Sunday, August 26, 2012

A graph on Paul Ryan you won't see at the RNC

I imagine there'll be some video accompanying Paul Ryan with his speech accepting the VP nomination at the RNC this week, and it'll probably have some BS about him being a Midwestern boy "who never forgot where he came from." Well, in addition to the part about being from Wisconsin being false (Ryan's hasn't had a job based in Wisconsin since he graduated high school 24 years ago, Shirley Manson's more of a Wisconsinite than Paulie), Ryan has certainly forgotten the 1st district of Wisconsin.

There are two MSA's in WI-1 that the BLS sets aside for job numbers- Janesville and Racine (Kenosha gets sucked into the Chicago MSA for this). I wanted to compare those places' performances to the rest of Wisconsin to see how they've done since Paul Ryan rose to power. I even disallowed the first 3 years of Ryan having that seat, because I recognized the 2001 recession would skew numbers. I also wanted to include the effects that have hit since Ryan signed off on the first Bush tax cuts in 2001. So let's start the clock from January 2002 and see what we get.

You see that Racine never gained jobs like the rest of the state did in the bubble years of 2004-2007, and then continued to trail the rest of the state after the Great Recession took hold. Racine had a slight gain after Obama policies took hold in mid-2009, but once Scott Walker became governor in January 2011, they declined like the rest of the state.

Janesville is an even more startling picture. They had a bomb dropped on them between the start of 2008 and the middle of 2009, losing more than 11% of their jobs as the automaking and related businesses folded up. And they've recovered some of those losses since Obama bailed out the auto industry, and even slowly gained a few of those jobs while the rest of the state has lost jobs in the Fitzwalkerstan. But those losses are nowhere near to getting Janesville back to where they were before the Bush/Ryan policies started to take hold in 2002. Janesville is still down more than 7% in total jobs compared to where they were 10 years ago, and it is possible the city may never come back all the way.

Somehow I'm guessing Paul Ryan will avoid mentioning the huge job losses in his boyhood hometown when he gives his acceptance speech. And they'll have some intro song like John Mellencamp's "Small Town" accompany him to the stage to give a false impression Ryan being some homespun guy (unless John tells Ryan to fuck off and stop playing his songs, like Dee Snider and Tom Morello have already done).

What the RNC should really play is some Springsteen, as this song best describes what Ryan and his embrace of failed supply-side and free-trade policies have done to the people he allegedly "represents."

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