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Bad Ideas

Market-Hating Republicans Have Been a Local Problem for Years

George Will, writing in the Washington Post, observes that Josh Hawley sounds like he has far too much faith in government: The sails of [Republican] Sen. Josh Hawley’s political skiff are filled with winds gusting from the right. They come from conservatives who think that an array of — perhaps most of — America’s social injuries,…

But, but, but…we were promised growth, growth, growth!

Locally, statewide, and nationally, Trump & those who flacked his tax bill, and those who also pushed corporate welfare schemes (Foxconn, WEDC, Whitewater CDA), promised growth, growth, growth! How odd that these men — politicians, movers-and-shakers, developers, landlords, and public relations types — seem to have missed the mark: The World Bank sees U.S. growth stumbling from…

Journal Sentinel’s Rick Romell Reports the Obvious about Foxconn Project

Over at the Journal Sentinel, business reporter Rick Romell reports that More signs emerge that the pace of Foxconn’s Wisconsin project is falling short of expectations. Honest to goodness – there have been years of reports, and years of analyses, that made clear to any reasonable person that this project was destined for failure. Anyone and…

In Wisconsin, Gerrymandering Has Brought Out the Crackpots

One reads – and it’s true – that in Wisconsin gerrymandering has disproportionately favored WISGOP candidates. It’s done more, it seems: gerrymandering has produced a decade’s worth of crackpot Republicans: Walker’s crony economics, Ryan’s trickle-down tax bill, Priebus’s sycophancy to Trump, Fitzgerald’s literal serenades for Trump, etc. Occasionally, these men spoke in libertarian language, but…

Government Breaks for Local Newspapers are a Bad, Bad Idea

There’s understandable worry that communities across America are losing their local newspapers, and so one hears that something simply must be done to save them.  Clara Hendrickson, in Local journalism in crisis: Why America must revive its local newsrooms, proposes that we (1) “provide public funding for local journalism” (via tax incentives, mainly), (2) “address…

What the New Dealers Got Right – What Whitewater’s Local Notables Got Wrong

There’s sound reason to doubt that the New Dealers’ economic solutions to the Great Depression were effective, but there’s no doubt that Roosevelt’s Brain Trust was hard-working, smart, and candid in its description of America’s economic problems. For a critical assessment of the New Deal, written accessibly, see The Forgotten Man: A New History of…

Foxconn: ‘Innovation Centers’ Gone in a Puff of Smoke

Trump insisted Foxconn in Wisconsin would be the eighth wonder of the world, and smarmy development men in places like Whitewater spoke about how much would come of the project, but in a puff of smoke that project’s ‘innovation centers’ are gone. Nick Statt reports Foxconn finally admits its empty Wisconsin ‘innovation centers’ aren’t being…

Saying and Believing Anything

Adam Serwer, writing on Twitter in response to a series of distortions from the conservative Federalist website, states plainly the truth of Trump-supporting lies: There is no incentive to correct because the targeted audience will believe anything pro-Trump they are told, whereas acknowledging error would signal weakness and insufficient devotion to the Great Leader. Yes,…

Foxconn: First In, Now Out

One reads that Christopher ‘Tank’ Murdoch, the first Wisconsin resident hired by Foxconn, has left the company: Christopher “Tank” Murdoch, the first Wisconsin resident hired by Foxconn Technology Group and an honored figure at last year’s groundbreaking for the firm’s planned flat-screen factory, has left the company. In a brief interview, Murdoch said he left…

Be Patient, UW-Madison: Only $99,300,000.00 to Go!

If a group invited a guest speaker who said the world was flat, then that group would be rightly discarded as a credible policy advocate. In Whitewater and other towns, crony-capitalist groups of different sizes proudly declared the Foxconn project a boon for Wisconsin. (Trump, himself, declared it a boon for the whole planet: “the…

School Board, 8.26.19: Insatiable

School Board Meeting 08/26/19 from Whitewater Community TV on Vimeo. Update, evening of 9.9.19: Although this discussion of tax incremental financing (TIF) took place at a school board meeting, a program like this is (obviously) very much an initiative of city government and special interests. School districts like Whitewater’s have a role on a joint…

Foxconn: Hey, Wisconsin, How About an Airport-Coffee Robot?

In Whitewater, there’s a top-notch think tank right-wing landlord’s business group that flacked Foxconn both privately and through that group’s sway over the Whitewater Community Development Authority.  The group invited a state operative to spin Foxconn as a tech city of gold, and at the Whitewater CDA one could hear fantastic tales of high-tech wonders…