Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Walker Budget Is Already Working! Part LXXIII (With A Twist)

Most of you probably have already heard the dismal news that the Walker budget is taking more victims, this time 446 Milwaukeeans losing their jobs as Frontier cuts way back on it's presence here:
Frontier Airlines Inc. notified the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development today that the company will eliminate 446 more jobs in Milwaukee this spring.

Frontier’s parent company, Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc., said the layoffs at General Mitchell International Airport will take effect between April 15 and April 30.
It should be noted that this is a follow up to another 120 jobs that were cut last November, which was the second wave in the 213 jobs they cut last year.

But this move wasn't started by Walker's budget. It was only culminated by the economic wasteland that Walker is making of Wisconsin.

The start of this sad news comes much earlier, but unsurprisingly, it still starts with Walker.

In 2009, when Scott Walker went on one of his infamous Harley Davidson bike rides to promote his campaign tourism in Milwaukee County, he added a new twist - a corporate sponsor.  That corporate sponsor was Air Tran Airlines.  It turned out that Walker had given Air Tran expanded space at Mitchell International Airport just a few weeks before Air Tran announced that they were going to sponsor Walker's bike ride.

The gentle reader probably just had a "Aha!" moment, recognizing that Walker has a long practice of pay-for-play in his dealings, whether as Milwaukee County Executive or as governor.

At the time, I expressed surprise that Walker had turned his back on the Milwaukee-based and very popular Midwest Airlines.  After all, he already gave them $14 million in taxpayer dollars.  Maybe he left Midwest to hang because they wouldn't be part of something illegal and unethical like corporate sponsorship of a campaign stunt.

Whatever the reason, while Walker was out glad-handing people from around the state and in neighboring states, getting that valuable name recognition that would help his gubernatorial campaign, the news broke that Midwest was bought out by Republic Airways Holding, Inc., which also owned Frontier as well.

Then suddenly the hometown airline was gone.

The jobs lost now are a direct effect that Frontier is pulling out of Milwaukee, leaving only a few flights where it once had many, many times that.

And the ramifications of this move cannot be emphasized enough.  First, that will be hundreds of more people on unemployment compensation, which will further slow the economy.  It will also make the job market that much more crowded so people will end up out of work for longer.

The reduced flights will increase demand on the remaining flights and airlines.  This will drive the price up and make Milwaukee and Wisconsin less attractive to businesses looking to relocate, not to mention make it more difficult for existing businesses to stay competitive.

And the cycle will continue its downward spiral, just because Walker was willing to use any means he could to become governor.  Now that he has aspirations for the White House, does anyone think he won't leave Wisconsin a smoldering trash heap if he thought it would help his chances?


  1. Just to add that Frontier Airlines is for sale - Republic doesn't want to be in the Airlines buisness anymore they just want to go back to the point of leasing out aircraft to other airlines - It's much more profitable !

  2. Being a convicted felon should look nice on Walker's Presidential resume. He could run on the slogan "I am a crook".

  3. I think you mean: "Aspirations for the Big House"

  4. And yet another example of Walkers stupid transportation policies. The high speed rail this fool canceled could have taken up some of the slack from the dying airlines. Our state is being transformed into a laughingstock and a parochial corrupt backwater. No corporation will want to locate here with limited transportation connections to the rest of the world. Congested interstates are not a modern transportation option in the age of peak oil and instant communication.