Walkernomics: Wisconsin Poverty Rate Reaches Highest Level Since 1984

The number of Wisconsinites living in poverty in the post-recession era has reached the highest level in 30 years according to Census data.

Poverty has not quite reached the level it was at in 1984, but it's inching closer.

The number of Wisconsin residents living in poverty averaged 13% across that post-recession time frame — the highest since 1984, according to the analysis by UW-Madison's Applied Population Laboratory. In 1984, the poverty rate peaked at 15.5% as the nation was recovering from a double-dip recession. [...]

Poverty increased more dramatically across Wisconsin than in many other states, though 46 of the 50 states saw a significant increase in total population living in poverty between the five-year periods ending in 2009 and 2014, according to the UW-Madison analysis.

What has governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker done in the post-recession era which has seen a sharp increase in poverty?

He has cut higher and lower education. He has cut healthcare. He has neutered public sector unions. He has repealed prevailing wage and living wage laws. He has handed hundreds of millions of dollars over to rich billionaires to build a new basketball arena that those living in poverty will never be able to enjoy. He has imposed new fees on the poor to pay for that damn arena.

Republican economic philosophy is a hell of a drug.

  • And many of those suffering under Walker are right now thinking, “Thanks Obama.” Because they’re just that disassociated from reality.

  • muselet

    Scott Walker and the R majority in the legislature wouldn’t be in any position to make so many people poor and miserable had they not been elected. The majority of Wisconsin voters (and what looked to be more than half of the commenters on the Journal Sentinel story) either are fine with growing poverty and income inequality, or are frantically trying to blame anyone other than themselves and their preferred politicians for the problems.

    Would it be cruel to start calling Wisconsin “North Mississippi”?


    • JMAshby

      You’re not wrong. I have extended family (unionized even) there who voted -for- Walker and if you ask them why their answer is enough to make anyone cynical.

      To make a long story short, Walker successfully divided public and private sector unions by convincing the latter that the former was getting an extra sweet deal from them, the private union taxpayer. Of course, after winning, Walker started chipping away at private sector unions too just as we knew he would.

      Divide and conquer is the GOP playbook. Convince one group of poor voters to vote against another group of poor voters.

      • ninjaf

        I just don’t know how they sleep at night.

        • Aynwrong

          It’s a mean thing to say, but ignorance is bliss.