First, let us say grace.
Bless us, O Higher Taxes and Corporate Welfare, and these, Thy Jobs, which we are about to Receive from Thy Bounty. Through Government, our lord. Amen.
Contrary to what some folks in or out of Janesville think, a survey by the Milken Institute showing Janesville and Rock County riding a jobs boom because we're suddenly the magical sweet spot in the mid-west or that Janesville is gifted with highly skilled nuclear and technical engineers is misleading if not outright false.
Don't get me wrong here, it's nice to think we're naturally gifted and a community more special than the rest of America. But the truth is Janesville folks, particularly when exploited and living in fear, are not much different than most.
The truth to the matter is; Janesville government, not counting state incentives or tax credits, is handing out lots of free stuff in the form of free land, free money, forgivable loans and government insured loans including 100% property tax rebates to the wealthiest corporate players - like nothing ever seen before in this area.
Janesville's City Manager, Mark Frietag, gave this report...
JG Editorial Excerpt
Freitag noted that in 2015, the city council approved seven tax incremental financing requests that promise 799 jobs in the next three to five years.
No other industry in Janesville is creating jobs with that kind of promise. But seven incentive packages in one year alone? I suppose most of those jobs will be warehouse jobs and not high-tech. But it would have been nice if Frietag had given the total amount of value (money) being carved out from the city's tax base for the next ten to twenty years. That would help us gauge how high our taxes will rise-through-referendum to pay for the non-redistributive duties of local government, but who's counting?
The government aspect to this wild growth industry doesn't end at corporate welfare or technical jobs either.
For instance, Scott Walker's supper club, Forward Janesville, recently gave their business of the year award to a local company that laid off 120 workers in early 2015. Honest they did.
But here's the catch I suppose. The company just recently won a new contract for work. Not from China or anyone in the private sector, but a government contract with the VA. Hey, I'm not knocking it. Somebody was going to win the contract. Just saying how government is not only the impetus, but ubiquitous in Janesville's job "boom."
So with that, I'll make things fair and honest by giving out the Rock Netroots award for Janesville's top growth industry for the past decade.
Top winner: Corporate Welfare.
Second Place: Government.
Honorable mention: Fear.