April 2005
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Month April 2005

Madison Area Income Growth

Lynn Welch on Madison’s 3.9% per capita personal income growth (2002 to 2003), which ranks it 30th among the 360 metropolitan areas measured by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. (interestingly, Appleton’s personal income growth rate was 4.1%) Here’s the BEA’s data (.xls file – 4.27.2005 BEA news release)

Welch credits the high tech economy for these results – perhaps so. Epic Systems has grown substantially as has Promega (mentioned in the article). Of course, Epic is moving to Verona and Promega is in Fitchburg.

Taxes

Wisconsin ranks 12th in per capita tax collections, according to the US Census Bureau. More on state tax comparisons from Kathleen Murphy.

Switching: Apple’s Latest Mac OS X – Tiger 10.4

There’s been no shortage of articles on Apple’s latest operating system aka “Tiger” or Mac OS X 10.4. I’ve been quite impressed. Spotlight, the ability to search everything on your computer is very handy – and fast. Read on:

Mossberg recently wrote that the “Windows computing platform is in a genuine crisis“. I wouldn’t spend a dime on a windows system these days.

Lind on Non-State Forces

Foreign Policy wonks & observers would do well to keep up with William Lind. His latest looks at non-state entities and the flow of drugs.

LA: Filling in broadband gaps

LA Mayor releases a report on gaps in broadband coverage. We’re still working on getting rolling in Madison. When on travel, I continue to be pleasantly at the amount of free wifi available around the country.

Lutz on the World’s Largest Car Market – China

Interesting reading, Bob Lutz talks about his recent visit to China and their growth prospects.

Feeding at the Trough: Sensenbrenner, Obey & Others

Bill Christofferson summarizes Wisconsin members of Congress who had their travel expenses paid for by private corporations & non-profits:

  • Jim Sensenbrenner: 19 trips; 168K
  • David Obey: 13 trips; 73K
  • Paul Ryan: 6 trips: 25K
  • Tammy Baldwin; 12 trips: 29K

Hard to see how any of this benefits Wisconsinites. Sensenbrenner’s trips were paid for by many special interests, including the Hollywood Lobbyists (Sensenbrenner’s committee has jurisdiction on copyright issues).

The Economist: Health Care & Information Technology

Fascinating and timely article from the Economist on health care & IT

The inability, and reluctance, of doctors and hospitals to use information technology more widely is killing thousands of people

IT is strategic – when used wisely.

Flight of Fancy – Dayjet

Robert X Cringely:

The idea behind DayJet is a lot simpler than the technology it takes to make it happen. Many regional travelers are spending whole days going to airports, sitting in airports, flying to hubs, changing planes, and sitting in more airports that they could almost drive faster to their final destination. By going point-to-point when the passenger wants to fly, DayJet replicates that driving experience, but with a chauffer and at over 400 mph.

The difference between DayJet and a traditional aircraft charter is that all you’ll be chartering is the seat you are sitting in. That means if you take a friend it costs twice as much, but it doesn’t mean that you are paying for seats you don’t use. And unlike a charter, DayJet won’t charge for sending the plane to pick you up — only for when you are actually in that seat.

Only time will tell if this concept is successful. I’m for it. Imagine skipping security lines and regional hubs and going right where you want to go.

Cullen Pushes Temporary Gas Tax Reduction

David Cullen (D-Milwaukee) plans to introduce legislation that would lower the state gas tax by 0.05 per gallon for the summer.
This seems unwise…

WaterPark Over Supply?

At some point, there will be too many (I’m not all that much of a fan). Ryan Masse dives in:

Noah’s Ark water park in Wisconsin Dells currently lies in a state of hibernation, a fact of life for any outdoor attraction residing in the upper Midwest.
When the park reopens next month, it will be greeted by new competition — although not in the Dells. Instead, the challenge will come from Six Flags Inc., which will unveil its brand new Hurricane Harbor water park on the grounds of its Great America Theme Park in Gurnee, Ill.