Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wisconsin 2013!

By Jeff Simpson

Wisconsin has been consistent under Scott Walker's watch....it is just consistently BAD!

Among the states most affected is Wisconsin.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private-sector wages in Wisconsin fell 2.2% in the 12 months ended September 2012, ranking the state 44th out of 50.The rate was double the drop in the national average.

Wages in the state's government sector, pressured more by government austerity policies than global competition, registered 49th in the nation during the same period.

With the state also lagging much of the nation in job creation — ranking 44th in the most recent 12-month period — it is apparent that Wisconsin is struggling more than many other states in the transition to 21st-century growth industries from its legacy as a bastion of old-line manufacturing.

Is it surprising?  Not at all, all of the signs are there.  The hard core Austerity program just doesn't work.  We have all the examples we need, its in every small town in America(If you can find a small town). 

In Youngtown, Ariz., city officials are contemplating the legal equivalent of shutting down.
The city of about 6,500 people 30 minutes northwest of Phoenix is, for all practical purposes, a small-government, low-taxes, no-compromise kind of place. Youngtown sold its water authority to a private company nearly two decades ago. It’s been nearly three years since city crews, instead of private contractors, mowed the lawn outside town hall. And trash pick-up has never been a city-run operation.

Youngtown was founded almost 50 years ago as the nation’s first all-senior citizen city, where part of the attraction was the absence of a property tax. A 1998 court order forced Youngtown to welcome younger residents. But as the city expanded its police force and other services to meet its changing needs, it never instituted a property tax, the single most important revenue ingredient in most municipal budgets.

Now, faced with a $183,000 deficit that will force the city to drain more than 10 percent of its rainy day fund, officials are considering everything from the historic to the nearly unthinkable, The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.

Youngtown officials are considering which of the few remaining city services to cut. They’re discussing levying a property tax for the first time in history. And they’re exploring allowing the city to be annexed by a nearby municipality or simply giving up Youngtown’s status as a city and becoming an unincorporated piece of the surrounding county.

OK. It’s not quite like Youngtown is going to become a ghost town, but the officials are literally willing to wipe Youngtown off the map rather than levy taxes. The funny part of the article is when Mayor Michael LeVault says the city government is avoiding “the ostrich option” — “You know, stick your head in the sand and let the next guy deal with it.” Um, isn’t being annexed by a nearby city or becoming an unincorporated part of the surrounding county letting “the next guy deal with it”? Wouldn’t Youngstown’s problems then become someone else’s?

In a sense, Youngtown is the product of conservative policies. The article says that “[I]t can no longer depend on the state and federal governments to round out its balance sheet.” That’s probably party due to conservative shenanigans like the debt ceiling debacle, which set in motion “extraordinary measures” at Treasury, leading to headaches for cash-strapped cities and states. Austerity’s impact on job loss has hit cities and states the hardest, as loss of government jobs increaswa states’ unemployment numbers. (According to EPI’s David Cooper, government job losses accounted for 100% of job losses in 27 states, including Arizona. Meanwhile Washington doesn’t do much about it, as conservatives spend their time cutting school lunches and holding hearings on radical Islam instead of passing bills like the American Jobs Act, with its $35 billion to help state and local governments save 400,000 jobs by rehiring or retaining teachers, firefighters, police officers and first responders.

One last thing, if you want to know why WEDC is such a mess, check out this quote:

Wisconsin appears to have little in common with other states that also showed notable wage losses, including affluent states like Connecticut (46th), which has professional service industries; relatively less affluent states like Alabama (47th); gaming states like Nevada (48th); and mining states like West Virginia (49th).

"There's no obvious pattern," said Ryan Murray, the chief operating officer at the Madison-based Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., an arm of state government.

"If it were all rust belt states," it would make sense to argue that aging industry is the main reason for Wisconsin's weak national standings, Murray said.

Well Ryan, I took a look at it and found the "obvious pattern"!     Look at economics in Wisconsin BEFORE this day and AFTER this day and you will see the pattern!

Maybe the problem is we have Ryan Murray in charge of WEDC! 

That would be Ryan Murray, 30, who in July was named by Gov. Scott Walker to be the chief operating officer of the quasi-public Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state's principal jobs promoter. (Paul Jadin is its CEO.) Murray's resume (PDF) shows him to be conspicuously devoid of any private-sector experience, but well schooled in the political arts

Murray studied political science at UW-Superior and Macalester College (no degree is noted), and then blazed like a meteorite from the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign through multiple Republican legislative offices to a series of senior positions for Walker, culminating as director of policy and legislative affairs.


  1. Alternative energy – Dead!

    High speed rail – Dead!

    Biotech – Dead!

    What are we? A bunch of morons?

  2. One other thing. When Bob LaFollette was governor, Wisconsin was called the laboratory of democracy.

    Now it the lavatory of shitty ideas.

  3. Ryan Murray worked for disgraced former State Senator Randy Hopper. Is Hopper’s mistress still working for WEDC? She received a fat pay increase over her predecessor despite having no experience in business. Her previous job was working for a political PR agency, which you can accurately describe as a Republican propaganda mill. Why won’t Wisconsin Republicans get serious about job creation?

  4. Isn't "Rust Belt" a rather worn-out cliche? I think Wisconsin is now firmly in the "Grift Belt", along with Michigan and Indiana.