Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas


About those state jobs numbers …

Anyone who is familiar with the phrase “lies, damned lies, and statistics” will understand the editorial decision that I’m about to explain. The poster child for this saying could well be the preliminary – and we do mean preliminary – monthly jobs data for Wisconsin that are released by the Department of Workforce Development, based on statistical information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Posted at 01:20 PM | Permalink | Comments: 6


Tax reform is key to economic confidence

As much as I railed against the fiscal cliff deal, one thing I hoped it would accomplish is to peel away a layer of the economic uncertainty that has put economic growth in a straightjacket. By permanently extending most of the existing federal tax rates, a peeling process has hopefully begun.

Posted at 09:08 AM | Permalink | Comments


Is Walker taking his eye off the ball?

With all the chatter about a new book and a presidential run by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one wonders whether the Republican Party’s new rock star has forgotten that he’s already got a job to do. You know, the governor’s gig in Madison? Last year, when news of the accounting failures at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. surfaced, we were assured the problems would be fixed. Not so, at least not yet, according to a recent report from the Legislative Audit Bureau. The LAB has uncovered mistakes so basic, one wonders if anyone is minding the store at the new state agency that is supposed to promote economic development.

Posted at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments: 3


Minimum wage hike: When politics trumps economics

In January of 2013, the month before President Obama called for a 25% increase in the federal minimum wage, the unemployment rate among African American teens was 37.8%. A strong majority of Americans, 71% according to a USA Today/Pew Research Center poll, support the measure, a tribute to the nation’s willingness to make the tradeoff of fewer jobs for higher pay. If enacted, it would result in less entry-level job creation than otherwise would occur.

Posted at 02:53 PM | Permalink | Comments


Circus World vs. State Historical Society: Time for a divorce

Jonathan Lipp would like a divorce. Not from his wonderful bride, Susan, of course, but from the Wisconsin Historical Society. In what has become a dysfunctional relationship, Lipp and other members of the Circus World Museum board would like the Baraboo institution to be disconnected from the Historical Society, which currently owns it.

Posted at 03:06 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

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