Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Wisconsin's Gerrymandered Republicans continue Scott Walker's Act 10 anti-market wage restraint, a gift to the top 1 Percent.

I thought it might be a good idea to remind everyone what Scott Walker did as governor, how he stunted Wisconsin's wages and buying power for a generation, just to fulfil a partisan agenda free of solutions to deal with the state's current list of problems.  

ACT 10 Mistake: First, Scott Walker passed Act 10, destroying public unions and lowering wages. It was a purely political solution to a nonexistent state budget problem. Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich shredded this paper-thin politician. 

What Walker set in motion would eventually be a devastating hit on individual incomes and business expansion for a decade. 

Act 10 reversed century of progress. Wisconsin Supreme Court should toss law.
Comparing Wisconsin to Minnesota, we can see how massive a hit our workers took on inflation-adjusted median household incomes.

Act 10 choked wage growth for all state workers, public and private. The law legislated wage decline. Public and private sector workers alike exist in a common labor market, driving down the wages of one, drives them down for all, and private sector enterprises could pay all workers less.
Wisconsin vs Minnesota: It's real ugly...
In 2012 our median household incomes were $53,079, Minnesota’s were $61,759.

A decade after Act 10, that spread grew from $73,330 in the Badger
State, to a whopping $90,390 in Minnesota. A nominal spread of $8,000 between the states was transformed into a $17,060 gap.

If labor had discretionary income it goes to corner taps and restaurants, hairstylists and barbers, landscapers, sports shops selling hunting rifles, fishing rods and bait, etc. But if workers did not get this money the past decade, who did? The TOP “1%.” Money pocketed by big business.

The “savings” from Act 10's anti-market wage restraint reduced government budgets permitting tax cuts benefiting those who already have the most.

The same politicians legislating less pay for labor can’t claim to be saving Wisconsin money when they made the state one of only ten to rejected the return of some $2 billion of Wisconsin’s tax dollars from Washington to expand healthcare over the past decade.

Wisconsin is not “saving money” with Act 10. It is shrinking wage and small business growth while giving the 1% cash taken from its workers. This raw deal legislating low wages runs counter to the great New Deal that expanded our middle class. It’s more than time for Wisconsin’s State Supreme Court to reverse it ending gerrymandering.