Heartland Forward a Bentonville, AK think tank, came out with a report covering entrepreneurship across the country and the results for Wisconsin that were shockingly dismal but not surprising.
When it comes to entrepreneurial development, Wisconsin ranks 45th. Our neighbor Minnesota, on the other hand, comes in 25th.
This report is yet another sign that, with the thankful exception of having a Democratic governor, our state is in the grips of a regressive Republican party.
This ranking reflects a real problem for this state because the job creators in any economy are new companies. These jobs generate income growth that is good for Wisconsin, and that income will bring revenue into our state treasury.
Wisconsin Wish List
Ask any Badger state resident if they want to see our economy grow, and the answer will be yes. But the problem is you won’t be getting any of this because Robin Vos and company have other things on their mind.
Emblematic of the problem is several years ago, I had the chance to talk to the head of Research Park on the west end of Madison. This gentleman was chief of staff to Tommy Thompson, a life-long Republican, and let me throw in a practicing Catholic.
Among the research happening there was the application of embryonic stem cell therapy. He told me that he had invited a number of state legislators to view what goes on in the labs. The reply from Robin Vos, “I will not spend the time because my mind is already made up on this.”
Vos may have had a personal aversion to the research, but my money is on he knows his base is opposed to embryonic stem cell research, and for him, politics always comes first.
His base also includes Wisconsin’s wealthy one percent, who hates to see the state spend money on anything, but they love their tax cuts. But investment is what we need to pull us out of the entrepreneurial basement.
Wisconsin Is More Unified Than We Think
There is a lot of stuff the people of both parties in this state want – clean water, marijuana legalization, Badgercare expansion, increased education funding, increased money for law enforcement; this list goes on, but kids, in this state, Santa is not coming.
We can’t get what we want because not exactly the state’s best and the brightest have their legislative seats locked down because of the way the districts are engineered to keep them in power. So the only constituency they have in their minds is the state’s wealthiest.
Sure, you and your family have voted Republican for generations. Still, unless we fix our legislative map problem, you’ll have to learn to live without clean drinking water, broadband access, or in this case, an entrepreneurial-friendly state which could open up opportunities for all of us.
The state motto, after all, is FORWARD!