Monday, July 13, 2009

Dane County: Lucky Seed

Charlie Sykes points to a hard-headed and realistic essay. One of the authors, Tom Hefty, was a Doyle economic-development appointee. It ain't pretty, folks.

...Not only has an honest debate been delayed, but some officials continue to attack anyone who questions the state’s direction. Most recently in response to Thomas Industries moving almost 300 manufacturing jobs from Sheboygan to Louisiana, the state’s commerce secretary, Richard Leinenkugel, said, “Any time you go negative on these things, it doesn’t help in terms of business climate in Wisconsin.”

Leinenkugel obviously believes in the power of Magic Pixie Dust. But that's not the only problem.

...Gov. Doyle has been at the helm during this slide. An increase in education spending and added incentives for venture capital and entrepreneurship aren’t sufficient by themselves for the state to enjoy economic success. Success requires a plan. It requires leadership in the governor’s office and in the cabinet offices. It starts with a positive attitude toward business, and it thrives with enthusiastic salesmanship

What was 'the plan' with Thomas Industries? Briggs and Stratton (Simplicity and Power Products)? The Milwaukee Mile?? Where's the "positive attitude"?

The only 'positive attitude' one sees in this State is the attitude toward increased taxes.

Oh, yes, there's more. In a sidebar, the authors also identify the Lucky Seed in our fair State: Dane County.

A Legislative Audit Bureau report in August 2006 revealed just how scattered and unfocused Wisconsin’s economic-development efforts are. The auditors found that every part of Wisconsin was designated as a development zone, and projects in eight counties that met no criteria for economic distress received 21.3% of the grants and loans awarded from 2002 to 2005.

Dane County fared particularly well. With a low jobless rate, it met none of the criteria for economic distress, but was awarded $38.67 per capita in assistance compared to a statewide average of $30.38 per person. Since the Audit Bureau report, that disproportionate focus on Dane County has continued unabated.

That's simply unconscionable. Expect more if Doyle is re-elected.

If you're still a resident of Wisconsin, that is.


John Foust said...

Don't fret, Daddio, there are plenty of Republicans who want to pin B&S on Wisconsin's business policies, but that's not what B&S is saying. Or here.

Yah, right. What Torinus calls incentive, Obama and Bush called "stimulus." The plans and projects of prior state commerce and tourism chiefs haven't been super-accountable or sensible, either.

Dad29 said...

Briggs states that the plants will be adjunct to engine plants.

So, John--what happened to the Wauwatosa engine plant? Hmmmmm???

Anonymous said...

I moved a while ago but was back to several counties (Dodge, Washington, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Marquette) to visit friends and family recently. It was sad. Every small town I went to is a shell of what they were when I was growing up. It was just very obvious when you see it after a long absence. Wisconsin is dying - and Doyle and company don't give a $hit.