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Always Foward with Education & Reason

Democrats Denounce Walker’s Subsidies to Corporations that Outsource Jobs PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by State Senate Democrats   
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 10:08

walker-no-jobsScandal-plagued WEDC agency linked to business outsourcing again.

MADISON – Multiple news reports have revealed that a Wisconsin company that received $370,000 in taxpayer subsidies from Gov. Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) plans to cut 93 positions and outsource Wisconsin jobs to Tijuana, Mexico. The Eaton Corporation in Pewaukee, WI had previously outsourced 163 Wisconsin jobs to Mexico in 2013. Governor Walker serves as the Chairman of the WEDC.

“At a time when Wisconsin is facing a $2.2 billion budget deficit, it is unacceptable that Republicans would provide taxpayer subsidies to a company with a history of outsourcing Wisconsin jobs,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “It’s time to start investing in Wisconsin families and stop subsiding corporations that outsource jobs.”

While Gov. Walker continues to travel around the nation preparing for his presidential campaign, Wisconsin has plummeted economically. Recent reports have shown that family wages are declining, poverty rates have increased and Wisconsin has dropped to 40th in the country for job creation.

“Rather than catering to out-of-state special interests, we need to invest in local businesses that are going to stay in Wisconsin and pay their workers a fair wage,” added Shilling. “Democrats remain committed to boosting family wages, creating quality jobs and investing in the 21st century infrastructure that is needed to move our state forward.”

ROBERT KRAIG: "Wisconsin Idea is still under attack" PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig   
Friday, 24 April 2015 12:03

scott-walker-clapsGov. Scott Walker’s attack on the Wisconsin Idea goes beyond funding. His scheme to spin off our universities, stripping public accountability from a system the people of Wisconsin built together, cuts the UW system off from its public charge. Walker’s brand of conservatism is not interested in such knowledge.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2015 18:35
Free College is Both Possible and Necessary PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Monday, 20 April 2015 16:28

uwgb-studentOne very important thing missing from the state budget debate, says Mike McCabe, founder of Blue Jean Nation.

ALTOONA, WI - When it comes to the future of higher education in Wisconsin, state lawmakers are stuck in a rut, thinking only about whether spending in this area should be cut a little or a lot and whether student tuition should be kept where it is (which is astronomically high) or be allowed to continue to spiral upward.

We should be talking about free college instead. The viability of the American Dream in the 21st Century depends on it.

Generations ago, Wisconsin was among the trailblazing states that built systems of universal, free public education all the way through high school. Few of the people who were paying for this creation had high school diplomas. Many were illiterate. Most were farmers, but they could see industrialization coming. They knew their children and grandchildren might not work the land as they did. They knew that chances were their kids and grandkids would be working in factories or offices. They knew future generations would need more education and different skills than they had in order to have a shot at the American Dream.

Today, we have to ask ourselves a question our lawmakers are not asking as they debate the future of education. Does a high school diploma alone provide a sure pathway to the American Dream? The answer is obvious. The answer is no. Education and training beyond high school has become a necessity.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 16:51
Remaking Politics By The Seat Of Our Pants PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 11:18

MADISON - bjn-left-rightAmerican democracy is caught on the horns of a dilemma. Most Americans are feeling fed up with the Republicans and let down by the Democrats – with good reason – as both major parties are failing the country. Yet a third party isn’t the answer. Like it or not, America has a two-party system.

Ours was not set up as a parliamentary democracy, where competing factions can join forces and form coalition governments. We don’t have fusion voting, or instant runoff voting, or proportional representation, or any of the mechanisms that would allow third parties or independent candidates to successfully compete in our elections and hold power in our government.

This is why third-party or independent bids for office – whether it’s Ross Perot one time or Ralph Nader another – regularly lead to dead ends.

So how do we get regular people back in the driver’s seat of our government when both major parties are catering to a privileged few at the expense of everyone else, but our system is structured to enforce a two-party arrangement?

We have to start with two articles of faith. First, it hasn’t always been like it is now, and doesn’t have to be like this. Second, there is a way out of the trap we’re in.

We need to make the major parties – or at least one of them for starters – better. They won’t change unless forced. It’s like the basic law of physics . . . an object at rest will remain at rest, unless some force makes it move. A corrupt political establishment will stay corrupt and failing parties will keep failing us, unless we make them change their ways.

When past generations freed themselves from similar traps, they started by shedding old labels and fashioning themselves a new identity. They attached that newly minted brand to breathtakingly ambitious agendas. They were not bashful in the least about stating their aspirations for the future.  And then they effectively forced those aspirations down the throats of the parties. When the smoke cleared, there were not three parties or four or five. There were two. But the parties were transformed. They were reconnected to the masses.

Current conditions dictate that this must be done again.

Given how messed up politics is at the moment, we cannot in good conscience call ourselves Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives. One party is scary and the other is scared. Labels like liberal and conservative no longer mean what the dictionary says they mean. Now they are little more than the political equivalent of ethnic slurs. We deserve better and need something new.

We are commoners and we are politically homeless. The royals of our political system made us so.

We aim to make a household for the politically homeless and in so doing transform parties that are failing us. And we are pulling together to make it happen. With an organizing committee of citizens from all of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts and 19 different counties, we just formed Blue Jean Nation.

Blue Jean Nation is not a party. It is a community, and a movement in the making. We are neither elephant nor ass, but recognize that our country has a two-party system and plan to work within that system to get the parties truly working for all of us and not just a favored few who are well connected politically.

Our end goal is to make common sense in government and concern for the common good far less uncommon. To reach that goal, we will work every day against political privilege.

We will do it from the ground up, with plain people leading the way, by the seat of our pants. There’s no waiting for political messiahs to come along.

When faced with economic and political threats eerily similar to today’s conditions, past generations straightened things out on more than one occasion. I refuse to believe there is something so different about us or wrong with us that renders us less capable of making change than those who came before us. In so many ways, we have more going for us now than they did then.

Political reboots have happened before. Another one is desperately needed.


Blog Version HERE.

Mike McCabe is the founder and president of Blue Jean Nation and author of Blue Jeans in High Places: The Coming Makeover of American Politics. Website:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 11:49
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