PEOPLE-Local 645

  • Quality of Life Alliance

Wisconsin Business Climate Not So Hellacious After All

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on January 29, 2011

For years, Scott Walker and his Republican friends and talk radio (but I repeat myself) have been telling the people just how horrible and hellacious the business climate is in Wisconsin, what with taxes and regulations and what not.

Only thing, it’s not true.
The CapTimes did an interview with Madison-based restaurateur Chris Berge about that very topic. Berge, who has real life experience in the private sector, which most Republican politicians and talk radio hosts are lacking, points out that Walker and company are full of it:

CT: What about Walker’s claim that Wisconsin isn’t business-friendly?

CB: I don’t see it. My businesses and much of the business in Madison are based on good-paying, highly professional jobs. He’s coming from Milwaukee County, and the type of business people he is surrounding himself with are looking to find all the lowest common denominators. They want to keep the minimum wage low, keep benefits low and keep regulation off of businesses. It’s a race to the bottom.

CT: Have you had problems operating because of government regulations?

CB: Give me a break. I operate in one of the most regulated industries out there. My industry and the hospitality industry thrive when we have a healthy environment for people to live in and when we have a healthy middle class. Then people eat out. A healthy middle class is way more helpful to me than a tax cut.

CT: You haven’t found the business climate difficult?

CB: No. Because I actually cater to people that read and who are looking for an interesting, unique place to go out in Madison. That may sound condescending to the rest of the non-reading public that may get all of its information from Fox News, but it’s true.

The interview also covers how Berge was forced to scrap plans for a new restaurant that was going to be aimed at the traffic coming from the high speed rail station in Madison. As we already know, Walker killed HSR, sending all that money and jobs to California and Florida. This restaurant that will never be opened is just one small example of the jobs lost and the economic improvement that Walker’s ideology has prevented from coming to be.
All of this raises the same two questions:
  • Why is Walker lying to us?
  • Why are we letting him?


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