Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dissecting WMC ad's deceptions, one by one

Apparently the GOP is quite scared of the perception that Gov. Walker's administration is failing on jobs and the economy, because front group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is out with a large TV ad buy that literally claims Wisconsin's economy is taking off like a rocket. I've been fortunate enough not to spot this ad, but I did notice WMC's release that goes with the ad, and I want to break down the claims they make.
“Wisconsin’s business climate has improved dramatically since 2011, and 94 percent of state business leaders say the state is headed in the right direction,” said WMC President\CEO Kurt R. Bauer.
Talk about meaningless, members of a Republican front group think that the Republican governor is doing a good job. And the majority of fans in green and gold in Lambeau on Sunday will be rooting for the Packers. These guys are already reaching.

Now onto the data, and the use of that data.
In July, Wisconsin ranked second in the entire nation for potential economic job growth, reported the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank.
I mentioned this survey when it came out 6 weeks ago, but there's a problem with WMC quoting that. There's been a Philly Fed leading index survey since then, and Wisconsin doesn't rank as high there.

Philly Fed leading index, August 2013
1. Ind. +2.77%
2. N.J. +2.77%
3. Miss +2.53%
4. Minn +2.35%
5. Maine +2.18%
11. Ohio +1.81%
12. Ari. +1.68%
T13. Ga. +1.62%
T13. Wis. +1.62%

Not exactly 2nd in the nation is it? But WMC does the classic lie by omission by using the prior survey, and not the one where Wisconsin falls 11 spots. There's another related lie by WMC later on. July the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank reported that Wisconsin was No. 1 in the Midwest for potential economic performance.
But in August, Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio were all ranked higher than Wisconsin, leaving us 4th out of 7 Midwestern states- the middle of the pack. WMC ain't gonna tell you that, will they?

Here's WMC's next claim.
And, Wisconsin outpaced Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan in wage growth, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The best I can figure is that this comes from the most recent Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, and this one could be true, as Wisconsin had the second largest weekly wage growth in the Midwest in 2012 under this survey at 4.8% (only Minnesota was higher at 5.1%). Of course what's not mentioned is that Wisconsin still had the 3rd-lowest weekly wage in the Midwest, and it was after a 2.5% drop in wages in Walker's first year in office- the 2nd largest drop in the Midwest. So while WMC's claim is technically true, it's leaving out the failure in Walker's first year, which helps explain the gain in year 2, since it's from a smaller number.

Here's the final WMC claim to take apart.
In June, CNBC reported Wisconsin ranked 5th in the nation for new manufacturing jobs.
Sounds impressive on its face. But it's not, because as the National Association of Manufacturers points out, in a growing economy, Wisconsin SHOULD be in the top 5 in America for manufacturing jobs.

States with highest % of jobs in manufacturing

Ind. 16.4%
Wis. 16.2%
Ark. 13.6%
Mich 12.8%
Ala. 12.7%

So for Wisconsin to be in the top 5 for manufacturing jobs is as impressive as saying we're top 5 for binge drinking- it's not a major accomplishment. And you know who should know this better than anyone? Wisconsin MANUFACTURERS and Commerce!

Well, you'd believe that if you thought WMC members had an actual clue about business and were something more than a greedy oligarch's club that's an arm of WisGOP. But they're not, and that's why they released this dishonest ad. And I also think they sense Walker's starting to slip in the polls, as reality is starting to sink in to the casual Wisconsinite, and they felt they had to try to drive home the propaganda to keep the big lie moving.

Too bad for them that Summer's ending, and we'll see the decline continue soon enough as those warm-weather jobs end. And WMC propaganda like this is going to fall flay because a whole lot of people like me aren't going to let their crap go unchallenged.


  1. The CNBC article on manufacturing jobs that the WMC refer to, it should be noted, covers the period December 2009 to March 2013 and so include a 12 months of job growth under Governor Jim Doyle and 18 months of job growth prior to Walker's economic policies taking effect.

  2. Nice stuff. I linked to your analysis from my own, posted here at

  3. Thanks for both of your inputs! We gotta stay on these guys, and reply to these lies as fast as we can. WMC and the right-wing noise machine is trying to change the perceptions with 14 months to go until the election, and we can't let them get away with it.