The Price of Trumpism is Ruin

Craig Gilbert looks at the careers of Priebus, Ryan, and Walker: They led the “Cheesehead Revolution,” the GOP’s audacious conquest of Wisconsin. They offered a model for bridging Republican frictions between establishment and base. They became national figures. They ran into Donald Trump. They suffered. They bent to his rise. Now one (Priebus) has left […]

Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers

The Foxconn plant isn’t even built yet, but the Walker Admin and its allies (including a few local apologists for corporate welfare in Whitewater) now resort to fantastic, magical claims about how much economic development will come from nearly four billion in taxpayer subsidies. So magical, so fantastic, that they now claim an 18-1 multiplier […]

SHINE Fades (Updated May 2017)

Two years ago, I wrote about the troubles that Janesville’s publicly-subsidized SHINE project (to produce the molybdenum-99 isotope for nuclear medicine) was having in marketplace. See, SHINE Fades. Amy Goldstein also devotes a chapter to SHINE in her recent book, Janesville: An American Story. (I wrote about that chapter of her book, among others, in […]

Boo! Scariest Things in Whitewater, 2015

Here’s the ninth annual FREE WHITEWATER list of the scariest things in Whitewater for 2015. The 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions are available for comparison. The list runs in reverse order, from mildly frightening to truly scary. 10. The Coming Ferret Invasion. Alternative title: The Unprepared Will Be Doomed.  Earlier this year, […]

On Big Banks, Big Businesses

In the video above, Sec. Clinton tells Steven Colbert that she’d let big banks fail. There’s something in her (briefly stated) position for a libertarian to admire, although other points to doubt. (I’d not urge breaking banks up, but would surely urge government to allow large banks or businesses to fail. Clinton, admittedly, is referring […]

Business v. Free Markets

Over at Cato, David Boaz writes about The Divide between Pro-Market and Pro-Business. (I’ve also linked to Boaz’s post at my libertarian website, Daily Adams.) Boaz observes that, too often, business (especially big business) is an opponent of free markets: In 2014 big business opposed several of the most free-market members of Congress, and even a Ron Paul-aligned […]

Fog Lifts

View image | gettyimages.com Whitewater started the day with fog, but there has never been a place, anywhere or ever, in which the fog did not lift. There’s reason for confidence that even befogged places see, in the course of events, clear skies. I’d guess, though, that most policymakers in town (such as they are) […]

WEDC Spends More, Produces Less

It should come as no surprise that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s millions in taxpayer handouts to well-fed executives and political cronies are producing less with each successive spending spree: The state’s flagship job-creation agency handed out nearly $90 million more in economic development awards last year than the previous year, yet those awards are […]

The Weakness of Sugar Cubes

When conditions are dry, sugar cubes are fairly sturdy. When placed in coffee, they don’t last long. View image | gettyimages.com Cronyism is like this – it does well in the dry jar of municipal officials, insiders, press-toads, big-business lobbyists, and their lightheaded cheerleaders. In the bracing coffee of careful analysis, sound economics, and impartial […]

The New Crony Capitalist

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday appointed banking executive and frequent GOP donor Mark Hogan to lead the state’s troubled job-creation agency [WEDC]….. M&I Bank faced its own problems several years ago with bad loans and a crashing stock price and ended up being absorbed by BMO Harris of Canada in 2011. M&I loan losses during […]

The State’s WEDC and Whitewater’s Facsimiles

Ongoing revelations about the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are a double concern: they’re stories of statewide malfeasance, and those revelations beg the question of how local officials in Whitewater are managing their own pools of public money. First, the latest stories (it’s a steady stream) of state-level error, waste, and negligence: Madison— Failing to run […]