Saturday, April 27, 2013

The George W. Bush Presidency Was Really Bad

Weak Constitution

Weekend Reading

Why Not Worry About The Deficit Right Now?

Government Interest Expense on Debt Outstanding Relative to GDP

The Great Tax Cut Experiment

Best Craft Brew States In America

7. Wisconsin, 75 craft breweries

With a Major League Baseball team called the Brewers, it's a safe bet you'll find a good beer to drink in Wisconsin. Sure, Wisconsin's home to the likes of Pabst Blue Ribbon -- hardly a craft beer -- but you'll find a slice of microbrew heaven at Ale Asylum in Madison, Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee and plenty more.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Playing With Fire

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Interstate Job Fraud

State and local governments waste billions of dollars each year on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather than focusing on the creation of truly new positions, according to a study released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, nonpartisan research center based in Washington, DC. 
“What was long ago dubbed a Second War Between the States is, unfortunately, raging again in many parts of the country,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report. “The result is a vast waste of taxpayer funds, paying for the geographic reshuffling of existing jobs rather than new business activity. By pretending that these jobs are new, public officials and the recipient companies engage in what amounts to interstate job fraud.” [Study: States Waste Billions Luring Jobs from Each Other]
Good Jobs First report, The Job Creation Shell Game:
This study describes how state and local governments waste billions of dollars each year on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather. It also looks at how the existence of relocation subsidies emboldens some large companies to demand large job blackmail subsidies to stay put. The report offers policy recommendations to address the problem.
For more on wasteful corporate subsidies, see Good Jobs First's Paying Taxes To The Boss:
As Americans file their state income tax returns this month, some may dislike paying taxes but most take heart from the fact that their dollars support public schools and colleges, roads and transit, health care and public safety. However, for some people, the personal income taxes they see deducted from their paychecks aren’t supporting public services. Indeed, this is true for workers at more than 2,700 companies in 16 states. 
Nearly $700 million is getting diverted each year. And it is very unlikely that the affected workers are aware, given that no state requires that the diversion be disclosed on pay stubs.  
Where is the money going? To the employers of those workers. A growing number of states are diverting revenue traditionally devoted to funding essential government services to pay for lavish subsidy awards to corporations for job creation or sometimes simply job retention. The practice of redirecting large portions of the state personal income tax (PIT) withholding deducted from paychecks means many workers are, in effect, paying taxes to their boss. 
Along with the worker deception, many of the programs are entwined with two of the most controversial practices in economic development: the economic war among the states and job blackmail. Many PIT diversions are paying corporations to simply relocate existing jobs from one state to another; others are used by states when they capitulate to companies that threaten to move to another state.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Selling Entrepreneurialism

With all this talk of entrepreneurialism as the savior for the Wisconsin economy, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some Wisconsin companies - size, performance, etc. Wisconsin, especially for its size, is home to numerous renowned, global, and Fortune 500 companies. Many are older, well-known companies, but there are also many newer, up-and-coming businesses.

Opening new businesses for the sake of claiming whatever number of new businesses have opened doesn't mean much if the majority of those companies close within a year or two. Studies have shown that although Wisconsin may not create as many companies, the ones that are born here tend to last and grow better than those in many other states. "The numbers suggest that Wisconsin is doing well when it comes to nurturing those companies that do get launched there," Eric Thompson, a University of Nebraska researcher, said. "Your entrepreneurs tend to be good at staying in business."

Doug Henwood elaborates, "The small business myth is probably the most durable and pervasive of all. It holds appeal across the political spectrum, from corporate lobbyists trying to sell tax breaks to postmodern New Agers trying to sell their vision of decentralization and local self-reliance...Small firms pay less than large ones, are less likely to offer health, pension, or child care benefits, and are often more dangerous to workers. With few exceptions, they're not all that innovative technologically...37% of the labor force changes its employment status every jobs do not sprout in the greatest numbers at either fresh start-ups or small firms...Smaller employers do generate plenty of jobs, but they also destroy them in great quantities. If you add together creation and destruction, no clear picture emerges."

We also shouldn't forget that Montana, Vermont, Alaska, New Mexico, Mississippi, Idaho, Louisiana, and Kentucky are often ranked near the top of entrepreneurial lists. Yet these are hardly the places most would think of in regards to start-ups, innovation and technology.

From CNN Money

Rank ▾
CompanyFortune 500 rankCityRevenues
($ millions)
1Johnson Controls67Milwaukee40,833.0
2Northwestern Mutual116Milwaukee24,861.0
4Kohl's146Menomonee Falls18,804.0
6American Family Insurance Group382Madison6,400.2
7Rockwell Automation410Milwaukee6,000.4

Here's a list of Wisconsin's largest public companies:

