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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pulling the spark plugs out of the engine

By Keith R. Schmitz

The Wisconsin Right wing has been in a lather this week that outgoing public servant UW Chancellor John Wiley would have the effrontery in giving the royalty at WMC a parting shot for being -- surprise -- partisan.

The UW system is a distinctively Wisconsin institution, and to attack the system is to attack the state. We don't have to just simply settle for how Wiley has been savaged by the know-nothings, but the on-going attempt to continually punish the UW by the likes of State Reps Nass, Mike Huebsch and others.  

Isn't the WMC supposed to be promoting business in the state? It is bad enough that they continually trash our image of being a good place to do business. That is not to suggest we have no problems, but as Paul Soglin has pointed out, WMC joins business groups in other states to claim they all have "the worst" business climates.

If you want proof of the effect the UW can have on the economy, travel up Highway 12 on the west side of Madison and see all the development -- a product largely of the UW tech transfer park on that side of town. That park by the way is headed up by a former member of Tommy Thompson's cabinet.

For evidence of how "pro-business" that the WMC isn't, look at how it stood by and did nothing when the very promising stem cell program was attacked and threatened with extinction by Wisconsin Right to Life and its flunkies in the state legislature.  For an organization that believes that everything has to be put on the altar of economic growth, they were no where to be found when the torch-lit mobs where going after the stem cell program.

But WMC wouldn't dare touch W-Right to Life, because this "spiritual" organization contributes to the GOP voting bloc. What a couple of frauds.

Economic growth is not about mindless tax cutting. If it was the economies of Scandinavia would be going into the toilet. 

But let's be clear. The WMC would rather see the UW system wither and die than to touch their precious incomes and spend money on such things as attracting professors. Right now our U-system is among the lowest paying in the Big Ten. But any thing that defies the goals of the WMC has got to suffer.

The WMC is not about state of Wisconsin economic growth. This is merely a club that is about THEIR economic growth. 

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