Thursday, July 26, 2012
Is Janesville Metro Area At Crossroads For Progress?
Here's a snapshot of the chart listing a few cities posted at Kiplinger's Personal Finance considered for its list of Best Cities for Every Age, 2012. The Cost of Living Index is based on 100 being the national average. Job growth is the increase in employment from 2006 to 2011. Income growth is the increase in household income from 2006 to 2011.
Because the trends are taken within a five year window, The adverse economic effects from the closing of the General Motors plant are very obvious. As you can see, my town of Janesville is not doing well at all, particularly in the job and wage growth areas. It's in "Flint, MI" mode if I may be so blunt, and in fact has worse wage growth than Flint (2.5% vs 4.1%) over the same period of time.
With a feeling of complete helplessness, I've witnessed Janesville tumble down in slow motion from a solid upstart blue collar middle-class town and wrote about it all at this blog in real time as it happened, not after the fact.
Since 2006, I railed against the partisans and sycophants running the Janesville Gazette media monopoly and their decade long low-wage conservative agenda and war against school teachers, unions, liberals, democrats or anyone else who did not fit their particular brand of social engineering. Since that time I've "outed" the unholy alliance between the area's political action business groups and our local city and county governments. I even recall the dozens of emails I used to get from some Janesville residents telling me how wrong I was regarding my allegations of political activity about Forward Janesville and the Rock County 5.0.
I also remember like it was yesterday writing about the time when Congressman Paul Ryan, after being appointed to House committees, bragged that he would bring home even less of a return on tax dollars (federal aid, etc.) to his hometown and congressional district. These policies acted like a capital drain on the area and the results have been only short of catastrophic. I repeatedly warned readers that Janesville area workers and the people are losing the war many had no idea was being waged upon them, and that the American Dream isn't slipping away by chance, but is being systematically legislated out of our lives by right-wing ideologues. Apparently all to no avail.
All I can say now is let's hope we have bottomed out and the only way from here is up. But that's going to be a tall order to accomplish since most of the same phony people and the machinery that took us down that path are all still behind the wheel. That has to change first - before hope. With the opposition dug in with a divide and conquer mentality and in positions of power, we have a formidable enemy to overcome.
On the flip-side, there is some good news for Wisconsin. Madison, the Liberal Outpost and Unionista Sanctuary as eloquently described by the Democurmudgeon, was ranked No. 1 in the US by Kiplinger’s for young adults. The magazine said Madison was an “educated, tech-savvy city” with many recent college graduates who help foster an “entrepreneurial community” for start-up companies. Thugs. It even ranked high for families. Imagine that. Congratulations Madison!!
For the full report on best cities, click here.
Chart of 361 metro-areas and how they stack up.