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Jul 19, 201308:39 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Scott Walker’s economic miracle has begun; did anyone notice?

(page 1 of 2)

Does one detect a note of schadenfreude among the partisans who note that Scott Walker may not achieve his goal of fostering the creation of 250,000 jobs in his first four years?

Make that “unrestrained glee” in the case of The Capital Times, the unofficial mouthpiece of the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. If Wisconsin’s economic ranking drops two places in the International Socialist rankings, the partisan content provider sends sound trucks blaring the message through village and countryside.

But what explains the Wisconsin State Journal? So where is the Page One news story in today’s broadsheet? I’ll grant you that prison guards leaving Marty Beil’s mismanaged Wisconsin State Employees Union should take pride of place. But the state’s official newspaper missed the opening salvo of the Walker economic miracle. So read it here first:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Wisconsin had its biggest monthly jobs gain since 1992. In June, Wisconsin gained 17,500 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent, much lower than the national unemployment rate of 7.6 percent. Wisconsin also was 3rd highest in the nation for total non-farm jobs over the month and tied for 2nd highest in growth rate at 0.6 percent. Here’s the BLS release:

“It shows that our state continues to head in the right direction,” commented Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in an electronic missive. (Here’s what the Department of Workforce Development has to say.)

The biggest monthly jobs gain in 21 years! Hel-LO-o? Anyone? I sent this missive to State Journal editor John Smalley:

Saw only a wire story headlined “Unemployment rates rise in 28 U.S. states in June.” [BUT NOT IN WISCONSIN!] Wisconsin is mentioned, btw. Might have piqued your interest.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Jul 19, 2013 09:17 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Spinmeister Dave! (and you are a Meister at it),
I hate to rain on your gleeful parade, but there is probably good reason GOP/Walker supporters as stalwart as John Smalley and the State Journal aren't dancing in the streets with you. Going from almost worst in the nation for job growth to just solidly bad isn't good enough reason to join you in a polka on the graves of your many enemies. Year-to-year we're still at 38th in the nation. Better than where we were at 49th, I'll admit, so I can't blame you desperate partisans desperate to have something to tout about Walker's disaterous stewardship of our economy. But, "We're in the bottom quarter!" isn't a very inspiring cheer. I suppose it's better than, "We're still last in the Midwest! Go Badgers!" So leave your fellow traveler at the WSJ alone, or you may start hearing, "He's in a meeting" every time you call.
Besides, more than half of the 13,000-odd jobs we picked up were in leisure and hospitality. In Wisconsin? In June? You think that might have something to do with our large tourism sector? And that these jobs might not exist come September? You ARE an optimist! Get back to me in the Fall. They also only pay about one third of the average weekly wage in Wisconsin. Yeah, that'll get this moribund economy of ours moving!
The number of jobs we picked up in the last two months still don't balance out the number of jobs we lost in the two previous months. 250,000 jobs? A goal far, far away. I can hardly wait for the campaign! Dave, all I can say is, "Bring It!"

Jul 20, 2013 02:51 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The comments I wrote last night aren't yet posted (moderators take the weekend off?) but I can't help adding: Hey! Did you see the report the Dept. of Revenue issued Friday? (Your old stomping ground; the irony is so delicious!) They're predicting just 155,000 jobs added during the entire 4 years of your boy's reign. Barely half of our sleepy-eyed Gov's "bold" pledge, a pledge that he doubled down on in the recall election. Judge him on that, he boasted. Indeed we will! You call this a miracle? The miracle will be if even the Koch brothers' bottomless checking account keeps him in office! As I said, Bring It!

Jul 20, 2013 09:06 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Excuse me; DOR projects just 137,000 jobs.

Jul 22, 2013 07:19 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

Compare this data with John Nichols demand for all of us to bail out Detroit. He uses the quaint theory that Detroit is too big to fail. Until it does in which case it becomes Stockton, City College of San Francisco, Illinois and ultimately....

To paraphrase, Detroit's parasite outgrew its host. Mr. Nichols suggests the solution is to find a bigger host.

Jul 22, 2013 02:48 pm
 Posted by  John

AnonyBob: Wisconsin employment change during 8 years under Gov. Doyle: MINUS 60,000 jobs.

A plus 137,000 in 4 years (2 1/2, discounting the recall period) would be a FANTASTIC improvement.

Jul 23, 2013 05:53 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Wisconsin State Journal editor John Smalley responded to my query later Friday:


Thanks for the note. We did have the monthly jobless rate in the paper today, as the second "Digest" item on A-5. You could argue that the story was underplayed a bit, and you'd probably be right about that. The monthly jobless story gets fairly mild treatment most of the time. But you're right that we probably tend to react more when the news is bad than when it's good. We're trying on that topic, but there is still sometimes a tendency to jump on bad news more than good news.

Thanks for the reminder that good news is news, too. And thanks for not being a State Journal basher. I know that's a well-trodden path in town. ...

-- John

Jul 23, 2013 07:38 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Fantastic improvement? That's PATHETIC! We're dead last in the Midwest. Walker punished political enemies at the expense of our state's prosperity. And now the GOP has brought back the structural deficit to reward the better off in this state. Nice work, boys! John, if you don't make $300,000, you're a chump.

Jul 23, 2013 01:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Always enjoy Republican digs at Illinois. When I lived in Chicago there was a saying "If there were no New York this would be hell"
Because every time something went wrong, political hacks would point to the fact things were worse in New York City (not sure that is still the case)
But the fact is that when I need to earn extra money from my part time small business I go down to Illinois (or up to Minnesota)to sell(or sometimes work as a consultant) The markets there are a lot stronger, pay better and larger than anything I have found in Wisconsin including Madison. And in my online business- I also have very few Wisconsin customers in spite of the fact I was selling here starting in the 1970's years before I moved up.
So whatever it is that they are doing wrong - it sure is profitable to me but then you would classify me as a liberal and as the Jefferson county Republicans point out with their signs you don't want me or my business in the state. Businesses here need to be run on ideologies.
When we start looking at the rest of the country as markets as opposed to places we want to insult - maybe we will have a better economy. One more geared to the 21st as opposed to the 19th century.

Jul 25, 2013 10:31 am
 Posted by  ssquared

Apparently you haven't taken the time to find out what and who did in Detroit.
Here is the list.
1) The Democrat Party
2) The Unions
3) The public employees

Sound familiar? Think Feruary, March and April of 2011 in Madison.

By the way, the ring leader of the Taconite mine "raiders" was from Stevens Point, about 130 miles from the mine. How long will it take the ostensible ground water polution to reach her home. Here's a clue. The Badger ammo plant shut down in the early 70s and the ground water polution still hasn't reached the Wisconsin River, about 2,3 miles due south.

Jul 26, 2013 01:33 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

What are you talking about?
I explained to Blaska our economy stinks because of the direct actions of our Governor and his rubber stamp legislature. You talk about Detroit and groundwater in Stevens Point? That's called changing the subject because you can't respond to the arguments.
I also owe Blaska an apology. At one point I assumed he was "SSquared" and writing anonymously. But I see I was wrong; he knows how to write and spell.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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