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Development

Foxconn’s Venture Capital Fund

Bruce Murphy has a solid assessment of Foxconn’s much-touted (by Foxconn) venture capital fund in About That Foxconn Venture Capital Fund. It’s well worth reading in full. A few key points: Unfulfilled: Louis Woo of Foxconn had promised this venture fund for startup companies would naturally connect to Foxconn’s innovation centers in Eau Claire, Green Bay…

A Janesville, Wisconsin Resident on His Town’s Politics (with Similarities to Whitewater)

Over at the Real Janesville™ Twitter feed, a resident of that nearby city offers observations on his city’s politics. In a tweet stream from 3.11.21, he describes the election scene in Janesville. First the feed, then a few remarks of mine on Whitewater. Advice for Janesville city council candidates: Don’t think you’re an agent for…

Texas (But Not Only Texas): Regulatory Capture

Regulatory capture is a simple concept: it applies when regulatory agencies become dominated by the industries or interests they are by law required to regulate. These agencies begin to act to benefit particular incumbent firms or people in the industry they are supposed to be overseeing. The concept is also sometimes called agency capture or…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 1.19.21: 6 Points

The Whitewater Common Council met last night, 1.19.21. The agenda for the meeting is available. A few remarks, on selected items of the agenda —  1. Public Works Buildings. Whitewater plans to update its public works buildings, now scattered over a multi-acre plot near Starin Road. The total estimated price is high for a small town (about…

Markets and Markets

One reads that Whitewater now has an option, for most of the city, of grocery delivery from nearby cities. As it is, Whitewater has a Walmart, but no stand-alone, full-service grocery. Private delivery service is a benefit to the community. It’s better to have more grocery options than fewer. These are private enterprises providing private delivery…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 10.20.20: Basics and Buildings

The Whitewater Common Council met briefly last night, 10.20.20. The agenda for the meeting is available, and a recording of the session appears above. Two different topics are worth noting (for different reasons): autumn leaf collection and a building rehabilitation project. A few remarks —  1. Leaf collection. The city has many homes & apartments, the homes…

Foxconn’s ‘Innovation’ Centers: Still Empty a Year Later

 Over at the national tech website The Verge, Nilay Patel reminds that a year later, Foxconn has still done nothing with the ‘innovation’ centers that foreign corporation promised it would open around the state. They’re still empty:    See FOXCONN’S BUILDINGS IN WISCONSIN ARE STILL EMPTY, ONE YEAR LATER. In Whitewater, the ‘Greater Whitewater’ Committee…

Local Public Policy as if Charitable Assistance

Whitewater’s policymakers, and those of other small, rural cities, should – in these times of economic stagnation, a lingering opioid crisis, failed business welfare, and an approaching recession – view their principal obligation as if it were charitable outreach. (It’s not charity, of course, but that’s how policymakers should view it: as both palliative and…

Declines, Recessions, and Rhetoric

While yesterday was a bad day for the financial markets, it’s the underlying – and troubling – fundamental condition of the economy that matters far more. Places like Whitewater, that adopted business special interests’ “if-you-build-it-they-will-come” approach despite increasing poverty and stagnation in household and individual incomes, are especially vulnerable to a downturn. Market Declines. Steven…

Miscellany on Development Policy in Whitewater

There’s a significant difference between local, political calls for urgency and genuine need. Recent discussions about development policy in Whitewater only bolster this view. A few remarks (as I’ve been asked more than once what I think of the last two months’ events) — Independence. The best decision one could make when writing about policy…

Do Yorkshire Terriers Dream of Being Wolves?

Perhaps Yorkshire terriers dream each night of being ferocious wolves.  If that should be so, and if even tiny dogs imagine themselves as mighty predators, then there may be a natural explanation – in animals and people – for the yearning of smarmy local development men for gigantic corporate welfare schemes. Of those men and…

A Reminder About Opportunity Zones: Bad Policy Flacked Locally

Those following what passes for economic policy in Whitewater know that this website has been rightly critical of the economic opportunity zones that were part of Trump’s tax bill. See About that Trump Tax Bill, More About that Trump Tax Bill, and The Trump Tax Bill: That’s Not Reform. Jenny Schuetz, commenting on part of Trump’s…

‘But Not in Conditions of Their Own Choosing’

It’s a truism to say that all people make history, but not in conditions of their own choosing: Admittedly and sadly, the local boosterism of the pre-Trump years is now in retrospect worse than one might have initially believed: across America boosters who peddled false descriptions & junk solutions during the economic hardship of the…

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…