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Economy

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…

Foxconn: State of Wisconsin Demands Accountability, Foreign Corporation Stalls

There’s a significant new development in the Foxconn project: the state has told the Taiwanese corporation it’s presently no longer eligible for tax credits. Over at The Verge, a national technology publication, there’s an excellent, detailed story about Foxconn’s serial excuses to receive the public money or credits it wants regardless of performance. In an…

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…

Fox News Won’t Be Enough

It’s a sound position to focus criticism of Trumpism on Trump, His Inner Circle, Principal Surrogates, and Media Defenders. This sometimes includes Trumpism Down to the Local Level. (Those local officials across America who have this past decade spread sugary lies of boosterism during the Great Recession, during its aftermath, and during the opioid crisis are contemptibly…

Society of Actuaries: Economic Cost of the Opioid Crisis

In Whitewater, in the Midwest, and opioid addiction has been personally devastating and economically debilitating. In a recent study, the Society of Actuaries estimates the Economic Impact of Non-Medical Opioid Use in the United States: The estimated costs consist of the following: • Nearly one-third ($205 billion) of the estimated economic burden of the opioid…

Trumpism Brings Economic Decline

It was supposed to be jobs, jobs, jobs for the WEDC and miniature versions of it like the Whitewater Community Development Authority. Gosh darn it, the former chairman of the Whitewater CDA even thanked (in person!) multimillionaire gerrymandered congressman F. James Sensenbrenner for part of the Trump tax bill. And yet, and yet, one reads…

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…

Trump Tax Bill is the Predictable Failure Sensible People Warned It Would Be

In Whitewater, there’s a business lobby that amounts to a right-wing landlord or two, the dogsbodies who follow three paces behind, and the municipal officials who have been, variously, beguiled or browbeaten into asserting that government-directed capital spending means general prosperity.  It doesn’t; it’s the great myth of municipal policy.  A building here, a building…

It Shouldn’t

Anna Clark (author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy) asks Why should Wisconsin drain Lake Michigan for Foxconn?: The Great Lakes — five inland seas holding one-fifth of all the fresh water on Earth — are vast, but they are not limitless. So it is alarming that Wisconsin intends to send…

Common Council, 8.20.19: Fiscal & Economic

Yesterday, I posted about part of a Whitewater Common Council meeting that addressed a traffic signal at a dangerous intersection. See Common Council, 8.20.19: Misperception. There was another topic at that meeting: the annual audit of the city’s fiscal condition (link below).  In another place and time,  the fiscal condition of government might be decisive…