I have been hearing from many Blue Jean Nation supporters and followers about news that I am a likely candidate for governor. Yes, hundreds signed a letter urging me to run and hundreds more signed an online petition. Many more have personally messaged me or called or approached me at various gatherings. And yes, I will soon be a candidate. I do not belong to any political party, but I will be entering the Democratic primary. Some have asked if supporting Blue Jean Nation is a way they can support my campaign. The answer is no. Blue Jean Nation will have no role or involvement in the campaign. A campaign committee, Commoners for Mike McCabe, has been formed to support the run.
I will continue to do work for Blue Jean Nation in the year ahead, but I will not be paid for any of that work done after August 31 of this year. I also will not be reimbursed by Blue Jean Nation for any travel expenses after August 31.
Blue Jean Nation continues to need your support. You can provide that support online or by sending cash or checks to Blue Jean Nation, P.O. Box 70788, Madison, WI 53707. If you are interested in the campaign for governor, there is a separate website for that. BlueJeanNation.com will provide no campaign-related information.
Never seen anything quite like this
Over the course of my 57 years, I've never seen a time when our public institutions were more disrespected and distrusted. And I've never seen a time when government was less responsive to regular people. These conditions challenge us all, but they create a particularly vexing predicament for one of the major parties. Read more...
Good deal or bad deal?
Foxconn. The word is going to be part of Wisconsin's political vocabulary for years to come. That much was certain the moment President Donald Trump, Governor Scott Walker and House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Wisconsin had agreed to a deal with the giant Taiwanese tech company that offers $3 billion in state incentives in exchange for promises that Foxconn will locate operations in the state. Whether the benefits of the deal ever match or exceed the cost to taxpayers is a big question mark given the company's record of broken promises. What's more certain is that the deal, if approved, will be a net drain on the state budget for at least 25 years.
Editors at the business journal Bloomberg View took a very dim view of the deal, calling the approach of offering huge taxpayer-funded incentives "generally an awful way to lure jobs." They went on to editorialize that "Wisconsin's plan is likely to help a few people in an unpromising industry find temporary work before they're displaced by technology — and to do so at the expense of everyone else in the state." The director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University in Indiana said the agreement between Foxconn and Wisconsin is an "over-the-top bad deal for Wisconsin."
From its beginning, Blue Jean Nation has railed against corporate welfare and crony capitalism, and has advocated a bottom-up approach to building a sturdy economy that benefits everyone. With the Foxconn deal, those currently calling the shots in Wisconsin are going all-in on crony capitalism. Time will tell how that works out. Amidst all the questions about Foxconn and its deal with Wisconsin, there are more fundamental questions that need to be asked.
Are there better ways to spend $3 billion? Yes there are.
Are there more effective ways to create a healthy economy that's good for everyone? Yes there are.