I note with some approval that Madison is about to gain 125 jobs (maybe 175). Global Polymer Industries is moving its operations to town. One word, Madison: plastics.

The Lake Area Improvement Corporation and the usual Madison suspects are all ready to take credit for adding a quarter of the jobs that the LAIC promised to add in five years six years ago. But (you knew this was coming) Madison's success is Arlington's failure. Global Polymer isn't a new out-of-state recruit. Madison just pulled this company from its northern neighbor.

Current unemployment in Kingsbury County is 3.4%. That's 105 workers not on the job. Global Polymer's move will more than double the unemployment rate in Kingsbury County... unless those workers all commute to Madison or move out of the county. Whatever way the labor force adjusts, Madison celebrates gutting Arlington's economy.

The LAIC's job isn't to help the state or the planet. It's charter obliges it to serve the interests of Madison and Lake County. Luring Global Polymer away from Arlington does that.

But so much for collaborative regional economic development. It will be at least thirty years before anyone from the Arlington Community Development Corporation (hmm, which actually publishes the names and photos of its decision-makers on its front page, unlike Madison's LAIC) sits down at a friendly table with Madison's "every town for itself" developers.