Capital times Excerpt:After hearing that GM may consider opening one of two idled plants if sales remain strong (the Janesville facility is officially an idled plant), the Janesville Gazette offered their view of the possibility in an editorial on Saturday...
• Home foreclosures in the county have skyrocketed from 55 homes in 2008 to 421 last year — a nearly eight-fold increase, according to Realty Trac Inc. This year is on pace to be even worse: In the first five months of 2010, 283 homes were repossessed in Rock County.
• The average hourly wage for private sector Janesville employees dropped from $23.27 in 2007 to $18.82 last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
• Reports of child abuse and neglect — while on the decline elsewhere in the state — rose 30 percent from 2007 to 2009, from 1,205 to 1,568, according to Rock County Child Protective Services.
• Rock County’s unemployment rate is 10.8 percent as of July — one of the worst in Wisconsin. Beloit, the county’s second-largest city, is the hardest-hit in the state with a 16.5 percent jobless rate.
Janesville Gazette Editorial:
Leaders in initiatives such as Rock County 5.0 are working hard to put Janesville on the road to a brighter, more diversified future. We wouldn't want Whitacre's comment to sidetrack those efforts amid hopes that GM might return. And if GM did reopen here, Janesville would again be riding that roller coaster of auto industry ups and downs.
No, we certainly wouldn't want that. We certainly don't want an instant injection of a billion dollars worth of low skill/high wage economic activity to spoil all the prosperity the Rock County 5.0 has planned for us .... no siree.
But, why the Gazette bothers to mention the Rock County 5.0 group regarding any talk about the GM plant in Janesville is bizarre since group members themselves have claimed they are not a reaction to the GM Janesville plant closing. Yet without the Gazette, who would ever hear of or know of the Rock County 5.0? The group, a conglomeration of 18 local favor-seeking private industry government insiders would be virtually unknown without their sixth partner, the Gazette, overstating their effects and importance to the area's economic recovery. So the editorial turns out to be just another plug for the group paid for on the backs of their subscribers. Perhaps it's high time they call the private group the Rock County 6.0 to include their propaganda partner, the Janesville Gazette.
After demonstrating the negative effects GM would have on Janesville for the hundredth time, the Gazette editorial ends with this ...
Janesville Gazette Editorial:What if anything was the message behind this editorial? I have no idea.
If GM does come calling, local and state officials should do everything possible to offer incentives. But don't count on it.