Thursday, January 29, 2015

Koo-Koo and Dingbat want to treat MKE like a third-world country

State Sen. Alberta (Dingbat) Darling and State Rep. Dale (Koo-Koo) Kooyenga are two suburban Republicans who have Milwaukee County constituencies, but due to gerrymandering, rely on votes from outside of Milwaukee County to stay in office. But that's not stopping them from believing they have the solution to inner-city Milwaukee unemployment and poverty. These two have teamed up to produce a paper titled the New Opportunities for Milwaukee Agenda, a piece that I am sure had no input whatsoever from the Bradley Foundation or Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (no, not at all...).

Naturally, much of this agenda features calls for school privatization and related giveaways to corporations. But perhaps the most heinous part is where Koo-Koo and the Dingbat decide that the solution to unemployment and low opportunity in the inner city is to lower wages beyond the legal limits.
Similar to a state’s tax burden, a state’s status as right-to-work influences a company’s decisions. The businesses considering investment, or additional investment, are increased with regularity if the state is right-to-work. Approximately twenty-four of the states in this country are right-to-work and the other twenty-six still require all employees in a union shop to be part of the union.21 It is important that Wisconsin is competitive in luring businesses by providing a right-to-work zone.

It is not our intent to make the proposal a battle over right-to-work. However, when targeting new investments, Wisconsin will be competitive with the most economically dynamic states if policymakers are able to offer no taxes and a right-to-work zone. When coupled with the DWD and the WTCSs ability to offer on-site job training, Milwaukee and Wisconsin will be in an advantageous position to bring significant investment to Wisconsin.

Reform: Create a 5-person governor appointed board that could grant a company’s employees the right not to be mandated to join a union. The board would have to certify the business does not directly compete with an existing Wisconsin business.
That's right, Koo-Koo and the Dingbat want to eliminate labor laws that apply to the rest of the state, and allow businesses to exploit the inner-city Milwaukee work force by paying them subpar wages and removing their rights. Oh, and there's another great part in the document where they say they would "streamline" licensing requirements for certain services, specifically mentioning "African hair braiding" as a skill the underprivileged in Milwaukee should be especially apt to do. Niiiiiice.

Reading that plan led me to look up this term in Wikipedia.
Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of colony in one territory by a political power from another territory. It is a set of unequal relationships between the colonial power and the colony and often between the colonists and the indigenous population....

Collins English Dictionary defines colonialism as "the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker people or areas."[1] The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers four definitions, including "something characteristic of a colony" and "control by one power over a dependent area or people."
Yeah, that seems to fit.

Naturally, this document doesn't call for added investment and stabilization from government services for those areas, but instead is entirely based on a private sector that has neglected this area of the state for decades. Even better is that the document is "authored" by people whose own suburban lifestyle is based on utilizing the resources and amenities of the large city while not paying any of the taxes and investment that come with maintaining such an urban core. The mentality would be laughable if these people weren't in power in this state, but because they are, and because they have media access that the residents of inner-city Milwaukee don't have, this type of crap gets a hearing in the public square, and has a chance to become law. In fact this arrogant, borderline racist "improvement" plan for inner-city Milwaukee is given huge amounts of air time and exposure on Milwaukee media, and today's editorial in the pro-suburb Journal-Sentinel says that it "holds promise."

No, it does not hold promise. It's the same, top-down privatization BS that has failed Milwaukee for decades, except with lower wages, and much of it is not a plan worth of serious discussion. It's based on the same trope that cultures who think they're superior have tried to impose on other cultures for centuries, and it rarely has made the other culture better off. But that trope sure got a select few of that (usually white) empire/colony-overseer very rich, and the white business community in the Milwaukee area see an opportunity to repeat that history with disaster capitalism plans like this. That's Koo-Koo's and Dingbat's real goal with this policy, even if they're too dense to fully understand that.


  1. One really stupid idea in the plan is the tax free zones. All of the examples they cite are manufacturers. Obviously, Kooyenga the CPA has forgotten that the entire state will be a tax free zone for manufacturers once the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit is fully phased in, so these new zones would have zero incentive effect for manufacturers.

  2. Anon- But it gives the impression that Koo-Koo is a "thinker" with "solutions," so he threw that on there. Either that, or they forgot to adapt the pre-written ALEC legislation for Wisconsin's laws. Good catch.

    I'm starting to think Koo-Koo is angling for Sensenbrenner's seat when that old coot retires, and doing this Paul Ryan-style "plan" would be a way to have him stand out in bubble-world. He's definitely a Ryan-like joke among people who actually do know things about budgeting and economies.