* $4.5 million is a real, beneficial sum of money, if leveraged and invested strategically, and I am confident that all the officials and groups involved will do just that.
But here's one way to look at that sum of money: $4.5 million is a lot less than the value and multiplier impact of millions and millions of dollars in expanded Amtrak operations statewide, in good-paying Milwaukee-based, long-term train set assembly and maintenance jobs,
|Assembled in Milwaukee's low-income, jobs-hungry 30th St. corridor, banned in Wisconsin, shipped to the Northwest, with future train business and expansion in Milwaukee and statewide barred by Scott Walker|
in several years of rail, train bridge and station construction or upgrades across the state, in future Midwest High-Speed Rail contracts. and in spinoff blue-and-white-collar consulting, supplier and technical work that were all lost to job-deprived Milwaukee neighborhoods when Walker intentionally cancelled the Talgo operation, and with it, a budding state train industry - - just for ideological, partisan and Walker's personal, political agendas.
For goodness sake, $4.5 million is less than half of what the state had to pay Talgo just for breaking an initial, two-train set assembly contract - - and Talgo got to keep the trains!
On which the state spent $50 million.
* Walker would have looked more sincere today had he simply come to the city and said, 'Milwaukee is part of the state, and the state is glad to be doing the right thing for the people in our largest city,' instead of setting up future political ads in which he could book-end tough-guy images of his National Guard activation of a couple of weeks ago with the condescending language right off his official Governor's webpage today that looks especially ironic in light of his Talgo/Amtrak factory and employment cancellation in Milwaukee, and the failure of his 250,000 new jobs campaign pledge now overdue by more than 18 months:
"This is all about helping people move from government dependence to true independence through the dignity that comes from work.”As if Talgo assembly, maintenance and Amtrak construction and operations workers - - and people across the city and state engaged in productive and useful work already - - needed that reminder.
* Sidebar: Powerful language about the regions segregation that appeared in the Journal Sentinel's hard-copy edition today about Walker's grant, and which was also intact in early online editions has been edited out by this afternoon as the story developed today, but I had copied it into an earlier post today, and have placed them on my blog's face page, left margin, because the wording was spot-on truthful and worth memorializing.
Here it is, again:
"Milwaukee and its suburbs are one of the most segregated areas in the nation, and the inner city has been devastated by the effects of lost manufacturing jobs and high rates of unemployment and incarceration…
"[GOP WI Gov. Scott] Walker, a longtime former resident of Wauwatosa, has related better to the conservative suburbs of Milwaukee than to its liberal urban core, first as county executive and then as governor."
- - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 8/26/16