Published January 21, 2022
I wrote an August 1973 cover story for Time magazine that praised Minnesota as “the state that works.” The cover photograph showed Gov. Wendell Anderson, dressed in a plaid flannel shirt, grinning and holding up a northern pike that he had just caught in one of Minnesota’s 12,000 lakes.
The story began with this archaic rhapsody: “It is a state where a residual American secret still seems to operate. Some of the nation’s more agreeable qualities are evident there: courtesy and fairness, honesty, a capacity for innovation, hard work, intellectual adventure and responsibility. . . . Minnesotans are remarkably civil; their crime rate is the third lowest in the nation (after Iowa and Maine).”
Almost 50 years later, I received an email from an old friend who lives in Minneapolis. He began: “Another report from the hinterland. The people of Minneapolis now share online updates of carjackings and other crimes. It would be difficult to exaggerate the extent of violent crime throughout the city. Everyone now knows someone who’s a victim. This will be a huge issue in this year’s elections.”
Mr. Morrow is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His latest book is “God and Mammon: Chronicles of American Money.”