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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Senator Russ Feingold. Why He Is the Best | Main | Another Reason to Kill Your Television: Logo Overload »

January 31, 2008


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According to a January 2008 survey of 605 top corporate executives by Chief Executive Magazine North Carolina is the third best state for business. Texas and Nevada are 1 and 2.
California ranked last and New York next to last.
Wisconsin fell from 33rd to 44th.
States were graded on taxation, regulation, work force quality, and living enviornment.
"Overall, the message CEOs are sending is that over-taxed and over regulated states are not conducive to the health of their businesses".

Wisconsin will attract new businesses IF, and only IF, we REDUCE taxes and regulation, not by blowing sunshine at potential employers.

Paul, please, no more happy talk, and your Belling bashing is old and tired. Do something to improve our business climate and I suggest you start by re-reading John Shiely's zero-sum culture article.



Russ, you say, "California ranked last and New York next to last."

According to that survey, those two states rank terribly in "taxation, regulation, workforce quality, and living environment". Then why are those states' economies thriving? They continue to attract new business! Perhaps those factors don't influence business climate as much as Belling would like you to believe. I say, if Wisconsin is at the bottom of that list, the state is in good company!

Last fall I saw a presentation on Milwaukee 7 efforts and was impressed. They have done a ton of research, including polling of business owners in the area (which I doubt Belling has done), so they know the needs of CEOs in southeast Wisconsin. They've done extensive assessments of the competitive advantages and disadvantages of the M7 economy, and identified target areas for development. If Mark Belling and his listeners actually looked at this presentation, they would see that the organization is not just about "happy talk". Here's the presentation:


I think that Paul has nailed, very concisely, the agenda of the hand-wringers and concern trolls that are too often the prevalent, if not prominent voices of the "business community." The WMCs of the world and their ideological cronies flakking a narrow agenda that is indeed a right-wing ideology do nothing to improve the "business climate" themselves, while doing great disservice to the discussion on how best to grow and enhance a sustainable economy. An economy like that of our nation and our state should work to serve the broader public interest of the people in it, not the corporate profits and their executives. We should be having a far broader conversation on economic growth and vitality than simply talking about a very narrow definition of the "business climate."

On another separate, but related note, the kinds of "research" cited above are really driven by their creators. Someone with an ideological axe to grind is designing and administering these surveys, to say nothing of interpreting and summarizing the findings. Objective looks at Wisconsin's "business climate" show quite the rosy picture for corporations, less so for the broader populace worried about the economy at large. Our tax burden is squarely on the shoulders of workers and homeowners, lifted from businesses - especially the biggest. The social safety net that in fact underpins a robust workforce, not to mention that broader public interest, is in tatters, to the extent that there ever was one. Protections for consumers and the environment are lacking - two unspoken aspects of that which determines the economic situation in which businesses and jobs are created and sustained.

We need a renewed Wisconsin Idea, where the proverbial and literal best and brightest in our state's academic environs partner with the public sector, non-profits, business and other entities in the private sector to devise real solutions to the problems that we face now and will in the future. Certainly people like Mark Belling, and sadly, the statewide Chamber of Commerce in WMC, have very little credible voice left to offer in this conversation. They've demonstrated time and again that they are more interested in an ideological agenda that leaves out the larger interests of the State of Wisconsin and its people.


Peter & Sonia
The U.S. Bowling Congess may move to Texas. The Bowling Congress tried to reduce their costs of doing business in Wisconsin lowered, but no luck.
SAB - Miller / Coors is evaluating it's options. There's a rumor they may also move to Texas.
Private sector businesses are leaving Wisconsin because of over taxation and over regulation. Potted plants understand that fact.
Apparently our governor and the majority of legislators can't get a grip on the obvious. As we discuss this issue they are trying to ban smoking in bars in Wisconsin. No over regulation there.
Why is that politicians in this state WILL NOT keep their noses out of the peoples business.
The obvious question is when does this economic insanity end?


As a business owner - I can tell you that we are looking at moving our business due not only to taxes (which are onerous) but the main issue is the legal climate here. Texas is very attractive because it has no state income tax (personal or business) and Texas has a much friendlier regulation climate. I like Wisconsin, but I have to do what is best for the business and my employees. Things in Wisconsin are not going in the right direction. You can blow sunshine about all kinds of other issues - but these are the ones that business owners look at.


Those of you who bash Mark Belling, must actually never really listen to him. While he may be verbose at times, and is highly opinionated, when he talks about Wisconsin's business climate, he is dead on. One thing has been very consistent for the last 10 years....EVERY TIME someone or some group (other than State democrats) rate Wisconsin's business climate, we rank very near the bottom. I just do not understand how you can keep turning a blind eye to this. How many companies have to leave before you admit you are wrong?

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