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Poverty

Jared Kushner, Slumlord Millionaire, Wants the Rent ‘ASAP’

AJ Vicens reports As the Coronavirus Hit, Jared Kushner’s Company Told Renters to Take Action to Pay “ASAP”:  On Thursday, March 19, Westminster Management—which is owned by the Kushner Companies and boasts of holdingmore than 20,000 apartments across six states—sent residents in at least one property a notice about rent collection—but it wasn’t about giving them…

Assistance Takes Time

So one hears that an effort toward assistance for children’s breakfast & lunch meals received a lower initial response than some expected. Perhaps, but responses take time – especially in a community where large numbers of children live in poor families that almost certainly do not have conventional broadband access. Initial responses are not indicative…

Local Public Policy as if Charitable Assistance

Whitewater’s policymakers, and those of other small, rural cities, should – in these times of economic stagnation, a lingering opioid crisis, failed business welfare, and an approaching recession – view their principal obligation as if it were charitable outreach. (It’s not charity, of course, but that’s how policymakers should view it: as both palliative and…

Declines, Recessions, and Rhetoric

While yesterday was a bad day for the financial markets, it’s the underlying – and troubling – fundamental condition of the economy that matters far more. Places like Whitewater, that adopted business special interests’ “if-you-build-it-they-will-come” approach despite increasing poverty and stagnation in household and individual incomes, are especially vulnerable to a downturn. Market Declines. Steven…

Cashierless (and so Cashless)

One reads that Amazon has opened its first cashless, full-size grocery store in Seattle. See Amazon is opening its first full-size, cashierless grocery store. Here’s a first look inside. A few remarks: This is a technological achievement, and other companies are working along similar lines. No cashier means, definitionally, no cash transactions. That’s convenient for…

Trump Tax Bill is the Predictable Failure Sensible People Warned It Would Be

In Whitewater, there’s a business lobby that amounts to a right-wing landlord or two, the dogsbodies who follow three paces behind, and the municipal officials who have been, variously, beguiled or browbeaten into asserting that government-directed capital spending means general prosperity.  It doesn’t; it’s the great myth of municipal policy.  A building here, a building…

Common Council, 8.20.19: Fiscal & Economic

Yesterday, I posted about part of a Whitewater Common Council meeting that addressed a traffic signal at a dangerous intersection. See Common Council, 8.20.19: Misperception. There was another topic at that meeting: the annual audit of the city’s fiscal condition (link below).  In another place and time,  the fiscal condition of government might be decisive…

Three Fundamental Failures: Employment, Income, and Poverty

An earlier post addressed Walker’s Fundamental Failure to meet his jobs pledge even after eight years. The record is much worse: years of corporate subsidies and meddling in the marketplace for preferred businesses & political cronies have produced failures of employment, income, and poverty. (Small town officials who copied this approach on the local level, as…

‘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. —…

Really, Really Urgent CDA Announcement!

Shortly after booting my computer this April 1st morning, I found staring back at me the following Really Really Urgent Message from the “Whitewater Community Development Authority.”  Perhaps it has something to do with a recent excuse-making press release story at the Gazette.   News Release: April 1, 2019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (this means now!)  Really…

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…