Sunday, March 20, 2011

Census Results for Racine are in.  Times Must Change

The Census figures have finally come out for Racine for 2010.  We are down another 3000 people.  This is not good.

Since 1970, when we reached our peak population at 95, 162, we have lost 16,300 people.

Such a loss does have its consequences.

But more importantly it makes a statement; a statement that it is difficult to live and survive in our city.  It is easier to take up roots and move than to try to stay here any longer.

There are probably many reasons for this loss that can be expounded upon.  But none that outweighs the argument that the focus of this problem is with the government of the City of Racine.   As a regulating instrument our Mayor, City Council and their bureaucracy have consistently fostered a system of increased taxes and increased regulations that make doing business here in Racine difficult, and starting a business here in Racine even more difficult.

Times must change.

The events of the last several months have indicated that the Mayor and aldermen are more comfortable living with and failing with past practices than it is to try something new that has a chance to succeed.

When Governor Scott Walker put in some promising reforms in Madison, then gave our Mayor and Council the tools to succeed with these reforms, they rejected them.  They preferred the comfort of the past rather than the challenges of the new.

Six years ago, Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana, put in reforms like those of Governor Scott Walker.  His ratings dropped to 30.   He was desecrated.

But by the time his first term was up, four years later, his reforms produced such success that he won an easy re-election.  Indiana went from being broke to one of only 5 states in the Union with a budget surplus.

It was the only industrial state in the Midwest to actually add jobs to the state rolls last in 2010.

We here in Wisconsin are on the verge of a similar success.   If we can get a Mayor and Council that “gets with the program” we here is Racine would ride the Walker/Daniels success train to new economic heights.

Condescending to unions, intense regulation of businesses, close monitoring of the lives of private citizens…these are all the old ways of doing things.

It is time to leave those things in the annuls of historic memorabilia.

It is time for something new.

Times must change.