Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Milwaukee burns, politicians fiddle. What else is new?

I came back to read that Milwaukee's unemployment rate is 8% -- second worst among the nation's 50 largest cities. Only Detroit is worse.

I've hammered about this repeatedly. Nothing will happen unless there is an impetus for change.

You can't lure business into a city that's imploding. You can't grow jobs without people working together -- and the legislature and governor seem to be fixated on doing nothing but stabbing each other in the back and the local Milwaukee politicians are all about either greasing or saving their own hineys (or both). No wonder things get worse.

At the end of the day, folks, it's all about jobs. Good jobs created good income. They provide the money to buy homes and consumer goods which in turn create other jobs.

This isn't just an indictment of "government." The people who live in Milwaukee need to take ownership of their own city. They must ask themselves, "Why would anyone want to move here?" And then, "What do we need to do to get people and good businesses to locate here?" Then they need to take action.

This also requires getting a handle on crime. You can't lure people back or intoto a crime-ridden city and you can't just dress up one part of the city while the rest is going to Hell in a handbasket.

Doing something requires leadership. But that's something that's been missing in Wisconsin for years.

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