    Bottom line - when people object to the "government" or to "big government" they are not speaking good English and they are risking the alienation of young folks who don't know any better.

  14. Steve Sibson 2014.10.09

    "If a business is corrupt, under pure capitalism, it can become a behemoth, a monopoly that takes over such a large segment of market share that its continued existence is guaranteed."

    Capitalism is not free market, and it requires government intervention to become a behemoth monopoly/oligarchy. The role of government has changed from protecting the free market to destroying it.

    "The only valid criticism of our "government" is one that argues our Constitution is flawed, and ought to be abandoned for some different form of government, such as Communism."

    BCB, the problem is that we have abandoned the Constitution decades ago and have partially implemented Communism. Incorrectly we call that capitalism.

  15. bearcreekbat 2014.10.09

    Sibby, I believe that I have read more anti-"government" rants from you than any other commentator. My point is that the term "government" has been abused and misused to the point that many writers no longer even understand what they are criticizing. Sometimes when I read your posts I get the impression that you have been harmed by such careless use of language and that this has drawn you into many other meaningless catch words, such as Neo-this and Neo-that, or Crony-this and Crony-that.

    Your argument that we abandoned the US Constitution decades ago seems a bit inconsistent with both history and current facts. Who owns the means of production (i.e. capital) - the USA, the states, or private individuals and companies? And I don't recall the revolution or Constitutional Convention that abandoned the US Constitution that was adopted in 1790 - can you refresh my memory?

  16. Richard Schriever 2014.10.09

    Steve - tis little exchange illustrates perfectly thet flaws I find in the arguments against "big government", and for "the free market" while also scurrying under cover of "the constitution" that are so common among so-called conservatives.

    1. NOWHERE in our constitution is a form of economic system designated or required.

    2. The constitution is constructed in such a way as to support the people DECIDING what form(s) of economic systems they need to implement so as to best accomplish their goals and meet the needs oif the nation - given fluctuating circumstances.

    3. The "free market" is not the be-all and end-all of governmental purpose. Its is only the purpose of those to whom such a system would be advantageous (being simultaneously disadvantageous to their FELLOW CITIZENS.

    This standard argument seems to propose that government should subject itself to whomever is the more aggressive element of society - not to "equal justice for all". I.E., you want to make the constitution play second fiddle to acquisition.

    Pathetic really.

  17. o 2014.10.09

    Steve, would you explain this point you made: "Capitalism is not free market . . ."

  18. jerry 2014.10.09

    Here is the government NOem wants to have for our family farmers. Make no mistake, NOem along with ALEC only want one thing, ridding itself of the EPA to protect their corporate bosses in the ag field. Wake up ranchers and farmers, NOem, Rounds, Daugaard and most of the rest of the republican legislators here only want your vote to cut your own throat. They will not rest until they have control of your lands.

  19. Steve Sibson 2014.10.09

    " Who owns the means of production (i.e. capital) - the USA, the states, or private individuals and companies?"

    Most of it is own my corporatists, not individuals. In fact very little is owned by individuals. Who controls capital when the government owns it...those who control the government. The issue is control.

    Capitalism uses public/private partnerships. Those who are not able to partner with the government lose. A government that stays out of private partnerships allows it role to provide a fair playing for all, big or small, to have a chance at succeeding.

    Jerry the EPA is very useful in keeping the little guy out of the market and thereby that market is no longer free.

  20. Steve Sibson 2014.10.09

    BCB, what is happening in America is not an old fashioned communist revolution. It is more Fabian. The morphing is not complete.

  21. grudznick 2014.10.09

    Mr. Sibby, are you supporting Mr. Meyers for governor, because you seems stuck in a squishy spot on that one.

  22. larry kurtz 2014.10.09

    grud, are you still sleeping with pp's wife?

  23. Steve Sibson 2014.10.09

    So let us get back to the content of Cory's post. How about his ending:

    "Republican Kristi Noem is telling the country to be more like South Dakota: use big government to benefit big business."

