Economics


How Is Wisconsin Faring?

Wisconsin: Sign of the Times
1.  Job Growth:    Wisconsin is ninth out of the 10 Midwestern states in private sector job growth. Only Illinois ranks lower.  Wisconsin is 32nd in all job growth from 2011 through 2013. A job analysis by the Wisconsin State Journal shows Wisconsin, in 2010, ranked 16th in private sector job growth under Democratic Governor Doyle.  At the end of 2013, Wisconsin ranked 36th. Wisconsin ranks 45th in projected job growth. Wisconsin placed 2nd in job losses during the month of February 9,500 jobs in the public and private sector were ...

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Thoughts on Taxes

Taxes
April 15th is coming up. For many of us, the problem with taxes is not how much we pay, rather it is what we get for our tax dollar. Taxes are the dues we pay to belong to a civilized society. Are we getting what we need? Are we getting our money's worth? Are we building a prosperous, healthy, sustainable, and truly civilized society?There is too much sound bite and too little information on this topic in the media. Perhaps the facts below and some perspective will help ease the pain this tax day.How much do we pay?In 2011 Americans paid, as a percentage of ...

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Inequality for All

Income Inequality
The movie "Inequality for All," with former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich, is a humorous, enlightening expose on America's widening income gap where Reich answers questions like: What is happening with the distribution of income and wealth in the US? Why? And, is it a problem?Reich notes some inequality is inevitable, but the US has by far the most unequal distribution of income of developed nations, ranking 64th in the world. In 1978 the typical US male worker's income was $48,000, adjusted for inflation, while someone in the top 1% made $390,000. In 2010, a ...

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Retirement for All Legislation Introduced

Retirement
A secure retirement for Wisconsin workers may be coming in the future. Senate Bill 611, introduced by Senator David Hanson (D-Green Bay), creates a board to study creating a private sector program modeled after the highly successful public employee Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).Being able to retire with dignity and financial independence was once part of the American Dream. But retirement security is declining in America. Many experts say a retirement crisis is developing. Many people will be unable to retire, will have to work longer, or will live in in poverty ...

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How Can It Be

U.S. Poverty
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” asked Pope Francis in a speech in November when he attacked “trickle-down economics” and sharply criticized “growing inequality and unfettered markets.” Yet this is but one injustice. There are many more.How can it be that:• Millions of children go hungry in the “richest country” in the world, and yet Congress passed a farm bill cutting $800 million dollars a year from the Supplemental Nutrition ...

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General Electric and the Effective Corporate Tax Rate

Tax Rate
During NBC's 2014 Olympics coverage, General Electric commercials show a cute kid proudly talking about what her mom does at GE. These slick public relations ads give one a warm, fuzzy, positive feeling about GE and their corporate slogan, "Imagination at Work," confirming that GE symbolizes everything that makes America great.Here are some facts GE may not want viewers to know:• From 2006 to 2011, GE's net federal income taxes were negative $3.1 billion, despite $38.2 billion inpretax US profits over those six years.• From 2002 to 2011, GE's effective ...

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A Thank You Note to the Republicans

Thank You
I wish to personally thank Republican state Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, and state Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, for joining with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to introduce Assembly Bill 667 allowing a 7 day work week. My grandparents and their union buddies were totally out of line when they fought for a day off each week.Thankfully, Grothman also authored Assembly Bill 611 which will get rid of overtime pay for working over 40 hours per week. Lazy socialists like my parents had no right to force decent corporations into these profit killing ideas.Best ...

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Legislation for the Rich

Legislation for the Rich
It is time that the citizens of Wisconsin become more aware of legislation favoring the wealthy enacted by the Republican controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Walker.Most of the legislation passed from 2011 through 2013 was written with “help” from special interests.Three examples:1. Republican Representative Joel Kleefisch introduced legislation written especially for a campaign donor, Michael Eisenga. Eisenga, a millionaire, along with his attorney directed Kleefisch’s office to design legislation that would reduce the amount of money ...

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Money Out….Voters In

Money
In January 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United vs FEC (Federal Election Commission). The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 decision ruled that corporations are persons and have the same rights to free speech.This allowed corporations and foreign countries to give unlimited amounts of money to any candidate without being identified. In the past four years, a wealthy few people and many corporations have been buying our democracy on all levels: local, state and national.Many groups have been working toward amending the US Constitution to overturn the ...

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Three Solutions to the Federal Budget Deal

Washington D.C.
The recent federal budget compromise, although representing some minor breaks in the Washington gridlock, is a bad deal for the country. It is bad because it doesn’t address the real budget problems. It is bad because it does not establish needed budget priorities.As widely reported in the media, the budget plan fails to extend unemployment benefits, protect food stamps, and other programs that benefit middle and lower income people. On the plus side it does limit the irrational, automatic sequester cuts. And it doesn’t immediately cut Social Security or Medicare. ...

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