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. — For decades, Denise and Tom Murray rose before 5 a.m. and shuffled through mud and snow to milk cows on the farm that has been in their family since 1939. This month, after years of falling milk prices and mounting debt, the Murrays sold their last milk cow, taking pictures while holding back tears as the final one was loaded onto a truck and taken away.
“It’s awful hard to see them go out the last time,” said Ms. Murray, 53. “It’s scary because you don’t know what your next paycheck is going to be.”
Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland,” but the milk makers who gave the state its moniker are vanishing, falling prey to a variety of impediments, including President Trump and his global trade war.
But Mr. Trump’s trade approach has pushed many of Wisconsin’s already struggling dairy farmers to the edge. Milk prices have fallen nearly 40 percent over the past five years, the byproduct of economic and technological forces that have made milk easier to produce and state policies that ramped up production and sent prices tumbling.
That has coincided with Mr. Trump’s sweeping tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, which were intended to help American manufacturers but have set off retaliatory tariffs from Mexico, Canada, Europe and China on American dairy products. Most painful for Wisconsin’s dairy farmers has been a 25 percent tariff that Mexico placed on American cheese, which is made with a significant volume of the state’s milk production.
Mr. Trump has insisted that any short-term pain from his trade war will pay off in the long run through improved access to foreign markets. And he has tried to mitigate the effect by providing federal aid to farmers whose products have been hurt by the trade war. But the crumbling of Wisconsin’s flagship dairy industry has some farmers questioning whether Mr. Trump’s promises will come true in time to save their farms.
These ‘community development’ men, playing with public money, haven’t developed anything meaningful; on the contrary, they have presided over Wisconsin’s economic decline. This is irrefutably true for Whitewater. See Reported Family Poverty in Whitewater Increased Over the Last Decade and A Candid Admission from the Whitewater CDA.
No marketing, no press release, no backstage maneuvering, no letter to the editor, no laminated plaque, no sycophantic reporting will withstand the crushing truth of their inferior economics.