Three Fundamental Failures: Employment, Income, and Poverty

An earlier post addressed Walker’s Fundamental Failure to meet his jobs pledge even after eight years.

The record is much worse: years of corporate subsidies and meddling in the marketplace for preferred businesses & political cronies have produced failures of employment, income, and poverty.

(Small town officials who copied this approach on the local level, as with the Whitewater Community Development Authority, produced similar failures. Their trickle-down market manipulation for favored projects left Whitewater poorer than a decade before. See A Candid Admission from the Whitewater CDA and Reported Family Poverty in Whitewater Increased Over the Last Decade.)

  Wisconsin’s Employment Performance. Walker Never Reached 250,000 Jobs Created (‘Finalized statistics show just 233,101 jobs created in 8 years, trailing 33 states in growth’):

New “gold standard” job numbers released Wednesday show Wisconsin created a total of 233,101 private sector jobs during the eight years Scott Walker was governor, falling nearly 17,000 jobs short of the 250,000 job benchmark Walker promised for his first four-year term.

The numbers also show that over Walker’s eight years in office, private sector jobs grew in Wisconsin by 10.3 percent, which ranked 34th among all states and trailed the national growth rate of 17.1 percent.

  Wisconsin’s Income Performance. Wisconsin Income Growth Lagged National Average (‘Wisconsin Ranks 33rd Among States For Personal Income Growth Rate’):

Growth in Wisconsin incomes has lagged the national average since the Great Recession, putting the state in the bottom third among the 50 states.

That’s the finding of a new report on personal incomes from the Pew Charitable Trusts. It finds Wisconsin ranked 33rd in the nation in income growth from 2007 to 2018.

The report, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, looks at total personal income, adjusted for inflation. It includes workers’ wages and benefits, but also accounts for income Wisconsinites made from owning a business or property, plus all income Wisconsinites received from Social Security or other government payments.

The overall finding: Wisconsin’s growth since the Great Recession has been tepid. Among its Midwestern neighbors, Wisconsin’s 1.4 percent growth trailed Minnesota (1.9 percent), Indiana (1.8 percent) and Iowa (1.5 percent), but it led Illinois (1.1 percent and was virtually tied with Michigan and Ohio, which both also had 1.4 percent overall growth in the years studied).

  Wisconsin’s Poverty Level. Poverty Hasn’t Declined in State (‘Study finds no decline since Great Recession’):

Poverty in Wisconsin has remained mostly stagnant over the past decade, despite historically low unemployment in recent years, according to a new report from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The report by the Institute for Research on Poverty, released Monday, found Wisconsin’s poverty rate continues to hover around 10 percent. The state has fluctuated between 10 and 11 percent since the report was first released in 2008.

“We’re just not going anywhere — we’re treading water,” said Timothy Smeeding, co-author of the report and professor at the UW-Madison’s LaFollette School of Public Affairs.

The report uses a metric developed at the Institute for Research on Poverty which weighs families’ income, public benefits and tax credits against expenses including child and health care, making adjustments for cost-of-living variance across the state.

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