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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Gazette Helps Perpetuate Anti-Business Perception

On Saturday, the Janesville Gazette published a front-page article titled, Where are Wisconsin business Incentives? The article’s writer, a Gazette staffer, draws upon the business community’s increasing willingness to undermine the basic foundation of free market capitalism by gravitating towards governmental subsidies, tax credits and assistance, yet successfully paints opposition to this highly manipulative and misguided alliance between government and free enterprise as anti-business.

With aid from the WMC, business lobbyists and political consultants, the story eventually jumps off a cliff by blaming government for injecting politics into business decisions.
Hess said site consultants often are put off by the highly political, highly charged nature of Wisconsin government.
This article also conveniently came on the toes and heels of two very recent and possible developments for Janesville. One, a proposal labeled the Development Opportunity Zone (DOZ) promoted by the local quasi-chamber of commerce, Forward Janesville, relies heavily upon government's involvement to warp the tax code in favor of the group’s membership interests. The second development, assumed from a stream of regurgitated news reports and misconstrued sound bites, has the closed Janesville GM plant designated as either a contender for new model production or as a contender to be considered as a “standby” facility. A decision is expected from GM in a couple of months on these contentions. In the meantime, pressure mounts from corporatists in favor of the state government to intervene with increased cash and tax credit “incentives” to tilt the auto manufacturer's decision.
Janesville’s advantages include the ongoing discussions with the state of Wisconsin about the plant, Lee said.

“Wisconsin has been working very diligently with General Motors,” Lee said, referring to the local/state task force that has laid a menu of arguments and incentives on the table, hoping to lure GM back.
By any reasonable account, it appears that the Janesville plant's chances to re-open are very slim. Yet the Gazette it seems, has deliberately painted an overly optimistic picture of the plant's chances to re-open, while making sure everyone thinks its only chance is predicated on the state government's (Democrats) business friendliness. If Janesville is not chosen by GM for new production or as an official standby facility, we can expect the Gazette and their minions to turn the GM decision into a political blame game in the upcoming elections.

* Update * Today's Gazette editorial wastes no time blaming Doyle and Democrats for the perceived local optimism, then enlists an auto "expert" with more tempered views, reshapes his views, re-injects politics and finally says it's "best to temper our views."

One day after GM files bankruptcy, Chinese firm buys Hummer.

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