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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Walker's "Reforms" Drive Wisconsin's Middle-Class Decline

We're number one! We're number one! We're number one!

According to a report from Pew Trust Research, Wisconsin ranks worst among the 50 states in terms of a shrinking middle class, or in Gov. Scott Walker's twisted world, we're number one and "heading in the right direction."

In fact, Walker's spokesperson tried to make a case in response to the report by stating Wisconsin's income grew during Walker's first three years. Except, Pew's research includes statistics showing a steep decline in the percentage of Wisconsin families considered "middle-class," that means most income growth occurring was concentrated in the top 1 percent, Walker's campaign donor class.

As it is, Wisconsin has the number one spot all to itself as no other state comes close to the 14.7 percent drop in median incomes combined with the 5.7 percent shrinkage in middle class families. And to think Wisconsin is ranked number one in this category BEFORE Walker's "Divide and Conquer 2.0" reforms of right-to-work, the 7-day work week and the end of prevailing wages have their day driving the middle-class roadkill machine.

On a local note, the Pew report serves as a crowning moment for the conversations captured in the documentary As Goes Janesville.

To be fair, the decline of the middle-class had already begun on a national scale, but it was during the documentary filming when Gov. Scott Walker said major changes are on the way from reforms that will move the state in a new direction.

Walker described how he would use "divide and conquer" in a campaign to break unions and turn Wisconsin into a right-to-work red state with Rock County 5.0 business elites responding, "exactly what we need" and "right on target," to Forward Janesville operatives giggling about ex-Janesville GM employees being forced to take much lower pay in their next jobs and how that will work in the "plus column" for their business purposes, to the Beloit City Manager explaining how Wisconsin workers have enjoyed higher wages, good benefits and even civil rights "for too many decades," to which a Rock County employee replied back that economic development (policy) is about eliminating "those burdens."

THAT is what they mean when Walker and his donor class say Wisconsin is now "heading in the right direction." So it's not "despite" the shrinking of the state's middle-class, Walker's reforms don't work unless they spite the middle-class. The direction was laid out in "As Goes Janesville" and the Pew Report shows it's working as intended.


CapTimes - Report: Wisconsin worst in nation on shrinking middle class

Crooks and Liars - Pew Report: Wisconsin No. 1 State In Household Income Decline

CAW - Wisconsin’s Worst in the Nation Decline of Middle Class a Bipartisan Disaster

RNR - Rock County: Wisconsin Enjoyed Higher Standards For Too Many Decades

RNR - Janesville Is On The Edge With Low Wages

RNR - Letter Writer Says Middle Class Is Unaffordable. Walker Is Right To End It. (April, 2013)

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