Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Unlike the rest of Walker's Wisconsin, Madison is a 2010s success story,

To pick up from my last post, let's go back to a tweet from our Fair Governor.

"Businesses have left and murders have gone up"? Let's go to the numbers!

Start with jobs, and let's begin our comparison in June 2011, as it allows us to look at how the state and the Madison area has performed since Act 10 and Walker’s first state budget were signed into law.

Based on figures from the “gold standard” Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages (QCEW), Dane County has outperformed the rest of the state in private sector job growth for every June-June period in each of the last 6 years, doubling up the state’s growth level in two of those years, and growing 4 times as fast in the 2015-16 period.

Adding up the last 6 years we find that the rate of private sector Dane County job growth has nearly doubled the rest of Wisconsin, at more than 15% compared to a statewide growth rate of 7.76%. And Dane County has outpaced the country while the rest of the state has fallen significantly behind.

As for Scotty’s knock on Madison crime? Even the AP’s Scott Bauer had to call BS on that, and noted that murders are up by 2/3 statewide since Gov Dropout took office.

And writer Chris Walker went deeper, noting that violent crime was down in Madison between 2011 and 2016 (2017 definitely had a rise, we'll see if it is a pattern or a blip). Meanwhile, Wisconsin hasn't been as lucky.
From the time Walker took over the governorship in 2011, and for the remainder of his tenure until the end of 2016, crime went up across the state — and not just in the city centers. The total statewide violent crime rate went up by 29.1 percent. In nonmetropolitan counties, violent crime went up by an even higher rate of 38.2 percent.

In Madison, from 2011 to 2016 the opposite holds true. Violent crime actually went down during that time, dropping by a rate of about 5 percent.

It’s not a huge drop, but it runs counter to what Walker’s claims were in his tweet on Thursday. Crime is not going “up” under Soglin’s watch — just the opposite. Crime is DOWN under Soglin, and UP across the rest of the state.
As a sidelight to this, the Assembly’s Jobs and Economy Committee had a hearing today where Scott Walker and other state agencies want to use $6.8 million in taxpayer dollars in a campaign to attract potential workers to relocate to Wisconsin. Why? Because as Walker himself admitted “We need more bodies” as low population growth has made the talent pool non-existent for employers in many parts of the state.

You know one of the few places in Wisconsin getting those bodies? The City of Madison and Dane County.

In fact, Dane County is responsible for more than half of the population growth in Wisconsin between 2011 and 2016. And the City of Madison was nearly 45% of that growth in Dane county, meaning Soglin's city has accounted for nearly 1/4 of the state’s added "bodies" by itself.

For the record, I’m someone who lists Paul Soglin near the bottom of my choice of candidates in the large Dem field for Governor, and I think this is a useless vanity project for the old guy. But in terms of ways to attack him, “Madison is crime-ridden and declining” is literally the last approach that anyone should take.

Look, I know Mr. "Divide and Conquer" is pulling a lame resentment play for the rubes because he thinks that tactic is still an electoral winner. But it seems very stupid for Walker to have a campaign that tries to claim things are going great in Wisconsin, and then be denigrating the one part of the state that actually is doing well in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan. Even more amazing is that Walker ripped on the Capitol City one day after it was revealed that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is having the Madison area as a centerpiece of a separate $1 million marketing campaign to encourage Illinois residents to seek a better life in Wisconsin.

The mixed messages led State Rep. Chris Taylor to rightfully give Walker’s act a “WTF?”
“We’re spending $1 million on ads telling Chicago residents what a great place Madison is to live, while at the same time, Governor Walker is taking to Twitter to attack it,” said Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison). “The Governor can’t have it both ways. The fact of the matter is, Madison and Dane County are economic drivers for our state. You would think that a Governor who has failed to jumpstart Wisconsin’s economy or raise stagnate wages would be bragging about the thriving Dane County region. Why such hostility towards a proven economic driver of our state’s economy?” …

“It is important to recognize that jobs follow people. People increasingly want to live where there are good schools, strong transportation infrastructure and public amenities such as attractive parks. After learning last week Wisconsin is a top 10 state for people moving away, it’s time for the Governor to stop playing election year politics, and start acting in the best interest of our state.”

I’ll also forward you to the observations of John Peterson at DemoCurmudgeon. John not only calls out Walker for the absurd and scared Tweets, but Peterson also noted that if you want to talk about someone who mismanaged a major metro area in Wisconsin, look no further than Walker’s awful 8 years as Milwaukee County Executive before he became governor.

As I’ve said numerous times in the last few years, maybe Wisconsin “needs more Madison”, and to learn from the economic success that has happened here. It seems a better strategy than trying to knock down one of the few areas in the state that people want to live and work in.


  1. The folks at WEDC must be face-palming. They're trying to get people to move to the state yet Walker goes around denigrating the state's 2nd largest city (and WI's IT hub and economic success story) just as he did with WI's largest city. Our governor is such a two-faced, fork-tongued jagoff. If you're trying to get people to move here, you should be heaping praise on our cities, not trashing them.

    I think his comments will play well up nort, but those same people also see a massive subsidy for the SE corner of the state, perilously close to Milwaukee and little in their area.

    It'll be interesting to see if all of Prof Cramer's resenters will vote for change or to simply stick it to Madison and Milwaukee.

  2. As I've said before, Walker is spending a million to try and attract a work force who likes to bike, kayak, and use mass transit. One would think showing them a State with a great bike infrastructure, clean waters to paddle and a system of mass transit to go almost anywhere is all one would need. But alas.........our governor's a moron.

  3. You both are on the money, as if you're going to talk up certain aspects, you'd think you'd invest in those things so you can keep talking it up.

    I also wonder about the resentment crowd in the sticks- those people have to be alarmed by their schools being underfunded and seeing their great scenery being wrecked. And as the stats show, they're being left further behind the longer Walker stays in office.

  4. He is trying to convince people of resentmentland that he is going to help with school funding and broadband. But what about healthcare? He keeps cutting that. Isn't that going to result in closing hospitals and clinics? Aren't the resenters going to have to drive further and further to emergency rooms? How is Walker going to deal with that?