Tuesday, March 26, 2019

8 years of the worst income growth in the Midwest. This was WisGOP's "success"?

A national report hit today that doesn't often draw a lot of attention, but it had a stark illustration of how far behind Wisconsin is after 8 years of Republican rule. The Bureau of Economic Analysis came out with its income growth by state for the end of 2018. While Wisconsin had growth like every other state of the nation had under the sugar rush of the GOP Tax Scam, it was below the US rate for both the last 3 months of 2018 and the annual average.

In itself, that's not a big deal, because you can also see, Wisconsin was in the middle of the pack over these time periods in both the US and the Midwest. (A side note, as the “boom” in Iowa and the rest of the Plains seems to be a one-time boost in farm incomes, possibly related to the Trump Administration’s subsidy program which heavily favored soybeans and paid out at the end of the year).

But what’s also intriguing in the report is this statement at the bottom of the main report.
Today, BEA also released revised quarterly estimates for 2018:Q1-2018:Q3. Updates were made to incorporate source data that are more complete and more detailed than previously available and to align the states with revised national estimates. BEA also released revised quarterly estimates of population and per capita personal income for 2010:Q1-2018:Q3, and revised annual estimates of population and per capita personal income for 2010-2017.
And that’s a big deal because it means that we now have a more complete picture of Wisconsin’s record in these stats over the 8 years Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP have been in power. And that record is awful.

First off is personal income. DEAD LAST over most of these 8 years, including at the end. (numbers not adjusted for inflation)

And look at Number 1 in the Midwest – Minnesota, run by a Democrat while Wisconsin was run by Republicans. However, Wisconsin’s population didn’t grow nearly as fast as some other states in the Midwest (especially Minnesota), so maybe the per capita figures will allow us to look better.

Nope, still DEAD LAST. Even more amazing is who is Number 1. ILLINOIS! Sure, some of that is a function of the declining population south of the border (it lost 127,7000 people in the 8 years measured), but it and the other Clinton-voting state in the Midwest expanded their income gap over Wisconsin over the last 8 years.

Per capita income
Q4 2010
Minn $43,788
Ill. $42,863
Wis. $39,802

Q4 2018
Ill. $57,927 (+$15,064)
Minn $57,356 (+$13,568)
Wis. $51,429 ($+11,627)

And yet WisGOPs are still trying to throw this type of BS over on the public?

Joint Finance Committee member, folks. As is typical with Republicans, the key question is “LYING, OR STUPID?”

But I do know an answer you can give when it comes to evaluating GOP policies in lifting the incomes of Wisconsinites over the last 8 years. “FAILURE”.


  1. I would love to see this parsed. Non-management public employees got little or no raises, low wage folks started at $7.25. Right to work likely had a big impact. White collar professionals likely did very well.

    1. Very good point. We don't have much of a breakdown of where that extra income went to, other than median household income and AVERAGE wages. Certainly our manufacturing wages have stagnated and fallen further behind, and WPR just had an article today talking about how many Wisconsinites are having to settle for poverty-level wages these days.

  2. Replies
    1. Walker also tried to cook up a study to mess with the WRS, and the study basically said "You are out of your mind if you mess with the WRS," so he backed off.

      But make no mistake, I'm sure he would have grabbed excess money out of it if he would have been given the chance. Thankfully, that's not going to happen now.

  3. I’ll take “Lying AND Stupid” for the win, Jake.

    This clueless “Representative,” Porkwaste, shoots his muddle-headed “line of reasoning” in the head by citing Noah Williams, an equally muddle-headed Koch puppet who couldn’t convey a coherent chain of evidence or an economic projection if his worthless waste of a life depended on it. Williams' “work” is the butt of jokes for its shoddy lack of data, routinely skewered as conclusions-in-search-of-evidence by actual academics and real economists, or dismissed as far-right politics and ideology masquerading as “research,” and this piece of ideological pap is par for the tilted course.
    If Illinois state government has a problem, Williams is too much the weasel to say what his masters want to do with that state government, and to the quality of life there: reduce government power, privatize more public services, lower taxes (on the wealthy), reduce regulations (on corporations, so they are free to pollute and externalize and socialize more of the cost of doing business while collecting more profit), lower wages and reduce worker rights.
    Come on, Williams, you coward, just say that your masters want a fascist form of governance.
    Nowhere does Williams add that the Illinois governor, millionaire ideologue and petulant, temper tantrum-prone Neo-Fascist Bruce Rauner, had eight years, eight years, to address the problem and collaborate with the Democratic majority in that state legislature. And what did Rauner do instead? Mr. Williams? Hello?
    Talk about Wisconsin’s Right-to-Work Law, Williams. I wanna see your graphs on that wage-suppressing little ideological turd.
    Williams will never, never propose “The Minnesota Solution:” raise taxes on the wealthy! Williams’ masters would abandon him, and the idiot would have to get a real job.
    Representative Porkwaste’s shallow “We have jobs galore” argument ignores the fact that people looking to relocate cite infrastructure, schools, entertainment and culture as primary factors. “Jobs,” if mentioned at all. are far down the list. No, people speak about employment, and mention challenging, well-paying knowledge-based careers as what Robert Reich called Symbolic Analysts, not low wage, pay-the-bills assembly line jobs in manufacturing.
    The bottom line: jobs follow people, not the other way around. Entrepreneurs who start up knowledge-based industries in the Badger State do so in or near Madison, again for the quality-of-life factors. Madison is, and this is an open secret, liberal, tolerant, multicultural, and brimming with well-educated professionals who tolerate Wisconsin’s regressive, even socially backwards and repressive, outlands. Those outlands include the Republican-dominated state legislature.
    Responsible public servants create a place where people want to live. Instead of doing that, Wisconsin’s Republican pols railroaded passage of laws such as Act 10, and the misnamed Right-to-Work law, and gave whopping tax breaks to the wealthiest Wisconsinites, against the wishes of their actual constituents, and simultaneously let the state’s road system lapse into decay.
    But many more entrepreneurs actively avoid Wisconsin for its Republican political backwardness, the economic strangulation of innovation, new commerce and wage suppression they instituted, and the socially regressive atmosphere Republicans fomented.
    You think Rauner promoted population loss? Wisconsin has an entire Republican-dominated state legislature dedicated to propping up “old money” and keeping “liberal” entrepreneurs away.