Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Walker's Wisconsin recovery not so miraculous...

One of the things I often hear from Scott Walker fans is, "But, look, we're doing better now than before Walker took office! Therefore he's doing a great job." Nevermind the fact that this follows the national trend -- that the economy was in terrible straits at the time he took office, and has been improving since, and so is to be expected, to some degree at least. But how good are we really doing?

Turns out, not as good as our neighbors, and not as good as we should be doing.

Wisconsin has created between 32,000 and 56,500 fewer jobs than what normally would have been predicted from the state’s historical job creation relationship with its neighbors since January 2009, according to a report from a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh economics professor.
Now, to be fair to the administration, there are a lot of variables and a lot of items that might have an impact on this. The study author did try to take this into account.
Based on that historical data, he created three separate models to project what Wisconsin’s job growth would have looked like if the state had followed the same relationship it had exhibited during the base period. A fourth model extended the base period from January 2001 to December 2010, the month before Gov. Scott Walker took office.
On the topic, McGee notes
“It has been clear for some time that Wisconsin was underperforming in job growth, relative to our neighbors. What wasn’t clear was whether this underperformance was relatively small or relatively large,” McGee said of why he undertook the study. “I would say that any of the measures I developed weren’t perfect — which is why I ended up developing several measures — but taken as a whole, they do supply a fairly consistent picture of the approximate size gap.”
And, unsurprising to anyone who has followed Walker's "clean water restricts the free market!" dismantling of our environmental regulations, Wisconsin has been
out-performing its neighbors in terms of jobs in the natural resources area, along with manufacturing, in recent months, while underperforming in areas like construction, with the service sector feeling the hardest impact, particularly since the summer of 2011.
Also, predictably, conservatives are having a hard time accepting the numbers. Says the conservative MacIver Institute's president, Brett Healy:
 Is the author suggesting that Governor Walker’s numerous tax cuts and attempts to target tax credits to new and expanding businesses has led to less private-sector job growth?
This "trickle down to the rescue" answer, of course, references, among other things, Walker's election year bribe recent piddly tax cuts, which were apparently granted on the notion that you can spend an entire term making a mess of things, cutting essential services, selling off the people's property for the benefit of private entities, leaving the poor to die without healthcare, taking away equal pay protections, falling woefully short of your campaign promises, playing accounting tricks & skirting the law to reward who you want and hide what you like from the public, etc., etc. -- but the electorate will forget all that for a few bucks a month during the election year. Just as long as you keep blaming those public sector workers...

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