It's common knowledge that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker failed to fulfill his pledge to create 250,000 new private-sector jobs in one term. And while I appreciate the recent reporting that jobs being added in Wisconsin are predominately low-wage:
Marquette University Economist Weighs In On Walker's Economic Optimism
Chowdhury Says Walker Administration Is Creating Jobs But They're Low-Skill, Low-Wage Ones
I remember reading basically the same thing in a 2014 paper by UWM economics professor Marc Levine:
During the 2007-2010 recession employment in Wisconsin declined across all wage levels, although the losses were heavily concentrated in occupations paying “middle wages” (90 percent of the 2007-2010 job losses in Wisconsin were in middle-wage occupations). Finally, between 2010-2013, employment continued to decline in both middle and high wage occupations in Wisconsin; all of the net job growth between 2010-2013 occurred in low wage occupations. More troubling still: over 60 percent of the 2010-2013 growth of employment in low-wage occupations in Wisconsin occurred in very low-wage occupations – those with median hourly wages below $10.00 (in inflation-adjusted 2013 dollars).
So the experts in Madison and Milwaukee agree. No doubt this Walker Mission Accomplished trend will continue because Walker has refused to consider raising the $7.25 minimum wage - - his definition of a living wage - - and also signed 'right-to-work' legislation and a so-called prevailing wage law (currently blocked by a judge) that together will depress wages in the public and private sectors. Or as he calls it, 'moving in the right direction,' or "the comeback."'
"A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its 1960 opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC and buttressing The Public Trust Doctrine, Article IX of the Wisconsin State Constitution.
The right, suburbanites say "No light rail for Milwaukee."
James Rowen's Bio
James Rowen, a writer and consultant, has worked for newspapers, and as the senior Mayoral staffer, in Madison and Milwaukee, WI. This blog began on 2/2/ 2007. Posts run also at various news sites, including The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's "Purple Wisconsin."