Pandora Papers Show How South Dakotas Underestimated Financial Sector Growth, SDSU Survey Director Says


BROOKINGS, SD (KELO) – When the Pandora Papers were published and highlighted the growing trust industry in South Dakota, David Wiltse wanted to know why so much money usually goes unnoticed by the people of Dakota. South.

In a Twitter thread, the South Dakota State University political science professor and director of the SDSU poll shared insights he found while interviewing registered voters in the state. His thoughts shared on the social media platform turned into an article posted by The independent site of the Washington Post called The Monkey Cage, which aims to provide a forum for political scientists.

Wiltse’s main conclusion: South Dakotas see their local economy the same way their grandparents did.

“Ag is very visible here. You cannot escape it. I don’t want anyone to take away that South Dakota is no longer an agricultural state. Agriculture is still extremely important to this state, ”said Wiltse. “But we are an agricultural state that has this very large industry that has been largely hidden from us. This financial services sector has just grown and gained in importance over time.

Wiltse cited the US Bureau of Economic Analysis of South Dakota’s gross domestic product, with “finance and insurance” accounting for 21% of the state’s GDP, while “health care and social assistance” was around 10% and “agriculture, forestry , fishing and hunting ”accounted for only 7%.

Wiltse wanted to point out that there is more than one method to measure the overall economic impact, but he was citing the official measures of government GDP by the US BEA. He noted how much the agriculture industry may have with the “secondary” industries that benefit from agriculture as not captured in US BEA data.

Regardless of the role the agriculture industry plays in South Dakota’s economy, Wiltse said people shouldn’t overlook the financial industry even though it isn’t seen as the biggest source of money. of South Dakota before tourism and agriculture.

“It’s a really interesting story about how our perceptions of our surroundings make it easy for us to lose track,” said Wiltse, noting in particular the estimated $ 360 billion in trusts managed by the Dakota trust companies. South.

“This is Denmark’s GDP. It’s a huge amount of money, ”he said.

Wiltse said he was not favoring any means for or against the South Dakota trust industry. He wants to underline “how an industry can really create a pleasant regulatory environment when it is largely free from any public pressure”.

“One of the most important consequences of this misperception is that citizens don’t really demand anything from their decision makers on these trusts,” Wiltse said. “It’s ridiculously technical, very difficult to understand and there is no organized interest that says we have to stop this.”

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