FREE WHITEWATER

Economics

Foxconn: Worse Than Nothing

Below are the abstract and full study from George Mason University on The Economics of a Targeted Economic Development Subsidy (examining the Foxconn deal in Wisconsin).  There’s much to consider in this work, for the Foxconn project, and by reasonable extension to other government-targeted business subsidies. Abstract: In an effort to spur economic growth and…

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…

Does Anyone at the Janesville Gazette Have a Dictionary?

Recently,  the Janesville Gazette‘s editorialist tried to defend remarks from Trump’s secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue, about the demise of family farmers. See Our Views: Ag secretary’s reality check wasn’t callous. In that defense, one finds that the Gazette‘s editorialist neither understands the meaning of simple English words nor basic economics. The secretary of agriculture said…

Americans’ Support for Free Trade Reaches New High

A strong majority supports free trade and rejects Trump’s anti-market trade wars and tariffs. Mark Murray reports that Amid President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they support free trade with foreign countries, according to the latest national poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. That represents a…

Wastrel

Embed from Getty Images John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett report Deficit Don? Red ink gushes in Trump era (‘The president endorsed a bipartisan budget deal without any of the spending restraints previously demanded by Republicans’): With a new bipartisan budget deal that does nothing to cut federal spending, Trump is on track for another $1 trillion…

The Largest Electorate in any Community

One might not be much for standalone quotes (as they’re often taken out of context), but Anna Lappé’s observation about consumer choice is, in-and-of-itself, wholly right: Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Yes, indeed. No clique, no faction, no party, no political authority is an…

The Empty ‘Jobs Created’ Pledge

In Wisconsin, these last years, one has often heard – so often that it might as well be a mantra – that corporate subsidies are necessary for job creation, to reward job creators. This repeated justification ignores evident realities: (1) in times of low unemployment job-creation subsidies are less necessary, (2) wealthy corporate recipients are…

Worse Ahead for Farmers

The price of supporting Trumpism – whether on economics, immigration, or foreign policy – is decline. For it all, some farmers will choose their own humiliation, their own degradation, for the sake of supporting Trump. Tory Newmyer describes what awaits Midwestern agriculture in Farmers are bracing for more tariff pain. But they’re sticking with Trump…

Trump’s Bottomless Ignorance on Display (Yet Again)

Libertarian-leaning GOP Congressman Justin Amash responded this morning to Trump’s completely-wrong-no-good-and-backwards-beyond-belief Twitter claim about trade deficits: Trump: We have lost 500 Billion Dollars a year, for many years, on Crazy Trade with China. NO MORE! Amash: A trade deficit is not a loss of money. If you buy from a supermarket or go to a…

The Cost of Trump’s Tariffs

Heather Long reports Trump’s steel tariffs cost U.S. consumers $900,000 for every job created, experts say: President Trump has shown little interest in removing the steel and aluminum tariffs he imposed more than a year ago despite growing evidence Americans are paying a hefty price for these tariffs and increasing pressure from Republicans in Congress…

‘Stung by Trump’s Trade Wars, Wisconsin’s Milk Farmers Face Extinction’

After years of the ignorant scheming of tax incremental financing, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, capital catalyst grants, the Trump tax bill, and now Trump’s trade war, Alan Rappeport reports Stung by Trump’s Trade Wars, Wisconsin’s Milk Farmers Face Extinction (“The flagship industry in a pivotal swing state faces an economic crisis”): KENDALL, Wis. —…

Foxconn: The Closer One Gets, The Worse It Is

There is, about Foxconn in Wisconsin, a fair amount of ignorant insistence that there will be supply chain opportunities, etc. Public employees talking about the Foxconn project’s supposed benefit is the practical equivalent letting them recite limericks or play sheepshead: it’s not productive. For those near Foxconn, however, that project is more than wasteful talk:…