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Government Spending

Foxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition

Before and after the recent election, solid assessments on Foxconn came to press, and they confirm how irrational and wasteful is that project. Earlier this year, the local business lobby (the Greater Whitewater Committee) invited the state capitalist stooge official overseeing the project to a dinner in Whitewater. I’ve no idea whether Matt Moroney will show…

Foxconn: Failure & Fraud

There are two national publications with recent updates on the Foxconn project, and each report highlights fundamental problems with the billions in public subsidies for that foreign corporation. Here’s a roundup of the latest on this dodgy corporate welfare:   Bruce Murphy (writing online for national tech site The Verge) reports Wisconsin’s $4.1 Billion Foxconn Boondoggle (“Gov.…

New Developments About Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ Festival

There are new, troubling developments concerning Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ festival, an event about which this website has been consistently critical (for many sound reasons). One can wait a day or so to see what this new reporting shows (and how accurate and honest the reporting is, considering how wobbly it’s been). In the…

In Whitewater and Elsewhere, Employment’s Only Part of the Story

 In times of high unemployment, of course it makes sense to get people back to work. Jobs, jobs, jobs isn’t a bad mantra when people don’t have work.  (Work isn’t simply about an income, but a place in society.)  Today is not, however, the Great Depression. Listen to ‘development professionals’ go on about job-creation at…

Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain

Taiwanese-owned Foxconn is relying on eminent domain to seize Wisconsinites’ private homes for the sake of that foreign company’s project. Principles of eminent domain, sadly, have been vastly increased since a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision expanded government’s power to take from ordinary homeowners, among others. Those expanded governmental powers mean that residents who lose their…

‘Chinese-owned company qualifies for Trump’s anti-China farm bailout’

Listen closely, and one can almost hear the peals of laughter from a bureaucrat in the Chinese ministry of commerce… Jeff Stein reports Chinese-owned company qualifies for Trump’s anti-China farm bailout: A Chinese-owned pork producer is eligible for federal payments under President Trump’s $12 billion farm bailout, a program established to help U.S. farmers hurt…

Sad Spectacle in Jefferson, WI (and How to Do Much Better)

For four years, either Edgerton or Jefferson, Wisconsin has hosted a costume festival (originally a Harry Potter Festival, this year a Warriors and Wizards festival). Despite three years of disappointment, Jefferson held the festival again this year (after having – astonishingly – signed a five-year deal). I’ve followed the event over the years, and it…

The Walker Cabinet Officers’ Open Letter

Four cabinet secretaries of the Walker Administration have come forward to criticize the governor, and three of them have co-written an open letter against Walker’s relentless emphasis on political gain over sound policies. One of the signatories of the letter is Paul Jadin, who was Walker’s first Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation leader. It says all…

Found Footage: Daily Union Arrives on Subscriber’s Doorstep

See from the Daily Union Bus routes, security and parking addressed for Jefferson festival and Final preparations for Oct. 19-21 festival under way in Jefferson (reporter Ryan Whisner & publisher Brian V. Knox). But see Sean Biggerstaff’s thread on Twitter (“I am disappointed and also angered to say that I will not be appearing at the @WandWFestival in Jefferson,…

Why Dirty Dogs Roam With Impunity

I’ve written before about the foul mess that is the ‘Warriors and Wizards’ festival in Jefferson (formerly a Harry Potter festival before Warner Bros. shut that usage down). So, how is it that city officials, ‘development professionals,’ lying publishers, and bottom-shelf promoters get away with wasting tens of thousands in public funds each year while simultaneously…

Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison

These last several years in Wisconsin have seen a politics of corporate manipulation of public spending and a retreat from principles of open government. Businesses and business lobbying groups routinely expect public money for business projects that should be wholly private. (Scheming development gurus often refer to taxpayer money as their ‘tools,’ as though the…

“Later This Year”

One reads that Foxconn [is] planning to buy land for innovation centers later this year. Read a bit closer, however, and one learns that ‘later this year’ is about as undependable as ‘the check is in the mail’ or ‘I gave at the office’: A question regarding innovation centers was one of many from Democratic Assembly Minority Leader…

A Tax Incremental Financing Review

Today at four o’clock, the Joint Review Board is scheduled to review Whitewater’s tax incremental districts. Views of tax incremental financing – especially in a place like Whitewater – are a good test of someone’s basic understanding of economic development. Indeed, the test reduces to a simple relationship: the more one contends that tax incremental…