Headlines like the one that popped up on various news sites on Tuesday about job losses are a reminder that something is amiss in Wisconsin. There is no way this state should be the place pointed to that somehow can not compete or make a positive showing when it comes to job creation.
And yet that is exactly what has taken place.
Wisconsin is the only state that had “statistically significant” job losses over the most recent 12-month period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
From March 2011 to March 2012, Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs. That was the largest decrease in percentage terms in the country.
Those job losses came from both the public and private sector, but the public sector job losses (17,800) were larger than the private-sector job losses (6,100).
We all have relatives and friends that live across the nation, and if you are like me, you feel slightly embarrassed when Wisconsin does not live up to our ideals. Over the past 15 months there have been too many headlines that make me aware over and over that we are very far from the path we all deserve to be on.
Many can point fingers in this or that direction and claim to know exactly why the negative news is being made. But that is a far cry from taking steps to remedy the problem.
What is needed in this state is a political climate that allows for compromise aimed at taking steps that moves our people forward, as opposed to partisan power plays that are designed to increase a person’s name ID, or a political party’s chances in the next election.
There is no reason that our state politicians did not find the resolve to have both a venture capital bill, and the mining issue land on Governor Walker’s desk. If there had been better relations from the East Wing, and less partisan sniping from the two parties this state could have had two very important issues resolved. Two issues that would have made a positive difference for the state’s economy in the years to come. Issues that would in time impact job creation.
There is a serious shortage of good will when it comes to our state politics, and one result of that is the absence of meaningful and strong bipartisan legislation aimed at job creation. From the lack of unity in the statehouse on how to deliver economic policies that works for the citizenry comes headlines.
It is time to turn this state around and make sure that the people are again heard under the dome, and that their needs are met. It is time the politicians we elect and pay for start acting like adults.