Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Structural Adjustment of Wisconsin Revisited

Given the direction of the presidential election, it may be worthwhile to revisit the economic tragedy that is Wisconsin. The neoliberal Walker gutting of the state has led to a widening gulf between Wisconsin and Minnesota, which took the opposite direction in the economic crisis. There are no shortage of articles pointing out the obvious comparisons.


Here is one blog that outlines the comparison. http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2015/01/minnesota-economy-beats-wisconsin-7-charts-1-table/

Minnesota is wrestling with a budget surplus, while Wisconsin is mired in a deficit. Minnesota's economy has outpaced Wisconsin in nearly all respects. Knowledge of the effects of structural adjustment allowed me to see the writing on the wall. http://klogholesbloghole.blogspot.com/2011/03/stuctural-adjustment-of-wisconsin.html

Even the budget surplus in Minnesota is low-hanging fruit for those that want to push neoliberal cuts. Right now, legislators are pushing for tax cuts in Minnesota, a mechanism to put a stranglehold on the budget in the future. The whole purpose of tax cuts is to ensure, like a boa constrictor, the budget can only get smaller, making the everyday operation of the government ever more difficult. It is a deliberate strategy to gut social spending, but it also undermines the economy as a whole.

These policies occur not just at the local level, but at the national level as well. Given the slate of candidates in the presidential election, and the bizarre party politics playing out, it is time to start paying attention. Clearly, we need a change of direction at the national level as well as avoid the failed policies in Wisconsin.

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