Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Right" direction, Wisconsin?

It's consistently remarkable that despite all the strife and scandal that has surrounded the Age of Fitzwalkerstan, a majority of Wisconsinites continue to say the state is going in the right direction. Even in the most recent Marquette Law poll that had Scott Walker's net approval rating dropping 9 points in 2 months, 54% of those asked said Wisconsin was "going in the right direction" and only 42% said "wrong direction."

Now take a look at headlines from the last few days.

1. In the last 24 hours, Wisconsin businesses announced over 1,000 jobs will be lost in mass layoffs. This includes the estimated 760 jobs that will be lost at Oshkosh Corp. due to military cutbacks, and another 280 jobs going away due to plant closings in Appleton, Kimberly and Waunakee.

2. The Ewing Kaufmann Foundation released a survey this week Wisconsin was in the bottom 8 in the nation for lowest levels of entrepreneurship, and the Milwaukee area was next-to-last out of 18 "similar" metro areas surveyed.
In Wisconsin, 170 businesses were created for every 100,000 adults, the report said. The state saw a 0.08 percentage point decline in entrepreneurial activity in the three years through 2013 vs. the three years through 2003 — one of the worst declines in the country, it said.

The Kauffman report is based on broad surveys, so its numbers are driven by start-ups in the construction, restaurant and health care areas, said Tom Hefty, former top executive at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Wisconsin.

"The dismal start-up numbers are in these mom and pop industries," Hefty said. The state would perform better in such measures if businesses were diversified beyond its traditional industries, he said.
Huh, you mean that allowing WMC to write influence economic policy toward them and their fellow corporate oligarchs is shutting out others from getting in and stifling the state's economic potential? You don't say....

Or as one of WEDC's top officer in charge of entrepreneurship put it last year "We suck. We're bad." And we haven't gotten any better.

3. The state has lost private sector jobs in each of the first two months of the year, is 55,000 private jobs below what it would have had if it merely kept up with the rate of growth in the rest of the nation during Scott Walker's 3 years in office, and is still having nearly 10,000 people file new unemployment claims each week (which places it in the top 10 for new claims among all states). And these stats are BEFORE the stores at American TV and JC Penney close in the next month and another 1,400 or so lose their retail jobs.

4. The Assembly's Majority Leader is facing felony charges for sexual assault, and one of our current U.S. Senators as well as other politicians are accused of covering it up. The No. 2 guy in the State Senate just got caught on tape trying to illegally coordinate with 3rd-party right-wing organizations and oligarchs ...and this was a guy who has previously decried money influencing politics. So the fact that Mike Ellis sold out into this game shows how pervasive and soiled our state's politics have become.

Oh, and have we mentioned that John Doe Deux continues, with scores of emails showing the contempt Scott Walker's staff has for the constituents that pay their salaries, and Walker and his out-of-state oligarchs doing everything in their power to try to bias the investigation and pursuing every legal trick and bought-off judge they can instead of trusting the public and coming clean? This sounds like the kind of state we used to make fun of in Wisconsin, and say "Well, we'll never be losers like the guys in those places." Here we are.

5. Lastly, the main voices we get on talk radio to discuss these topics elevate the discussion by saying classy things like this.

4 months later, that no-talent still has talk shows in the 2 largest markets in Wisconsin, and there's 6 other hours of similar hate on numerous stations in Wisconsin, with no countering voices on the air to hold these people accountable for their lies and debasing behavior.

And 54% said last month we were heading in the "right direction"? In a right-WING direction maybe, but definitely not a "positive" one.