Browsing: Economy

Wisconsin’s economy shows some worrisome signs in top-line economic output and some positive trends, such as fairly large net migration from other Midwestern states, both in people and in income. And while the Badger State’s fiscal and regulatory policy mix is closer to the norm among states than it was even a decade ago, there is a clear need for additional reforms.

Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu has introduced a plan to transition over four years to a flat 3.25% individual income tax from the current four-bracket structure with a top rate of 7.65%.

He discussed the plan in this office in the Capitol Wednesday with Badger Institute President Mike Nichols in this week’s edition of the Institute’s Free Exchange podcast.

My hope for 2023 is that every legislator in Madison will talk to somebody in their district who lost their small business or their job, and ask why.

Shouldn’t be hard to find them.

Between March of 2020 and March of 2021 — the last period of time for which I could find data — 17,364 Wisconsin establishments opened and 13,698 closed, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Almost all of those were small businesses.

Scholars like Morris Kleiner at the University of Minnesota have found that licensing creates barriers to entry into the field, especially for low-income aspirants; reduces employment and competition; inflates prices and the wages of licensed workers; stifles innovation; and limits mobility.

(and the real-world stories of Wisconsinites cheated out of their livelihoods)

Research and stories show the need for occupational licensing reform in Wisconsin. Authors include Ike Brannon, Logan Albright, Scott Niederjohn, Mark Schug and Jan Uebelherr.