Saturday, December 27, 2014

Reducing the state's talent pool- is that the Fitzwalkerstani plan?

Is draining the state of certain Dem-leaning voters a plan of Governor Scott Walker and the Fitzwalkerstanis in control of the State Legislature? That's a theory of James Rowen's in the Political Environment, and I think it has some legitimacy. Take a look at what James has to say, and then I'll add my own analysis of his theory, and the way these things are progressing (or regressing) in Fitzwalkerstan.
And in Wisconsin, Wrong-Way Walker has cut some poor people's take-home pay by raising their taxes - - breaking a promise to raise no taxes - - and he intends to further degrade those with the least through a mandatory, guilt-assumed drug test before releasing federal food stamp assistance he has also failed to fully expand.

I've said here that Walker is following a southern strategy of sorts to win what Capital Times editor Paul Fanlund brilliantly called the base GOP resentment vote, and I'm not kidding when I say Walker's ultimate goal is to use state power to force the poor - - and others - - to leave the state by any means possible so the GOP can seal control of the state's electoral votes....

Throw in forward-looking millennials, entrepreneurs, families and seniors who can choose to work, vacation or retire to states without government-sponsored hostility towards voting rights, pay equity for women, and health care for low-income residents, particularly females, unions and collective bargaining, public schools, same-sex marriage, transit, environmental protection, Native American culture and clean energy and you can see why people are beginning to call our one-party state Wississippi.
Sadly, this hypothesis makes some sense to me, especially on the higher-end of the spectrum. If you encourage people who value a high quality of life to seek it elsewhere, then look at what remains.

1. A state filled with pissed-off white guys who are too tied down or scared to move on to better places (go look at the reddening of Northeastern Wisconsin to see how this has worked over the last 20 years)

2. Mediocre middle managers and CEOs and other oligarchs with "big fish, small pond" syndrome that fear up-and-comers who might threaten their current place in society (which defines the Scott Walker fan club in the 262. It also describes the weak-mindedness that has driven many young people with talent to go into the cities of Madison and Milwaukee, if not out of the state entirely).

Don't believe there's correlation in voting between places who value education and produce educated, high-income workers, and those that places who don't? Let's compare the 3-year Census estimates for 2011-2013 for both median household income, and the percentage of the population with at least a bachelor's degree. And let's see which states fall into the top 16 for both categories, and the bottom 16, to represent the top third of the country, then cross-check them with whether these states voted Dem or Republican for president in 2012.

Top third for both income and education
Massachusetts - blue
Colorado - blue
Connecticut- blue
New Jersey- blue
Maryland- blue
Virginia- blue
New Hampshire- blue
Washington - blue
Rhode Island- blue
Minnesota- blue
California- blue

Pretty clear correlation there, and Utah's difference in voting can be drawn directly to the Mormonism of the area (it's a standout for red states in many "quality of life" statistics). Also note the one Midwestern state in this group are our friends across the St. Croix- who have been kicking our ass fiscally and economically for the last four years.

Bottom third for both income and education
West Virginia - red
Mississippi- red
Arkansas- red
Louisiana- red
Kentucky- red
Nevada- blue
Alabama- red
Indiana- red
Oklahoma- red
Tennessee- red
South Carolina- red

A whole lot of Confederacy here, with only Nevada as the exception (as sort of the amoral bizarro world of Utah). Also note the one state in this group from the Midwest- Indiana, which is sort of the "red middle finger" into the Midwest when you look at the red-and-blue map from 2012.

So where's Wisconsin in this list? 31st for education and 19th for income. So if you were Scott Walker and you wanted to carry out the dream of your top donors of becoming a "completely red state", it seems like you'd be OK with pushing down incomes and education levels, to make us more like Indiana and Mississippi than Minnesota or Massachusetts.

What does that mean for policy? It means degrading of the quality of life and having racial tension piss off open-minded people, and drive them out of the area to more tolerant places. It also includes de-emphasizing entrepreneurship and high-skill jobs so those types of people choose to move elsewhere (Colorado and Virginia's turns toward blue-voting are great examples of places that have benefitted from this), which keeps the current set of business oligarchs in control. And it also means driving down the wages of those who do stay, so they're more destitute and resentful of "others" instead of demanding a better wage and life for themselves.

This is where I differ with Rowen's declaration that Walker wants the poor to leave Wisconsin - he and WisGOP needs them as a distracting scapegoat for mediocre whites to get angry at for "being lazy takers," and to allow those same whites not to ask questions about their own losing lot in life. And as long as angry, dumb white people continue to fall for it, the Fitzwalkerstanis can continue these regressive policies that throw more money and power to the rich and well-connected. They'd just better hope there aren't a lot of thinkers among the working-class that wake up one day and realize they're being duped and driven down, because I bet they'll be none too happy with how they and the rest of the state has fallen.

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