What do you do when you can no longer pay your bills? Your first step is probably to see how long you can reformulate, refinance, or simply put off paying them. Once you run out of those options, you’ll probably start looking around at what you can sell or trade for cash. Here in Wisconsin, even though the coffers are empty (yep, we're broke) the forecasts are for this to get far worse (Robbing schoolchildren for fun) and long-term debt has already been refinanced to highs not seen by governors of either party for more than 40 years (Nightmare long-term debt) Scott Walker STILL sees options! Yes, he’s hatched a plan to sell off naming rights to the state parks that have been carefully maintained and supported by taxpayers for decades. It’s Pawn Shop Politics, and it’s what a state does when it’s not only broke, but it’s also been mortgaged for another two generations.
Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp (of Bambi-killing fame, not to be confused with the rank-and-file DNR staff, who generally have a science background and actually want Wisconsin’s natural environments to thrive for the foreseeable future), says she’s “open to” offering naming rights for parks (like I said, we're really, really broke). Just imagine the headlines now: “Waste Management State Campground” has a beautiful ring to it, don’t you think?
Pawn shops are inherently rigged against the seller. For a minimal short-term cash payment, you keep alive, temporarily, the possibility that if fortunes change, you’ll be able to get your grandmother’s wedding ring or your dad’s collector quality Gibson guitar back (for a far higher price, possibly not in the condition in which you turned it in). The likelier scenario is that these precious items will be sold off, for a low price, to whoever’s willing to take them. Don’t let it happen, Wisconsin.