Sunday, June 3, 2012

Walker's jobs record an unmitigated disaster - JSOnline

Walker's jobs record an unmitigated disaster - JSOnline
In other words, even using the muddled, misleading and politicized figures released by Walker, his "best-case" data show job growth in Wisconsin at only 57% of the national rate during his first year in office. And this does not even include the first quarter of 2012, when, at least according to CES estimates, Wisconsin's job performance fell off the cliff.
Walker has also attempted to defend his economic record by contrasting it to Mayor Tom Barrett's in Milwaukee. Mayors, of course, have much less power to affect macroeconomic trends than do governors. Nevertheless, put in proper perspective, Barrett's record is far more impressive than Walker's. During Barrett's years as mayor (2004-'11), which included the national Great Recession of 2007-'09, employment in Milwaukee declined by 2.2% (compared to a national decline of .06%). By contrast, in the seven years before Barrett assuming office, employment declined in Milwaukee by 10.8%, while it grew nationally by 7.1%.
Put another way, during Barrett's years as mayor, even as the city endured the Great Recession, the employment curve bent in a positive direction.
By contrast, under Walker, Wisconsin's employment record has diverged, in a negative way, from national trends and, more than ever, lags the national economy.
I have certainly disagreed in the past with Barrett on matters of economic policy; ironically, without my permission, the Walker campaign has actually used a news clip of me in some of its campaign advertising. However, despite the Walker administration's efforts to blur the issue, the employment data are clear: the governor's record is a disaster, and significantly inferior to Tom Barrett's in Milwaukee. In the last analysis, right wing market fundamentalism and austerity policies work no better in Wisconsin than they have in Ireland, Spain or Great Britain.