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Friday, August 17, 2012

Government Plays Huge Role In Janesville's Comeback

Contrary to the Randian machinations of native son Paul Ryan, his hometown of Janesville is finding most of it's economic success through government interaction and for lack of a better word - coercion.

NPR Excerpt:
(Titled: Ryan's hometown and the route back to prosperity)

Janesville is making the same slow recovery that's typical elsewhere. City manager Eric Levitt said the city has added 1,000 jobs in the past 18 months, usually 50-to-100 at a time at existing employers. To foster that comeback, the city hasn't picked the Republican or the Democratic approach, but is using elements of both.

From the GOP: Streamlined permitting and tax cuts have aided in recruitment of new companies, including a medical technology company attracted by a tax break that could be worth as much as $9 million. The manufacturer of isotopes expects to open a new $24 million facility and employ 160 people in high-wage jobs by 2016.

From Democrats: Federal money for retraining assistance is filling classrooms at local vocational schools and colleges. At Blackhawk Technical College, welding programs that run from dawn until midnight six days a week are packed. That's helping address what city officials see as their biggest challenge: a mismatch between companies' expectations and the skills of those looking for work.

I can't imagine Janesville's city manager Eric Levitt (employee, non-elective office) would step any further into this political minefield.

This however weaves nicely with my earlier post referring to Janesville as Juliaville. There's not much to argue with except I find it odd how the writer(s) split the strategy into republican and democrat programs when in truth, both growth plans for Janesville's private sector rely heavily on the helping hand and collective power of government. It is this entire concept of government and the role it plays in society that Rep. Paul Ryan wants to bring to a halt. But keep this in mind - in fiction only.

But a paradox emerges when the story's writer aligns the collectivist power of government with the republican side, and individual empowerment through education for the democrat's strategy. That alignment is absolutely accurate, but it is also the exact opposite from the popular meme distributed by homeboy Paul Ryan and his Tea Party adherents. They claim it is Obama and democrats (particularly progressives) who are stifling growth by using the power of collectivism to expand the role of government into the free markets - thereby picking winners and losers in industry and creating uncompetitive advantages. Conversely, Ryan also tries to stake claim in supporting the empowerment of individuals in order to become productive members of society, when in reality that concept is owned and practiced by democratic progressives. Almost as the writer describes.

Sadly, it is Paul Ryan who seems to be living inside the novel Atlas Shrugged, while his hometown of Janesville has to struggle with growth concepts based in reality.

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