1. Johnson Controls Inc. – Glendale, WI –
2. Manpower Inc. – Milwaukee, WI –
3. Kohl’s Corp. – Menomonee Falls, WI –
4. Oshkosh Corp. – Oshkosh, WI –
5. Harley‐Davidson Inc. – Milwaukee, WI – www.harley‐
6. Rockwell Automation Inc. – Milwaukee, WI –
7. Fiserv Inc. – Brookfield, WI –
8. Manitowoc Co. Inc. – Manitowoc, WI –
9. Wisconsin Energy Corp. – Milwaukee, WI –
10. Marshall & Ilsley Corp. – Milwaukee, WI –
11. Bemis Co. Inc. – Neenah, WI –
12. Alliant Energy Corp. – Madison, WI –
13. Joy Global Inc. – Milwaukee, WI –
14. Snap‐on Inc. – Pleasant Prairie, WI –
15. Bucyrus International Inc. – South Milwaukee, WI –
16. A.O. Smith Corp. – Milwaukee, WI –
17. Regal‐Beloit Corp. – Beloit, WI – www.regal‐
18. Briggs & Stratton Corp. – Wauwatosa, WI –
19. Plexus Corp. – Neenah, WI –
20. MGIC Investment Corp. – Milwaukee, WI –
21. Metavante Technologies Inc. – Brown Deer, WI –
22. Actuant Corp. – Butler, WI –
23. Brady Corp. – Milwaukee, WI –
24. Associated Banc‐Corp – Green Bay, WI –
25. Modine Manufacturing Co. – Racine, WI –
26. Sensient Technologies Corp. – Milwaukee, WI – www.sensient‐
27. Wausau Paper Corp. – Mosinee, WI –
28. School Specialty Inc. – Greenville, WI –
29. Marten Transport Ltd. – Mondovi, WI –
30. MGE Energy Inc. –Madison, WI –
31. Journal Communications Inc. – Milwaukee, WI –
32. Ladish Co. Inc. – Cudahy, WI –
33. National Presto Industries Inc. – Eau Claire, WI –
34. Johnson Outdoors Inc. – Racine, WI –
35. The Marcus Corp. – Milwaukee, WI –
36. Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. – Madison, WI –
37. Twin Disc Inc. – Racine, WI –
38. Badger Meter Inc. – Brown Deer, WI –
39. Great Wolf Resorts Inc. – Madison, WI –
40. Assisted Living Concepts Inc. – Menomonee Falls, WI –
41. Weyco Group Inc. – Milwaukee, WI‐
42. TomoTherapy Inc. – Madison, WI –
43. Bank Mutual Corp. – Brown Deer, WI –
44. Strattec Security Corp. – Milwaukee, WI –
45. Renaissance Learning Inc. – Wisconsin Rapids, WI –
46. Waterstone Financial Inc. – Wauwatosa, WI –
47. Tufco Technologies Inc. – Green Bay, WI –
48. Magnetek Inc. – Menomonee Falls, WI –
49. Orion Energy Systems Inc. – Manitowoc, WI –
50. Baylake Corp. – Sturgeon Bay, WI –

Here's a list of Wisconsin largest public and private employers:

The Top Companies in Wisconsin on the 2012 Inc. 5000

79Dynamic Recycling3,530%$7.1 millionWI
398Quincy Bioscience937%$12.7 millionWI
544RevolutionEHR685%$2 millionWI
663Facility Gateway542%$11.5 millionWI
689Stella & Chewy's516%$11.9 millionWI
876Authenticom380%$14.6 millionWI
1019Commercial Bargains310%$2.2 millionWI
1131BizLab279%$21.5 millionWI
1251TRC Global Solutions247%$25.2 millionWI
1266Millennium243%$28.1 millionWI
1364Delta Media224%$7.5 millionWI
1506True Process197%$7.8 millionWI
1636Beyond The Office Door179%$2.4 millionWI
1692TMI Consulting170%$3.2 millionWI
1711Midwest Prototyping167%$2.8 millionWI
1753ESC Services163%$3 millionWI
1834Tim O'Brien Homes152%$21 millionWI
1959Forte Research Systems138%$7.2 millionWI
2048Heartland Business Systems129%$135.7 millionWI
2073Zeon Solutions127%$9.1 millionWI
2210SASid Insurance Development116%$4.2 millionWI
2225Solaris115%$3.5 millionWI
2550Centare95%$10.3 millionWI
2763Codeworks84%$24.5 millionWI
2877Networkers Funding79%$3.3 millionWI
2927Waukesha Metal Products76%$27.3 millionWI
2986JGear73%$5.6 millionWI
3038Elite Human Capital Group71%$5.7 millionWI
3215Batteries Plus64%$164.8 millionWI
3279Quest CE61%$3.1 millionWI
3339New Glarus Brewing58%$26.4 millionWI
3341ABC Supply58%$4.6 billionWI
3405Campbellsport Building Supply56%$57.2 millionWI
3445New Resources Consulting55%$16.7 millionWI
3461First Edge Solutions55%$9 millionWI
3513Alpha Source53%$18.6 millionWI
3547Americollect52%$6.8 millionWI
3681Superior Support Resources47%$5.3 millionWI
3753Wireless Logic44%$7.1 millionWI
3763Synergy Consortium Services44%$8.3 millionWI
3788Ascential Service43%$22.5 millionWI
3794Doig43%$12.1 millionWI
3917OnCourse Learning39%$24.4 millionWI
4049DiscountRamps.com35%$20.7 millionWI
4087QPS Employment Group33%$114.1 millionWI
4121Symmetry32%$12.2 millionWI
4152TAPCO31%$36.2 millionWI
4154Batzner Pest Management31%$9.1 millionWI
4226Enviro-Safe Consulting29%$2.9 millionWI
4267Advanced Waste Services29%$39.2 millionWI
4303Standard Process27%$124.4 millionWI
4361Huberty & Associates26%$3.4 millionWI
4442Mantz Automation23%$19.7 millionWI
4475Prefinished Staining Products22%$2.1 millionWI
4487Jung Express22%$9.3 millionWI
4490Spectrum Industries22%$29.9 millionWI
4527Crystal Finishing Systems20%$88 millionWI
4577Goff's Enterprises19%$6 millionWI
4591Northwire - NWI Lab 36019%$47.9 millionWI
4635InForm Product Development17%$2.9 millionWI
4659HUSCO International17%$272.8 millionWI
4743InPro13%$93.4 millionWI
4791Fi-Med Management12%$6.4 millionWI
4809Graphics Systems12%$11.1 millionWI
4872Seaway Printing Company9%$5.1 millionWI
4928Trident Contract Management8%$8.8 millionWI
4969Data Dimensions6%$21.9 millionWI
The Wisconsin 75 is an annual ranking and recognition of the largest closely held companies headquartered in Wisconsin. The list ranks the Top 75 companies by revenue, as determined by a voluntary submission of a qualifications form.

