In one of the best apples-to-apples comparison studies I’ve seen in many years, Ed Harris at EconBrowser.com demonstrates that since 2011, the growth rate of the Wisconsin economy has lagged behind neighboring and near economic mirror Minnesota by nearly 3%. In “log terms” (which economists use to even out mathematical comparisons) that’s on the order of a 100% gap.
As you undoubtedly know, Wisconsin, which has inexplicably made a sharp turn right in the past few years from its one-time place as one of the nation’s leading progressive states, is under total GOP control. Gov. Scott Walker, who has Presidential aspirations, has been following the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) guidelines for so-called economic recovery along with his pet dog of a legislature. He touts a $3.6 billion state budget surplus but turns mute when asked who benefits from the surplus when unemployment and other economic indicators that affect real people are headed in the completely wrong direction. Cut taxes, cut spending, impose austerity and watch your economy become yet another great example of how to further widen the economic gap that will absolutely prove this nation’s downfall.
This is the kind of information that needs greater dissemination and emulation. Fact-based information about a field as frequently nebulous as economics is hard to come by. Here’s a great example of directly comparable situations. Let’s see if we can learn from it before it’s too late.