The paper and pulp industry has been good to Wisconsin, the number one papermaking state in the nation. Wisconsin produces more than 5.3 million tons of paper and over a million tons of paperboard annually. The pulp and paper industry employs more than 35,000 people in the state representing roughly eight percent of all manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin. These are good jobs with good benefits. Papermakers earn over 20 percent more than the manufacturing sector average and over 50 percent more than the average wage in the state. read more »
Perhaps no geography in America is as misunderstood as small towns and rural areas. Home to no more than one in five Americans, these areas barely register with the national media except for occasional reports about the towns’ general decrepitude, cultural backwardness and inexorable decline.
Yet in reality this part of America is far more diverse, and in many areas infinitely more vital, than the big-city-dominated media suspects. In fact, there are many demographic and economic dynamics that make this part of America far more competitive this year than in the recent past. read more »
Infrastructure investment in America is poised to jump to the front of the policy agenda over the next few years. With the election of the next President, new priorities and objectives are sure to be set on several key issues, including national infrastructure investment. Some of this will be addressed in a major new Congressional transportation funding that will include a major push for all kinds of infrastructure. read more »
James Carville, the gifted political strategist and pundit, once reportedly referred to Pennsylvania as, “Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between.” And to be sure, many urban sophisticates share this belief.
But this perception comes from a different time when Pennsylvania’s cities boasted huge, overwhelmingly Democratic populations while the suburban and rural areas, albeit sparsely populated, were culturally aligned bastions of red state Republicanism. read more »
Growing appeals for more public infrastructure investment make two critical claims: that this would help stimulate the economy in the short run while making our country more productive over the long run. Unlike tax rebates and other short-term stimulus, a major infrastructure investment program can have powerful effects on community life beyond boosting spending at the local Wal-Mart. read more »
What Dayton can tell cities about staying competitive in the global economy read more »
Volkswagen’s announcement last week that it will build a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN is the latest sign of triumph for the South’s growing auto industry. The new plant will sit within close proximity to one Toyota is building north of Tupelo, MS (where the popular Prius will be manufactured), and another that Kia broke ground for last year in West Point, GA on the Alabama border. This joins existing plants such as those operated by Nissan in Nashville and Smyrna, GA, BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, SC and three assembly plants in Alabama. read more »
From its inception as a nation, America's great advantage over its global rivals has stemmed largely from the successful development of its vast interior. The Heartland has been both the incubator of national identity and an outlet for the entrepreneurial energies of both immigrants and those living in dense urban areas. read more »