State lawmakers in Madison face the daunting task of trying to improve Wisconsin’s business climate as numbers released recently indicate that Wisconsin ranks 44th in the nation. Wisconsin is not seen as a place where businesses thrive, and taxes are seen as too high, so corporations avoid starting up or relocating to the state. However, Wisconsin officials will be looking to change the negative perceptions into positive ones in the coming years through an initiative called “Free Wisconsin.”
The first part of the plan is for the state to construct free infrastructure for potential businesses. Said one CEO of a company not located in Wisconsin: “We can’t afford to build roads, especially when our trucks destroy those roads every few years. And forget about rail! If states want us to employ their citizens, they need to build all that for us.” Wisconsin does currently build infrastructure when deemed appropriate, but some believe the state does not go far enough. “Let’s say Oak Creek wants to get the new Volkswagen plant,” hypothesized a manager from Volkswagen. “Well, if we happen to ask for a new golf course adjoining the plant, a coal-fired power plant a block away, and an expressway spur past our facility, are we asking for too much? If Wisconsin thinks so, there’s always North Carolina.”
Also part of the Free Wisconsin initiative is a no-tax plan for new businesses. Many states lure potential businesses with promises of no taxes for a certain amount of time, and Wisconsin plans on trumping these states by offering no tax for life. Any company that relocates from another state will never pay a tax in Wisconsin. When asked if this would eventually put a strain on the economy, supporters said that if no companies come to Wisconsin, they won’t pay taxes here, either, so if companies do relocate and not pay to operate, then it’s still better than them being somewhere else and not paying. Simply put, income will be tax-exempt because the corporations will drive the economy, and all land will be valued at $0, so property taxes will reflect that value.
What some see as the most contentious and potentially riotous Free Wisconsin decree is the plan to eliminate all unions in the state. “Unions suck,” said Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott. “Nobody wants to pay $15 an hour and benefits in Wisconsin when people in Tennessee will work for minimum wage and occasional tickets to Vols football games.” Manufacturing jobs have been lost in recent years because northern unions have attempted to maintain a living wage for its members, whereas manufacturing facilities in other parts of the country and especially in Asia do not have pressure from unions to have safe work environments, living wages, or benefits. All unions in Wisconsin will be disbanded by 2010, and any talk of union formation will be treated as treason against the state.
The final step for the Free Wisconsin plan will be to make healthcare free market. Employees of all companies will be able to choose insurance providers and use the money they earn to purchase plans from those insurers. State lawmakers have suggested that insurance premiums will fall if people are in charge of their own payments, and people will probably stop getting sick so much. “Companies will not have any responsibility for maintaining employees who cannot fulfill the tasks, so people will work and stay healthy if they want jobs,” said Rep. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), chairwoman of the Assembly's Committee on Health and Health Care Reform.
Major corporations are already lining up to take part in the Free Wisconsin initiative. The same way that credit card companies located to North Dakota because of its lack of laws against excessive usury, Wisconsin will become a hub of national and international business facilities. While some critics maintain that the initiative will launch the state into third-world country status in a matter of a few months, free-market supporters are excited about the opportunities that will exist in the state, whether or not it becomes a third-world state.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 September 2012 23:34