We're Number 37, and That's Not a Good Thing

In today's New York Times, Floyd Norris compares the economic fortunes of all 50 states using three different measures of  progress since the recession began. And Wisconsin comes in 37th. Meanwhile, Mike Ivey in today's Capital Times reports that "[i]ncome inequality in Wisconsin is increasing at a faster rate than the nation as a whole, a trend that authors of a new report warn [by the Wisconsin Budget Project] is causing social upheaval and straining government services."

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We're at the bottom of the weakest 10 states, tied in fact for 47th, if we look just at the highway miles driven in 2013 compared to miles driven in 2007. This metric is gauges "how many people are driving to work each day, as well as how much is being shipped to stores."

Wisconsin's home prices remain -6.4% below their level in 2007 while the national average is a slightly better -6.2%.

But in what is perhaps the most important measure of economic health, the total number of jobs in the state, Wisconsin is a full percent below the national average. The US average at -.07% is approaching parity with pre-recession numbers, but Wisconsin's jobs picture shows that we are still -1.7% below where we were in the number of jobs.

In short, the post-recession recovery in Wisconsin is significantly weaker than elsewhere. "At the same time that the share of income going to the top 1% in Wisconsin has steadily climbed, income for the remaining Wisconsinites has dropped. Between 1979 and 2011, average incomes for the top 1% in Wisconsin more than doubled, after being adjusted for inflation. In contrast, the average incomes of the bottom 99% of Wisconsin residents dropped by 0.4%. Put another way, all the growth in income that occurred between 1979 and 2011 in Wisconsin wound up in the pockets of the top 1%." [Pulling Apart 2014: Focus on Wisconsin’s 1 Percent, Wisconsin Budget Project, February 28, 2014]

Pulling Apart 2014: Focus on Wisconsin’s 1 Percent
Pulling Apart 2014: Focus on Wisconsin’s 1 Percent
the share of income going to the top 1% in Wisconsin has steadily climbed, income for the remaining Wisconsinites has dropped. Between 1979 and 2011, average incomes for the top 1% in Wisconsin more than doubled, after being adjusted for inflation. In contrast, the average incomes of the bottom 99% of Wisconsin residents dropped by 0.4%. Put another way, all the growth in income that occurred between 1979 and 2011 in Wisconsin wound up in the pockets of the top 1%. - See more at: http://www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org/pulling-apart-2014#sthash.0oGYDDIt.dpuf
the share of income going to the top 1% in Wisconsin has steadily climbed, income for the remaining Wisconsinites has dropped. Between 1979 and 2011, average incomes for the top 1% in Wisconsin more than doubled, after being adjusted for inflation. In contrast, the average incomes of the bottom 99% of Wisconsin residents dropped by 0.4%. Put another way, all the growth in income that occurred between 1979 and 2011 in Wisconsin wound up in the pockets of the top 1%. - See more at: http://www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org/pulling-apart-2014#sthash.0oGYDDIt.dpuf
the share of income going to the top 1% in Wisconsin has steadily climbed, income for the remaining Wisconsinites has dropped. Between 1979 and 2011, average incomes for the top 1% in Wisconsin more than doubled, after being adjusted for inflation. In contrast, the average incomes of the bottom 99% of Wisconsin residents dropped by 0.4%. Put another way, all the growth in income that occurred between 1979 and 2011 in Wisconsin wound up in the pockets of the top 1%. - See more at: http://www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org/pulling-apart-2014#sthash.0oGYDDIt.dpuf
the share of income going to the top 1% in Wisconsin has steadily climbed, income for the remaining Wisconsinites has dropped. Between 1979 and 2011, average incomes for the top 1% in Wisconsin more than doubled, after being adjusted for inflation. In contrast, the average incomes of the bottom 99% of Wisconsin residents dropped by 0.4%. Put another way, all the growth in income that occurred between 1979 and 2011 in Wisconsin wound up in the pockets of the top 1%. - See more at: http://www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org/pulling-apart-2014#sthash.0oGYDDIt.dpuf

The reasons for the growing disparity between the wealthiest and the rest is not a mystery: according to an analysis of the distribution of tax burdens in all 50 states, the wealthiest Wisconsinites pay a much lower share of their income in state and local taxes.

Wealthiest Wisconsinites Pay Much Lower Share of Their Income in State and Local Taxes - See more at: http://www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org/wealthiest-wisconsinites-pay-much-lower-share-of-their-income-in-state-and-local-taxes#sthash.muJonLRR.dpuf

We must and we can do better.

 


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