Off the Editor’s Desk – 4-11-2018

 We used to make things here in Wisconsin

That was the heading on a column called “Downward Wisconsin” written back in November of 2011 by Tim Nerenz, Ph.D.

He stated, “We made machine tools in Milwaukee, cars in Kenosha and ships in Sheboygan. We mined iron in the north and lead in the south. We made cheese, we made brats, we made beer, and we even made napkins to clean up what we spilled.”

His story centered around a list of many men, who a hundred or more years ago founded industrial complexes that lifted millions of state residents up from subsistence living into the middle class by putting people to work. The profits made by those men not only funded the state, but many charitable ventures and their taxes built schools, roads, bridges and those they put to work made a good living and that money found its way into many collection plates.

What happened? Wisconsin is the birthplace of the progressive movement. This state embraced a Socialist movement and the likes of “Fighting Bob” La Follette and the Forward Wisconsin movement who passed rules and regulation and with the help of the unions, chased those industrial complexes right out of the state. And, as they left, so did those good paying jobs. What replaced them were tax support institutions.

Now instead of private industry having the most employees in the state, eight of the ten largest employers in Wisconsin are tax support identities. Only Walmat and Menards make the top ten list of state employers with the others being things like University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Schools, City of Milwaukee, Health care, the Department of Corrections and Department of Veterans Affairs.

That is now changing, thanks to our governor, Scott Walker. He has loosened the straps of government regulations and has allowed business to grow and now that it looks like Foxconn is going to employ thousands of our citizens the futures for our brothers and sisters look bright. His Democratic opposition, a fellow by the name of Evers has voiced his disapproval of the Foxconn deal wanting to spend the money on schools. He apparently has not been informed that Wisconsin is one of the worst states for native college graduates who seek their fortunes in some other state.

Following last week’s election of a Liberal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Governor Walker issued a statement that: “The state is at risk of a Blue Wave and the far left is driven by anger and hatred.” Walker appeared on Fox and Friends Monday morning to related that message, and his fears that the “Blue Wave” Democrats will undo all the positive things that have been accomplished in the last eight years. He discussed things like lower taxes and the fact that the unemployment rate in this state has never been this low. One can’t drive around the country and not see the many help wanted signs in front of area business. Things are progressing just great, let’s not make a change.

Do you know what a union iron miner in northern Wisconsin gets in wages? I will tell you: It is zero, and that is because there are no iron miners in northern Wisconsin. We have ruled and regulated them out of a job.

Ask your kids if they can tell you, whom any of the following names represent in this state. Names like: Harnischfeger, Allis, Chalmers, Kohler, Kearney, Trecker, Modine, Case, Mead, Falk, Allen, Bradley, Cutler, Hammer, Bucyrus, Harley, Davidson, Pabst and Miller.

I know that I could not ID some of the above names and I had to look them up. You and your kids may recognize some of the names, like Harley and Davidson and maybe have consumed a Pabst or a Miller. 

Thanks for reading! ~ Carlton