20091104

Start up, stupid!

The Wisconsin right-wing nuts are insistent on our state Mississippi-fying itself by lowering taxes. They like to spend money on prisons and highways, so the cuts to balance out their proposed corporate tax cuts must come out of education, public assistance, mass-transit and parks. I can be for lower taxes, but fix the budget hole made by truth in sentencing, and the urge, started by Thompson and sustained by the highway lobby, to build highways until you have eight lanes to Crivitz. We spend far to much of our state dollars on prisons and highways.

The voters should ask, is the concept that "low taxes and low regulation are the key to more business," valid? What if the tax and regulation cutting saga is nothing but Baloney Stock? If our model is Texas and Mississippi, then they should be the states with the most per capita start ups!

BUZZZ! Wrong answer!

Crunch Trends came up with this map:



Interesting article and hypothesis: http://trends.techcrunch.com/2009/09/11/state-startup-analyis-crunchbase-supports-ntrepeneurial-immigration-reform/

Then another look at start up data by a gentleman in Illinois comes up with another interesting hypothesis: http://www.sachinagarwal.com/what-states-have-the-best-startup-environment

Another great place to look and think about the problem is the SSTI State Venture Capital Dashboard.

So, to be frank, the line towed by the Walkers - Sykes crowd is pure unadulterated bull. The truth is that the "tax climate" and regulation has only a minimal effect on start ups. The real truth is probably more a combination of education, access to capital, and acceptance of risk taking. Since our state's major capitalists are either in retail, insurance companies, or the decedents of long dead early 20th century entrepreneurs, we have a problem here. The old rich of our state are nearly the opposite of the risk takers who fuel growth elsewhere. The risk takers tend to be young, urban, and both economically and racially diverse.

Our first step in making Wisconsin more entrepreneurial should be to stop listening to the old rich, who want us to be like Mississippi, and start making ourselves more like Silicon Valley, Boston and Seattle.

What our state needs is creativity, urbanity, diversity, capital and a clear picture of the future based on science. What we don't need is a misguided and wrong ideologue like Walker turning the knob of state commerce toward Mississippi, when we should be turning it toward Silicon Valley.

That would be stupid and disastrous.