Yeah, I know the election is over and Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson handily defeated their democratic opponents, but an article posted by the Janesville Gazette just days before the election is too good to leave out of the Rock Netroots local history books.
Basically, the story is Exhibit A for how hyper-partisan local businesses willfully misplace credit for the sole purpose of politics. The story also shows how a partisan newspaper colludes with their narrative by letting those claims go unquestioned to keep the public ill-informed. In other words, it is 100% pure political propaganda.
It begins with the president of United Alloy taking Ryan and Johnson for a mystery tour of his magical facility.
United Alloy President Stephan Achs gave the candidates a short tour to show how their work has created jobs and, Achs said, allowed the business to thrive despite the economic downturn a few years ago.
At first I thought it was a slip in context by the Gazette and that Achs meant HIS work by "their" work.
But the context they meant was then established a moment later.
In three years, United Alloy has doubled its size and number of employees because of the work Ryan and Johnson have already done, Achs said.
There it is.
So, United Alloy has doubled the number of employees BECAUSE of Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson. And, a Gazette journalist, eager with pen and keyboard in hand, apparently doesn't ask the businessman to detail the work Ryan and Johnson did to make it happen or when the congressmen participated in those efforts? Yeah, that's exactly what happened.
But if we back up a bit in the article, Achs does say how his private-for-profit company has grown because of its "partnership" with government.
“This facility is truly the product of our partnership with the state, local community leaders and ongoing commitment and investment to the Janesville-Beloit area …” Achs said in a prepared statement.
That part is true. But he doesn't mention Ryan and Johnson's federal government.
You see, due to an uptick in the economy a few years ago (not a downturn as described), United Alloy found it necessary to double its employee workforce. That's to their credit and it would appear that THAT was without government hand-outs. Because according to an earlier story, they were going to expand - but outside of Wisconsin.
But then local and state government got involved and gave them $1.5 million in cash and credits. Now, was that given to stay or double in size?
As you probably know, I don't agree with local officials using the public tax treasury for private purposes for many reasons. For one, there are small businesses who must then compete who don't have the same government leverage and dependencies as United Alloy. At the same time, these businesses have to pay their fair share for the infrastructure they use and amenities they appreciate. But that's just me.
Yet I will say that if businesses think partnering with government for collectivist hand-outs works - that it saved them or helped them prosper - then at least give credit where it's due.
The problem here is; Atlas Shrugged acolytes Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson are not local or state officials and in fact have preached a pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps ideology for years. That needs to be better known.
So, if the president of United Alloy in Janesville thinks his business doubled because of Ryan and Johnson's past legislation or efforts, I think he owes the community and state a detailed explanation of their efforts and the formula for its success.
Don't keep it a secret. Prosperity awaits.
RNR - As Government Shines In New Industry, Paul Ryan Shows Up