Posts in this blog can now also be found at IBWisconsin.com, the Wisconsin blog of Madison’s In Business magazine.
Since posts to run or not will be the province of IBWisconsin, I assume IBWisconsin will choose to post entries about Wisconsin business and/or Wisconsin politics. So if you’re looking for my thoughts about, for instance, the Boy Scouts, facial hair, large cars, station wagons, rock music or food, the original Presteblog probably remains your best place.
There is great irony in my appearing in a Madison-based blog, even though it covers the entire state and not merely the People’s Republic of Madison. Though I am a native of the 77 square miles surrounded by reality, I have absolutely zero interest in returning as a Mad City resident, in part because the Madison of my childhood has been replaced by something bigger but not better, and in part because of official and unofficial Madison’s absolute intolerance for non-liberal points of view. Madison’s always been liberal in my lifetime, but not anti-conservative, which it certainly is now.
For those who haven’t read me yet, my views veer between conservative and libertarian depending on the subject. That’s because I’ve observed over the years that Republicans can foul things up while in power as well as Democrats can, and because I find inconsistent the view that government should stay out of your wallet but should be in your bedroom, or vice versa. Despite what you may conclude from reading, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a card-carrying, dues-paying member of the Republican Party. When Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans deserve criticism, they get it here.
My fellow IBWisconsin bloggers include various business experts and David Blaska, recently (wrongly) punted from Isthmus; Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council, who I started reading at an age far younger than either of us wants to admit back in his Wisconsin State Journal days; former U.S. Senate candidate Terrance Wall; Tom Breuer, former columnist for The Scene, who once interviewed a certain business magazine editor to get an opinion utterly opposite his tabloid’s views; and In Business editor Joe Vanden Plas, who approached me after I corrected a misapprehension of his last year.
One thing new readers will find is that I am the king of state business climate comparisons. The second term paper I did as a political science major at the University of Wisconsin focused on the state’s business climate, back in the days after Kimberly–Clark’s well publicized departure of its corporate headquarters for Dallas because of the state’s bad business climate, as characterized by then-K–C chairman Darwin Smith.
The various business climate comparisons use and weight different criteria (although taxes weigh heavily). Most of them (most recently Forbes) have come to the same conclusion: Wisconsin’s business climate isn’t very good. And Walker and the GOP haven’t done nearly enough to change it in the right direction. (Of course, the Democrats’ goal is to have Wisconsin rank dead last in every business climate comparison.)
Let’s see — the stupid Walker recall election, Recallarama part deux, a socialist running for U.S. Senate, and four more years of the hopey-changey thing? I certainly do not lack for things to write about.