FREE WHITEWATER

Local Government

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…

‘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:…

‘Migration Key To Wisconsin’s Workforce’

For many years – and despite nearly a decade of corporate welfare and crony capitalism from the WEDC and local versions of it – Wisconsin has seen a decline in younger workers and families. Shamane Mills writes Report: Migration Key To Wisconsin’s Workforce (“State Has Seen Large Drop in Net Migration Of Families With Children…

Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap

Trump declared that Foxconn in Wisconsin would be the eighth wonder of the world, but one of the world’s true wonders would not depend on empty buildings and it wouldn’t have a leader who needs a nap, but here we are. Following his earlier examination on Foxconn’s habit of using empty buildings to dupe the…

Local Election Roundup 2019

Wisconsin’s spring general election is over, and a quick discussion follows. For unofficial results, see the pages for Walworth, Jefferson, and Rock counties. Wisconsin Supreme Court. This was a close election, but for supporters of Lisa Neubauer (as I am), it’s a disappointing result. Neubauer performed not as well overall as Rebecca Dallet last year,…

Local Elections 2019: City Council (Part 3 of 4)

In 1926, Hugo Gernsback began publishing Amazing Stories, an American science fiction magazine of fantastic, but entertaining, tales.  The magazine was benign: even if the stories described impossible or improbable events, they caused no practical harm. One cannot say the same about lingering fantasies of fiscal and economic policy in Whitewater, Wisconsin: they produce real…

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,…

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…

How Walker and Trump Destroyed Dairies in America’s Dairyland

One has heard so much these last eight years about how Wisconsin has been ‘open for business,’ and for Walker and the WEDC that has meant countless subsidies and tax breaks for conservatives’ preferred businesses. Walker was never a free-market man; his whole approach rested on state capitalism (government funding some producers) and crony capitalism…