As Goes Janesville”—Reflections on the erosion of the American Middle Class
Tax policy, offered up with the promise of attracting new companies and new employment opportunities, has not worked well in Janesville. According to the film, Governor Walker’s claim that “Wisconsin is open for business” has remained just that, a claim with few substantive results, except possibly a more favorable tax policy benefiting existing corporate interests in the beleaguered state. The latest job creation numbers rank Wisconsin 47th in the nation.
In the same manner that large agri-business companies are hedged in every farm bill by federally funded insurance programs against crop loss, so should struggling communities be hedged against the departure of companies. Or, just as research and development funds are provided to large Pharm companies, so R/D funding should be made available to communities and small entrepreneurs. Further, small business creation should be assisted, nurtured and funded more adequately and with more creativity.