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Local Government

Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy

Alternative Title: Oh, no baby, of course I still love you…  Josh Dzieza reports After a ‘personal conversation’ with Trump, Foxconn says it will build a factory in Wisconsin after all (At some point…): Days after Foxconn’s Louis Woo told Reuters that the company is no longer planning to build a factory in Wisconsin, Foxconn says the factory plan…

The Recent Cold

It’s been unseasonably cold in southeastern Wisconsin this week, and in Whitewater that presents a challenge for the disproportionately large number of impoverished residents (some of whom occasionally lack utilities, even at the most unfavorable times). The three large public institutions in the city – municipal government, school district, and public university – have collectively dozens…

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…

WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re Stupid

With the news that Foxconn plans to drop manufacturing at a plant that was supposed to hire thousands of workers, for which people lost their homes, and that was the centerpiece of Scott Walker’s corporate welfare and crony capitalism, Speaker Robin Vos blames…newly-elected Gov. Tony Evers. Oh, brother: Vos must hope that Wisconsinites are stupid enough to believe…

Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans

No one who thought about Foxconn seriously would be surprised to read from a Reuters exclusive that Foxconn [is] reconsidering plans to make LCD panels at Wisconsin plant. The Taiwanese manufacturer has already broken its promises on the kind of panels it would build at the plant, and failed to meet even its low, first-year hiring…

Nationally and Locally: The Big-Government Conservatives Are Economy-Wreckers

Catherine Rampell, writing about the national GOP, accurately describes their economic policy under Trump in The GOP has become the Soviet party.  This has been a building national problem for years, but a building local problem for about as long: a clique of slogan-rich but insight-poor local conservatives have wrecked economies like Whitewater’s economy with a steady diet of…

Trump-Russia Roundup

While the proper focus against Trumpism involves a zealous lawful effort against Trump and his leading operatives, there is also a problem of Trumpism down to the local level. In both cases, officials advancing Trumpism ignore the overwhelming evidence of his betrayal of our own people to the benefit of a hostile foreign power. As…

The Not-So-Daily Union

One reads that local Daily Union will begin delivery by mail, and that this will push forward the publication deadline by twelve hours.  While the change of delivery matters to subscribers, the change in publication deadline will matter more. The Daily Union will no longer be able to get a story on an evening meeting or…

Political and Apolitical Means of Local Accomplishment

One test of an institution’s vitality is how eager people are to become members, and how interested a community is to learn who’s become a member. Strong institutions or organizations attract attention. When the institution is a city or county government, one looks to see who’s eager to run for office, and how many people…

The Broad Outlines of 2019

For many years, I would begin the year with predictions for the twelve months ahead.  Events since 2016 have made predictions harder,  but one can still discern some short-term developments for the city.  These prospects, of course, form an online of topics to ponder, and about which to write (often requiring that one return to the…

Reported Family Poverty in Whitewater Increased Over the Last Decade

Over the last ten years, while Wisconsin and America recovered from the Great Recession, in Whitewater poverty among families with children actually increased. The Great Recession – deep and painful for many, lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. Afterward, most parts of America saw recovery, sometimes slow, sometimes rapid, but recovery by either definition.  That’s why for…