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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Time For MN House GOP to End Its Walker Fascination

Category: Scott Walker
Posted: 04/09/16 11:05

by Dave Mindeman

House Republicans still consider Gov. Scott Walker one of their heroes and political figure to emulate.

Please stop.

A new state-by-state analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Wisconsin experienced the biggest decline in middle-class households in the country between the years 2000 and 2013. The study found that the percentage of households in the middle class dropped in all 50 states, with Wisconsin's drop from 54.6 percent to 48.9 percent being the most significant. Moreover, Wisconsin saw a 14 percent decline in median household income.

The comparison between Minnesota and Wisconsin is not even a comparison anymore. Wisconsin has become an object lesson in how not to act on your state's economy.

Scott Walker has been a controversial figure in Wisconsin for his entire career. He, and his party, have managed to take control of government in the Badger State. The results have made it virtually impossible for Walker to find any kind of spin to soften the real numbers.

Marc Levine -- professor of history, economic development and urban studies, and director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development - gets to the heart of the problem:

Levine said another big part of the story has been "downward occupational skidding." Laid-off manufacturing workers have been displaced into lower-paying jobs in the service industry, and those who have been able to continue working in the manufacturing industry have seen stagnant wages. "It turns out the manufacturing jobs aren't paying what they use to anymore, and a big chunk of that is because of the de-unionization that has occurred," said Levine.

Fortunately, the ignorant "right to work" law that continues Walker's march to destruction of unions just got declared unconstitutional by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

But, of course, they will appeal.

So, Minnesota House Republicans, please do not talk of the "greatness" of Scott Walker. It will only hurt you in the end.
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An Open Letter To Wisconsinites

Category: Scott Walker
Posted: 09/08/15 23:06, Edited: 09/09/15 05:07

by Dave Mindeman

An open letter to all the Badgers out there...

Dear Bucky Badger supporters. I know you have had a kind of superiority complex about Big 10 (or 11, or 12, etc) sports involving Minnesota and Wisconsin. Yes, you have had the upper hand on the football field and the basketball court....and maybe a few other venues, but this letter is not about sports.

I'm talking about what affects the lives of the residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin....jobs, economy, income...those types of things. And frankly, Badgerites, we are kicking your butts.

Maybe since your governor is off galavanting around the country, chasing after Donald Trump, etc...well, maybe, Wisconsinites, maybe you should sit down and think about getting a new "coach".

I know many of you have seen this image floating around....


I noticed a conservative website piece trying to do a fact check on those numbers, and you know what their reasoning was?

1. Wisconsin has ALWAYS had traditionally lower median income.

2. Supply side economics always takes more time - 5, 10, or 20 years.

That was it. Wisconsin is just a poorer state and you can't judge supply side policies unless a generation has passed. Really? That's the defense?

But, hey, Wisconsin there is more to the comparison, much more.

At the start of the recession, Wisconin (which has a higher population) had 108,000 more private sector jobs than Minnesota. Now it is less than 40,000.

In 2008, MN GDP was $17.4 billion more than Wisconsin. In 2013, MN had over $25 billion more.

The Forbes 2014 economic ranking for Wisconsin was 32. Minnesota was ranked #9.

Ten years ago MN and WI had nearly an equal number of health and education jobs. Now MN has 74,000 more than WI.

I could go on, but I think Bucky should be getting the picture.

Maybe the Golden Gophers of Minnesota haven't (yet) bested the Badger collegiate sports machine - but in just about every other way, its better to be a Minnesotan than a Wisconsinite.

And watch out...in 2016, the Gophers may extend that dominance onto the field as well.
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Scott Walker And Another Unforced Error

Category: Scott Walker
Posted: 08/18/15 16:07

by Dave Mindeman

Scott Walker is proving to be a pretty lightweight Presidential candidate. In Wisconsin, legislating the way he wants is a little easier because he has majorities in both the Wisconsin House and Senate.

And even with that kind of majority dominance, he still makes dumb mistakes, like offering a budget that cuts education by $250 million while at the same time offering a $250 million state gift to his friends that own the Milwaukee Bucks basketball franchise.

But at the Iowa fair, he offered up another unforced error. Trying to keep up with the Trump information highway, Walker was asked about birthright citizenship. Knowing that Trump is getting his usual attention on this issue, he tried to piggyback on the answer that Trump gave ....

After a reporter asked if birthright citizenship should be ended, Walker said: "I think that's something we should -- yeah, absolutely, going forward."

Alright, so he mimicked Trump. But he made the mistake of following up:

But -- in a sign of how quickly Trump has changed the terms of this race -- Walker had difficulty clearly articulating where exactly he stands on the issue, wanting to steal some of Trump's momentum but not quite sure to what extent. He went on to say that if the United States enforces the laws it already has, that alone might take care of the problem.

If the problem is supposed to be "birthright citizenship", then enforcing the laws already on the books would only mean that birthright citizenship would be guaranteed.

A baby born in the United States is granted automatic citizenship by the 14th amendment to the Constitution. The only way that right can be taken away is to amend the Constitution. It is not about enforcing existing laws, it is about changing the Constitution.

Walker obviously has not given this matter a lot of thought in the past and is also obviously caught off guard by Trump rhetoric.

If Walker was truly presidential material, he would take the lead on this issue and call out Trump for such a ridiculous notion.

Walker can't do that because he is not a leader - he's a grandstander and a lemming.
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