1. S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., Racine
2. U.S. Venture, Inc., Kimberly
3. Kohler Co., Kohler
4. ABC Supply Co. Inc, Beloit
5. Quad/Graphics, Sussex
6. Kwik Trip, Inc., La Crosse
7. Schneider National Inc., Green Bay
8. Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., Arcadia
9. Sentry Insurance, Stevens Point
10. Uline, Pleasant Prairie
11. Menasha Corporation [1], Neenah
12. Charter Manufacturing Company Inc., Mequon
13. Green Bay Packaging Inc., Green Bay
14. Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth
15. The DeLong Co. Inc., [4] Clinton
16. Robert W. Baird & Co., Milwaukee
17. Trek Bicycle Corporation, Waterloo
18. Appleton, Appleton
19. ACUITY, Sheboygan
20. Masters Gallery Foods, Inc., Plymouth
21. Johnsonville Sausage, LLC, Sheboygan Falls
22. Bergstrom Automotive, Neenah
23. West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., West Bend
24. Boucher Automotive Group, Greenfield
25. Greenheck Fan Corporation, Schofield
26. Miron Construction Co., Inc., Neenah
27. Rockline Industries Inc., Sheboygan
28. Lakeside Foods Inc., Manitowoc
29. Hydrite Chemical Co., Brookfield
30. Adelman Travel Group, Milwaukee
31. Windway Capital Corp., Sheboygan
32. The Boldt Company, Appleton
33. Husco International, Inc., Waukesha
34. Ewald Automotive Group, LLC, Milwaukee
35. J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc., Janesville
36. Miller Compressing Company, Milwaukee
37. Edward H. Wolf & Sons, Inc., Slinger
38. Meridian Industries Inc., Milwaukee
39. JX Enterprises Inc., Pewaukee
40. Quality State Oil Co. Inc., Sheboygan
41. C.D. Smith Construction, Inc. *, Fond du Lac
42. Bauer Built Inc., Durand
43. Gehl Foods, Inc. *, Germantown
44. Werner Electric Supply Co., Neenah
45. First Supply LLC, Madison
46. Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc., Middleton
47. Palermo Villa, Inc., Milwaukee
48. Wausau Supply Company, Schofield
49. J.F. Ahern Co., Fond du Lac
50. Mayville Engineering Co. Inc., Mayville
51. Gustave A. Larson Company, Pewaukee
52. Gordon Flesch Company Inc., Madison
53. Everbrite, LLC, Greenfield
54. Hunzinger Construction Co., Brookfield
55. Serigraph Inc., West Bend
56. Herzing University, Milwaukee
57. Standard Process, Inc. [3], Palmyra
58. W.T. Walker Group, Inc., Milwaukee
59. Inland Power Group, Inc., Butler
60. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc., Wausau
61. Placon Corporation, Fitchburg
62. QPS Employment Group, Brookfield
63. Derse, Inc., Milwaukee
64. Western States Envelope and Label, Butler
65. Baptista’s Bakery, Inc. *[2], Franklin
66. Zilber Ltd., Milwaukee
67. Miller-St. Nazianz, Inc., St. Nazianz
68. InPro Corporation * [5], Muskego
69. Badger Truck Center, Inc., Milwaukee
70. Holz Motors Inc., Hales Corners
71. Dental Associates, Wauwatosa
72. Engman-Taylor Company, Inc., Menomonee Falls
73. Eggers Industries, Two Rivers
74. Shorewest, Realtors, Brookfield
75. Super Steel LLC *, Milwaukee

Wisconsin has 9 companies on Forbes Global 2000 (the 2000 biggest companies in four metrics; sales, profits, assets and market value).

In 'Best States To Live', Wisconsin ranks 13th.

FYI - Wisconsin State & County Quick Facts