First saw the story on this at the Root River Siren. Apparently, Gov. Scott Walker has kicked off a series of (unscheduled?) statewide economic listening sessions to learn how the state can best help create jobs. Hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee. But seriously. This is not funny.
Problem: Businesses blame "low performing" schools for lack of jobs in Racine. Solution: Government should offer more tax credits to incoming companies so they too cannot hire for lack of "educated" workers.
Journal Times Excerpt:
Modine President and CEO Tom Burke weighed in, affirming, “It’s hard to recruit from schools because they’re performing below level.”
What the government can do, Kacala said, is continue to work with the county to offer tax incentives to incoming companies, something he said many have come to expect.
For developers, there’s a pervasive idea that “if you’re not asking for significant incentives, you’re missing the boat,” Kacala said. “Unfortunately, it’s still ‘show us the money.’
It never was "show us the skilled workers." Ever. This is unbelievable, almost Onionish.
Like most Wisconsin bloggers, I've been writing about the wrong-headed business incentives and phony "skills gap" narrative for several years now, so this is nothing new. It's also escalated to the point where the tax credits and cash incentives are now an absolute necessity, not to create jobs, but to retain businesses who are offered competing free cash deals to move to other states. They've turned the term," free market competition" into a mockery with state governments competing, really stealing, for each other's businesses. So, this is not about education, innovation or entrepreneurship and it's not about creating businesses, industry and jobs from the ground up. It never was.
Tax credits and cash kick backs are simply not the reason or the incentive for any business to create jobs. The idea has become nothing more than a bold-faced game of extortion in a zero sum national environment. Taxpayers will always lose.