Wisconsin’s declining middle class
Wisconsin leads the nation in loss of middle class incomes
As I wrote in my last letter to the editor, our small business start-ups in Wisconsin, under Gov. Scott Walker, have declined to last place in our 50 states. So here is some more sad news brought to you by Walker.
According to the Pew Trust organization, through their research and analysis on the declining middle class in America, it has found that Wisconsin leads the nation in its loss of the middle class incomes and economic quality.
In Wisconsin there has been a 5.7 percent decline in the percentage of middle class families, defined as those between 67 percent and 200 percent of the state’s median income. In more prosperous times the median income for middle class families in our state was $60,344 and it has plummeted to $51,467 with incomes adjusted for inflation.
Wisconsin’s 14.7 percent drop in median family income is more than twice the national decline over the same time frame.
While most other states are slowly moving forward out of the Bush recession, Wisconsin’s economy is going in the opposite direction.
These numbers translate into real human suffering. Wisconsin people are working harder for less money. Because our real incomes are dropping, most people have less money to spend at local stores, which in turn have fewer sales and less money for hiring new employees or rewarding their the present employees with pay raises.
This is not just another business cycle. Wisocnsin workers are trapped in a spiral downward vortex of diminishing opportunity and greater poverty.
The decline of Wisconsin’s middle class will be Gov. Walker’s real legacy. And now he has the audacity to run for president so he can do to America what he has done to Wisconsin.