I have been visiting coffee klatches and residents’ groups throughout the state of Wisconsin since 2007. I seek them out, in various types of places, to understand how they are making sense of politics. From the very beginning, the conversations in small communities like this one surprised me. I have heard time and time again about the struggle to make ends meet, and the lack of response from anyone with the power to make life better. I have heard men like Joe say those idiots who tell us to drive less have no clue what our lives are like.The common theme seems to be "the cities are getting all the public money." Yes, but when the people who benefit from the urban agglomeration economies bid up the real estate, that's not a good thing either.
When I first met the Brunch Bunch, in June of 2007, one of the women showed me a roster of all of the families who had moved out of town. She said those people could no longer afford to stay, because wealthy urbanites’ holiday homes had driven up property taxes.But the summer people don't have any reason to support the schools.
“It just doesn’t seem right,” said one of the Brunch Bunch. Another added: “Because of the high cost of living, people – especially families – aren’t moving in because there is not a job to support them to be able to live here. So the school enrolment doesn’t increase, and we still have to pay the burden of the school as part of the taxes.”Meanwhile, are the businesses that cater to the summer people bringing in seasonal workers from overseas?
It's not as simple as it looks. In the article, we see a picture purporting to be an "abandoned motel" in Sheboygan. Closed and awaiting demolition, more likely. In the background, a newish Sleep Inn, one of the chains catering to the itinerant, complete with free Wi-Fi and probably a pool, neither of which the abandoned motel likely offered. The motels in question are on Motel Road. The Sleep Inn is well placed for traffic on Interstate 43, the abandoned predecessor catered to motorists on the old, two-lane Highway 141. Might also provide capacity when a major golf event hits Whistling Straits.