    Again, thank you Cory for proving that Noem, Rounds, Daugaard, and the rest of the SDGOP Establishment are fellow liberals. For those who don't agree, take it up with Cory. The same goes for those of you who don't understand that it takes a Neo-Marxist big government to support Neo-Fascist big business crony "capitalism".

  24. grudznick 2014.10.09

    Lar, I thought you were more torqued out worrying about if I was still sleeping with Susan Wismer.

  25. larry kurtz 2014.10.09

    It's time for Rounds to leave the Senate race and endorse Gordon Howie.

  26. grudznick 2014.10.09

    If you want to really grab my goat, lar, you know to bring up Mr. Howie and suggest he's sleeping with PP's wife.

  27. larry kurtz 2014.10.09

    Gordon Howie's goat is sleeping with pp's wife: you heard it first.

  28. o 2014.10.09

    Steve, I know you substitute bombast for argument when you say things like, "Again, thank you Cory for proving that Noem, Rounds, Daugaard, and the rest of the SDGOP Establishment are fellow liberals. For those who don't agree, take it up with Cory." I shall take it up with you. Your listed SDGOP candidates are not liberals. Using government to continue what you call crony capitalism is not liberalism (it is also not conservatism). Fortunately we do not live in a bi-polar world (outside the FOX news headquarters that is). You certainly get to reject those candidates' actions as non-conservative - and I think that is Cory's point as well. Liberals do not believe in big government as an intrinsic entity of good; government is good when it is the agent of good. Big government is needed when the threat to Americans from business is big. Big government is needed when the need is big. If private charity worked; if the free market had a conscience, you would see small government.

  29. Don Coyote 2014.10.09

    While Libs/Progressives seem to enjoy pegging Noem as being a small government advocate, she never seems to score very high in Libertarian (or for that matter conservative) ratings in Congress usually landing somewhere in the middle. That said, the Morrill Land-Grant Act which established public colleges/universities like SDSU was passed by a Republican Congress and named after it’s sponsor Representative Justin Morrill, one of the founders of the Republican Party and a former Whig, a party that championed the American System economic plan of Alexander Hamilton. It appears the Morrill Act is actually quite in keeping with Republican thought and even the de-centralized Articles of Confederation’s Northwest Ordinance provision for funding public education. Even economist Milton Friedman, a notable libertarian, didn’t seem to have many issues with public education or government services as long as they didn’t constitute a monopoly..

  30. jerry 2014.10.09

    The times you speak of Don Coyote, were so far in the past that most do not remember what a Whig was or for that matter, Milton Friedman. The situation now is that frauds like NOem are in this for their own gain. Weiland is correct in that we need to take the big money out of this and go back to a time when thinkers could work together to get things done without the Koch brothers or the Walton bunch buying the offices they control.

  31. Jessie 2014.10.09

    jerry, that situation, the buying of offices and influence has existed since this country began. There is no far off time in the past that we can point to with nostalgia as the good old days when such self-serving people did not roam the corridors of our government. The strength of American democracy is that somehow we have survived, muddle through and moved ahead in spite of it.

  32. bearcreekbat 2014.10.10

    Sibby, I am not sure I understand your fear of corporations or individuals that you label "corporatists." Corporations are formed by individuals, as are governments. Do you have something against people getting together to accomplish goals? Is that why you dislike churches, because they consist of people getting together to accomplish goals?

    Stereotyping corporations,"corporatists," and government suggests that you do not recognize the differences among the individual human beings that make up such groups. But it is obvious that you are aware of these differences, otherwise you would not take such an active and vocal role in trying to shape government in the form that you desire.

    I don't know whether you merely are a troll seeking to upset others for your own pleasure, or whether you need attention, or whether you are expressing your views in good faith. Assuming it is the latter, I am curious how you justify such blatant and constant stereotyping of other human beings, especially when you know that all humans are not the same and groups of individuals who make up government and corporations do not all think in the same manner.

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