88.9 Radio Milwaukee
Urban areas today are once again thriving engines of economic activity where Americans want to live, work and play. Large numbers of people, especially young people, don’t want to waste time and money on automobile commutes in exchange for a few more square feet of living space in isolated suburbs with strip malls and big-box stores. They prefer to live near where they work and enjoy the amenities that cities offer, including live entertainment, unique restaurants and shops, and a vibrant atmosphere.
When Chris Abele took over as Milwaukee County Executive after Scott Walker resigned prematurely to become governor, he found the office in a shambles. Walker had accumulated so much deferred debt that the county was paying more to service it than to provide county services. At a recent political forum, Abele said that no one in county government had even received a performance review when Walker was in charge.
The midterm elections and their aftermath show the extent to which our democracy is failing. In the primary races leading up to Nov. 4, a record low of only 7 percent of Americans said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Yet nearly all incumbents survived their primary challenges.
Gov. Scott Walker, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the state’s other GOP leaders claim that fiscal responsibility and small government are the top goals of their public agenda.
But Walker and Van Hollen’s prolonged, costly and doomed legal battle to deny same-sex couples in Wisconsin the right to marry defies both goals. It’s yet another entry on the long, long list of politically motivated decisions made by Walker that have cost Wisconsin taxpayers money and jobs.
Sustainable energy is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries — and it’s the best medicine available for our dying planet. But thanks to the state’s current leadership, most of whom owe fealty to the fossil-fuel industry, Wisconsin is losing out on the jobs as well as the environmental rewards of having proactive sustainable energy policies.