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Off the Editor’s Desk – 8-7-2013


It will not be long before those big yellow buses are on the roads again picking up students as schools are back in session.

Drivers are reminded to watch for school buses and that they stop to pickup students many times along their route.

 I recently received a news release from the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB). That release noted that last year in the United States $83.8 billion dollars were spent on back to school shopping which breaks down to something like $688.62 on each child in grades K-12. Boy, I am sure glad that my kids are all out of school.

The BBB gave some tips about back to school shopping:

• Make a shopping list: Make a list for each child, but start by shopping at home for items that you may already have left over from last year. For some items, its worth spending a bit more (high quality backpack will last for years.)

• Create a budget: Do a quick price search online for the items on your list and add them all up. Be sure to clip coupons, and make note of discount codes and any cash-back or rebate programs. If your goal is to reduce spending, now is the time to decide how much you want to cut.

• Set up e-mail alerts at your favorite store: Monitoring pricing early on is key to finding good deals on quality products.

• Take advantage of discounts: Many stores offer student and teachers discounts on hot items like laptops and uniforms. Retailers will be trying to make room for fall fashion and the newest models, so there are incredible savings to be had on older items.

Don’t wait to the last minute to do your back to school shopping. Shop early and find those bargains.

I would like to relate to you another item related to schools that came across my desk, property taxes. Property taxes are a major source of school funding. In 1970 Wisconsin manufacturers paid 18.2 percent of Wisconsin’s property taxes. Forty years later, 2010 that figure has fallen to 3.7 percent.

What happened to all those manufacturing firms? They were driven from the state and the nation by the environmental movement in the form of higher taxes, laws, rules and regulations and union harassment.

The matter of lost manufacturing firms in the state was summed up best by Libertarian writer and speaker; Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. He stated in one of his columns: “In the last decade alone we have lost 150,000 manufacturing jobs in this state. And, it’s not just the jobs that have been lost; the companies that provided them are gone. Those jobs are not coming back, no matter how long we extend unemployment benefits pretending they are. The 450,000 people who still work in manufacturing in Wisconsin are damm good at it, but we are now outnumbered by people who work for government. A significant number of the later are tasked with taxing, regulating, and generally harassing the former. While it is true that many manufacturers chased low-wage opportunities on their own, many more were driven out of the state by the increasing cost of doing business here.”

Thanks for reading!

— Carlton