Far Less Than 10.7%

Whitewater’s residents may have recently read (3.7.17) another City of Whitewater press release from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) – this time concerning more public spending on selected businesses.  (For remarks on a prior release, please see The Simplest Condition for a ‘Shovel-Ready’ Site is an Empty Lot.) There are few better ways to argue against […]

The Simplest Condition for a ‘Shovel-Ready’ Site is an Empty Lot

Whitewater’s residents may have recently read (just yesterday) a City of Whitewater press release about a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) designation for the city’s thirty-five empty acres of tech park land. I’ve reproduced the release in full at the bottom of this post. A few key points: 1. The simplest condition for a “shovel ready” site is […]

‘WEDC has been a disaster from the get-go’

After years of defending the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, one newspaper (out of several in the area) finally concedes the obvious:  ‘WEDC has been a disaster from the get-go.’ See, from 11.28.15, http://www.gazettextra.com/20151128/our_views_consider_two_steps_for_salvaging_state8217s_job_creation_agency, subscription req’d. Yes, it has been a disaster, as politicized intervention in the economy, to the benefit of one’s well-fed, white-collar executive […]

Theranos as a Cautionary Tale

Theranos is a much-hyped biomedical start-up that’s fallen in valuation and reputation (not always the same thing) following published doubts (e.g., @ Wall Street Journal, Fortune) about its supposedly revolutionary technology. Here’s the meaning of this story for Whitewater: Theranos had the participation (and attention) of some of the most gifted men and women in America, […]

The State’s WEDC and Whitewater’s Facsimiles

Ongoing revelations about the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are a double concern: they’re stories of statewide malfeasance, and those revelations beg the question of how local officials in Whitewater are managing their own pools of public money. First, the latest stories (it’s a steady stream) of state-level error, waste, and negligence: Madison— Failing to run […]

Conservatives Against WEDC

Only a generation ago (not long, really), most conservatives would have rejected something like the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s ineffectual, wasteful attempts to manipulate the economy for the benefit of a few insiders’ friends. Today, communities across our state are beset with any number of unctuous men hawking a kind of big-government conservatism, with false […]

Education: Substance & Spending

Following comments to yesterday’s post on proposed cuts to the UW System schools (Caution arrives late, doesn’t recognize its surroundings), here are nine quick comments about education. 1.  Act 10 as a budgetary tool.  This centrally-planned idea didn’t work.  Reductions in public-union bargaining powers in exchange for the ‘tools’ to balance school and other public […]

At Council Tonight…

At Common Council tonight, there’ll be, among other items, ongoing consideration of the proposed 2015 budget, and a presentation from Chancellor Telfer on the Tech Park. Both items offer curiosities. As in past years, City Manager Clapper will stand back from the discussion of the bus, but happily accept any money Council offers for it. […]

Would They Run On It?

When local government’s politicians and bureaucrats propose big projects, they should ask themselves: would we run on it?  That is, would they run on a standalone vote for (or against) their proposal?  The open secret of local politics is that I’d guess many – if not most – of the big projects proposed would fail […]

What’s an Entrepreneur?

I would think, and perhaps you would think, too, that an entrepreneur is a man or woman who runs a private business, bearing the risks and demands of his or her enterprise.  For this reason, Americans are sympathetic to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial efforts – we admire the creativity and effort of business men and women […]

Innovation as a Fad

Innovation is both a genuine development and a fad.   In a free society, with unrestricted flows of information, capital, labor, and goods, it’s nearly inevitable that people will improve products and services in powerful, clever ways.    Innovation – the word, the idea, etc. – is also a contemporary fad, the jargon of our […]