FREE WHITEWATER

Government Spending

Scrounging Through the Junk Drawer

When UW-Whitewater’s enrollment was expanding, and so student housing was in demand, some residents opposed to more rental properties rushed to local government in a futile effort to hold back the student tide, through zoning or code enforcement. Now that there’s a worry that student enrollment is declining, and rental properties are less in demand,…

The WEDC Republicans

Writing yesterday at the New York Times, liberal economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman addressed economic challenges of rural communities in Getting Real About Rural America.  It is a blog post about which reasonable observers of any ideology – left, center, right, or libertarian –  could agree.  Krugman writes There’s nothing wrong with discussing these…

Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines

One reads that today Foxconn is promising a less advanced facility in Wisconsin by 2020, and today’s promise has captured a few headlines. The truth – even if Foxconn follows through on this latest promise – is an embarrassing retreat, as Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan observes: Sounds like it’s more than a year late, and well…

Non-College Men in the Labor Market

Adam Harris asks Where Have All the Men Without College Degrees Gone? (“Economists are trying to understand the steady decline of non-college-educated men in the labor market”): In the late 1960s, almost all prime-working-age men, typically defined as 25 to 54, worked—nearly 95 percent. That figure had dipped to 85 percent by 2015—a decline most acutely…

Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment

From the moment then-Governor Walker signed the Foxconn deal, it was clear to national economists (from across the political spectrum) that it was a dubious idea. As the months wore on, one could find more – and detailed – critiques of the project. FREE WHITEWATER has post after post addressing these sound critiques. The posts…

Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere

Pay-as-you-go is another lie from proponents of Foxconn.  Much has been paid, while the going is to nowhere.  Ricardo Torres reports Taxpayers have spent more than $225 million on roads around Foxconn: Between work done on Interstate 94 in Racine County and the local roads and state highways in the Foxconn area, roughly $225 million…

The Middle Lane is a Dirt Road to Decay, Pt. 2

Last month, this site linked to media critic Margaret Sullivan’s observation that The media feel safest in the middle lane. Just ask Jeff Flake, John Kasich and Howard Schultz: Who is the media’s middle-lane approach actually good for? Not the public, certainly, since readers and viewers would benefit from strong viewpoints across the full spectrum…

Half-Right About the WISGOP

Thomas Edsall, writing in the New York Times, quotes Jerry Taylor and Will Wilkinson of the Niskanen Center think tank on Republicans’ political economics. Two quotes from Taylor Wilkinson stand out – one right, and one wrong (at least wrong for Wisconsin). From Will Wilkinson, a view of cultural issues’ importance: The G.O.P.’s success in…

Private Businesses Craving Public Money

A private group may invite whom it wishes, but the guests invited tell much about the organization doing the inviting. Long years ago, straining even the finest recollection, private businesses relied on their own efforts for success (or so one has heard).  Look about now, even in small and struggling places, and one finds well-fed…

Crops in a Business Park

It’s right to make bids for government services, just as it’s right to mitigate losses or vacancies. Yet, for it all, it’s telling that Whitewater’s Community Development Authority has so much vacant business space that it leases the empty lots out for cropland. The Community Development Authority of the City of Whitewater, Wisconsin (“CDA”) is…

The Fight Against Gravity

The Trump Administration wants to bolster industries that are market failures, with coal as an example.  Catherine Rampell writes of that effort in The Trump administration learns that fighting gravity is hard: The Trump administration is learning that, as new data show that the industries it has worked hardest to prop up — through bailouts, tariffs…

Lost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy

Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach reminds that people lost homes and land over the Foxconn proposal, and communities spent far over one-hundred millions on an idea that was – to any reasonable, discerning person – doomed to fail. Doomed to fail: dozens of analyses and warnings from across America, of which merely one is Tim Culpan’s Wisconsin…