Basically, what they did was use the same math that Teapublicans use to count people at their rallies to show that Walker's agenda is creating a lot of jobs. If five people show up at a Tea Party Rally, they claim it was 20,000 people. Likewise, Walker's people said that if the state created three part-time minimum wage jobs, they'll claim they created 100,000 jobs, all bringing in six figure salaries.
As if the desperate spin put on things by Walker and his henchmen was enough of an omen that things were going to be bad, the sheer hysteria exhibited by the usual apologists and propagandists was enough to make anyone afraid.
Sadly for Walker, a bit of reality hit the same day that he was trying to convince people things were on the upswing. It was found that Wisconsin was not only 44th in private job creation, but was 48th in economic activity:
Believe it or not, this was Walker's good day too.
On Thursday, the bottom dropped out from under Walker's agenda of austerity.
Not only was it confirmed that Wisconsin did indeed drop to 44th in private job creation, but it was hammered home that this is down from being 11th during Jim Doyle's final year and from 42nd after Walker's first year.
Even more significant and more depressing is that wages also sunk like a rock:
But wages in Wisconsin fell faster and harder than most of the nation. When ranked by the percentage change in all private-sector employment, Wisconsin average wages had the 45th-worst ranking out of 50 states.But it was also reported that something did go up in Wisconsin thanks to Walker's agenda - the unemployment rate, to the tune of a full half a percent in the past two months:
In the manufacturing economy, where Wisconsin has a disproportionate share of its employment, Wisconsin's wages also dropped more than national wages did, ranking 46th in terms of the change from September 2011 to September 2012.
Wisconsin's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 7.2 percent in February from 7.0 percent in January, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates released today by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).As to why Wisconsin's economic and job numbers are failing as much as they are, Walker of course had an excuse:
Asked Thursday about new numbers showing Wisconsin lagging in job growth, Gov. Scott Walker pointed to the uncertainty he said business owners felt because of the political tumult that rocked Wisconsin early in his term.Gee, the protests ended two years ago and the last recall election was ten months ago. That's plenty long enough for any effect that they might have had to have disappeared. Besides, Walker himself had said that the jobs would show a "dramatic turnaround" after the elections:
Meanwhile, his critics said the governor's policies had created a drag on growth.
"The first year we had a lot of protests in the state," Walker said, during an appearance in Milwaukee to promote business growth in the city. "We had two years', almost, worth of recalls. A lot of employers here I think can relate to the fact (that) uncertainty is one of the biggest challenges for employers big or small or anywhere in between. There was a lot of uncertainty. The good news is that's passed."
Shortly after he took office in 2011, Walker and the Legislature essentially ended collective bargaining for most public employees. That sparked heated reaction inside and outside the Capitol and led to an unsuccessful recall election challenge by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in June 2012.
Walker blamed the state’s employment woes on the recalls, sayingSo what was the real cause of the steep nosedive for Wisconsin's economy and jobs?
“There is a tremendous enthusiasm built up for additional jobs,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a tremendous takeoff.”
For that, we can just go to the numbers like Michael Rosen did:
Wisconsin’s economy continues to be among the nation’s worst performing. A new report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that between 2011 and 2012 the state ranked 41st in nation in personal income growth.Jack Norman put it even more succinctly:
The single largest contributor to this dismal performance was the dramatic decline in state and local government income, the direct result of Governor Walker’s austerity economic policies (See table 3).
Wisconsin’s state and local government employees’ incomes shrank by $529 million dollars, a 2.55% decline. Only Louisiana under the leadership of Tea Party favorite, Governor Booby Jindal, experienced as steep a decline according to the analysis.
"The only question is, 'Why are we doing so poorly?' " said Jack Norman, former research director of the left-leaning Institute for Wisconsin's Future. "The plunge in job growth, compared with other states, coincides exactly with Scott Walker's time in office. This is no mere coincidence. . . . Act 10 led to large cuts in public workers' take-home pay, which was a blow to the state's economy."Gosh, now who'd have thunk that? Oh, wait, that's what we've been saying all along. You take millions of dollars out of circulation and ensconce it in the bank accounts of a few already very rich people, and this is what is going to happen.
Talk about blown opportunities.
Until they recognize the facts before their face and realize the importance of raising up the working class instead of just offering more corporate welfare, they will not be able to win and they will not be able to change the economy around.