Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Growth elsewhere, but not in Fitzwalkerstan

Couple of reports again illustrate how things have flatlined in Wisconsin since the age of Fitzwalkerstan began in January 2011.

The first was the release from the BEA on metro and state personal incomes. There are lots of interesting items to splice and dice out of this, especially since you can drill down to the county level if you want, but first, let's show the places where total incomes grew the fastest and smallest in the U.S. in 2011.

You'll notice several Wisconsin areas in the dark yellow, or lowest 20% of income growth. These include Sheboygan, Oshkosh, La Crosse, Eau Claire, and Wausau, and Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Green Bay and Janesville/Beloit joined these places in the bottom 40%. Only the Madison and Appleton areas had personal income increases above the U.S's rate of 5.2% for Scott Walker's first year in office - and Madison's high ranking was a much due to increasing population than income.

This bad performance is also reflected in Wisconsin's per capita income stats (or income per person), and it especially looks bad when you realize the state survived the Great Recession better than any of its Midwestern neighbors, and had a much smaller decline than the U.S. as a whole. These numbers also account for the extra damage to incomes caused by inflation.

Drop in real per capita income, 2008-2010
Wis. -4.49%
Iowa -5.17%
Ohio -5.32%
Minn -6.16%
Ind. -6.47%
Mich -6.70%
U.S. -6.79%
Ill. -7.34%

The stabilization policies put into place by the Doyle/Dem budgets did its job in stanching the bleeding from the diving economy, and real per capita income actually went up in Wisconsin by 1.6% in 2010. However, it wasn't enough for many citizens who wrongly took out their frustrations on the slow recovery on the Dems, and it led to the election of Scott Walker and Wisconsin GOP in November of that year.

So what did Wisconsin get in 2011? We got another increase in per capita income, but it was at a slower rate than we had in 2010. The state plummeted to next-to-last in the Midwest in income growth, and also went below the U.S. rate.

So the income stats are yet another example of how Wisconsin has largely missed out on the steady recovery the nation has been going through for the last 2 years. 2012 is much the same story, as this week's Philly Fed survey confirmed that Wisconsin was 1 of only 9 states that failed to have its economy grow between July and October 2012.

It continues a negative trend for us Cheeseheads in the Philly Fed survey, as Wisconsin has the worst economic growth in the Midwest for 2012.

2012 change in Philly Fed coincident index thru Oct.
Ohio +4.35%
Ind. +4.19%
Minn +2.57%
Ill. +2.39%
U.S. +2.30%
Iowa +1.80%
Mich +1.00%
Wis. +0.81%

Don't let Walker's propaganda-laden appearances at hand-picked employers fool you, whether it be in his fraudulent claims of a budget surplus, or in his claims of having Wisconsin's economy be in good shape due to his policies. It ain't working in Fitzwalkerstan, despite the fact that Walker took office with the state adding jobs and incomes above the national average. Which is quite a feat to screw up, when you think about it.


  1. So, areas that did not get hit hard during the Great Recession are growing at a slower rate than those that did, and you see this as a contradiction. Hey, me too! Signed, Fox Butterfield

  2. There's a legit argument that the areas that survived the Recession better than others wouldn't spring back as much. But that doesn't explain why Wisconsin was better than its neighbors from 2009-2011, and has fallen so far behind from 2011 to today. That goes directly to the Doyle/Dem budget of 2009, and the failures of the Fitzwalkerstanis starting in 2011.

    And some areas certainly have not sprung back despite getting drilled from 2007-2009. Nevada is still Number 1 for unemployment, for example. And North Dakota continued to have low unemployment throughout the whole time, and continues to boom today.