Two Truths of Whitewater’s Economy

  There are two truths of Whitewater’s economy, each fundamental and each a refutation to the last generation’s myth-making. For today, it’s enough to list the two fundamental truths.   Large Public Projects Haven’t Overcome Weak Household-Income Levels in Whitewater. This is true both in aggregate, and for age brackets (children, adults 35-64) not representative […]

As We Are

One begins – with optimism – from where one is. A community is much more than demographics, of course, but we are much less than we could be if we do not consider our circumstances using the best available measurements. Acting by and for a part, rather than the whole, is a common-yet-debilitating policy mistake. […]

Dane, Not the WOW Counties

For many years, Republicans have railed against Madison, and against Dane County, as bastions of dysfunctional liberalism. Indeed, this impulse has been strong even after the GOP gained control of both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office. Funny, though, that it’s Dane County – not the WOW counties of Waukesha, Ozaukee, or Washington – that’s […]

The Planning of the Planning Commission’s Subcommittee

Whitewater’s Planning Commission Subcommittee on Housing recently met on 1.17.18. They had single-family homes and rental properties on their minds.  (The discussion is embedded below, and the city’s file is online.) One could have had this same housing discussion ten or fifteen years ago, and yet, and yet – here we are, ten or fifteen […]


Consider the contrast between how the Janesville Gazette‘s publisher want his city to be seen, and how an economics reporter describes the Janesville area: Janesville Gazette editorial, A question for Janesville to consider: [James] Fallows and his wife learned the differences between success and failure during a 54,000-mile journey across the United States in a single-engine […]

Area Population, Properly Understood

There’s an unfortunately misleading story from the Lake Geneva Regional News, picked up uncritically at the Banner, on a population increase for Walworth County and part of Whitewater. See “Walworth County population is up — here and there.” The story (1) cites a tiny population increase, (2) ignores relative trends entirely, and (3) leaves readers (and […]

Whitewater, Cultures & Communications, June 2017 (Part 8: Nearby)

This is the eighth post in a series considering related local topics of cultures & communications within the city. Just beyond the Whitewater proper lie several towns that form the rest of the Whitewater Unified School District. They play a key role in life within Whitewater, far beyond school policies. A few observations: The New […]

Whitewater, Cultures & Communications, June 2017 (Part 6: Divided)

This is the sixth post in a series considering related local topics of cultures & communications within the city. Years ago (in 2010), I wrote of a red-blue divide within the city, where some elections favored red-leaning voters, and some blue-leaning voters. See, Why Whitewater Isn’t a Progressive City; Why Whitewater’s ‘Conservatives’ Hold the City […]

Whitewater, Cultures & Communications, June 2017 (Part 4: Demographics)

This is the fourth post in a series considering related local topics of cultures & communications within the city. Take a look at impartial census data for Whitewater, from the federal government (using American Community Survey population estimates for 2016 now available, and otherwise 2015 measurements). Whitewater’s is a population that’s relatively young (where student-aged […]

Three Demographic Findings on the White Working Class

So much has been made about white working class voters since the last election, but some of the common notions about that group are wrong. Three quick points are worth making: 1. Most members of the white working class live in cities & suburbs, not rural areas. Max Ehrenfreund and Jeff Guo explain that While […]

Data Around Whitewater’s Size

For today, some data around Whitewater’s size, and of Fort Atkinson’s size. The 2014 data are from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the 2010 and 2000 data are from the decennial census counts in those years. (In all cases, these are the data for the cities themselves, omitting surrounding towns. Adding those towns would […]