Letter to the Editor: New Leadership in Madison Needed

The Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, an independent economic policy research organization, recently released a study titled “As Wisconsin’s and Minnesota’s lawmakers took divergent paths, so did their economies.” Basically, the authors concluded that an average citizen would have been better off living in Minnesota than Wisconsin the past eight years.

Virtually everything Gov. Scott Walker has done to this state was the opposite of what Gov. Mark Dayton did for Minnesota. And the results were the opposite as well. For example, during this period:

  • Job growth in Wisconsin was 7.9 percent. In Minnesota it was 11 percent.
  • Median Household Income in Minnesota increased by 7.2 percent. In Wisconsin the increase was 5.1 percent Similar trends were recorded for median family income with the numbers being 8.5 percent growth in Minnesota and 6.3 percent growth in Wisconsin.
  • Wage growth is difficult to summarize. But it was significantly less in Wisconsin than it was in Minnesota. This fact is particularly pronounced when comparing wages for men to wages for women. Women fared much much better in Minnesota than in Wisconsin.

While the subtleties of some policy decisions can be difficult to see, one glaring example is available for comparison. Mark Dayton and Minnesota accepted $1.2 billion of federal Medicaid expansion resources. Scott Walker and Wisconsin rejected a similar $1.07 billion dederal offer. As a result, Minnesotan families are much more likely to have health care coverage than are Wisconsin families.

Additionally, Governor Walker (and the Republican-controlled Legislature) have given the Foxconn project $4.7 billion, which amounts to slightly more than $1,675 per Wisconsin household. If this project happens there are no safeguards to prevent workers from Illinois getting the jobs, contractors from out of state constructing the facility or receiving sub-contracts from Foxconn in the future. The company will also withdraw millions of gallons of water from Lake Michigan. This is Gov. Walker’s definition of investing in Wisconsin. Minnesota invested public resources in education and worker training instead of corporate giveaways.

One-way people vote, is with their feet. In 2017 and 2018 Minnesota has experienced a net in migration of 8,000 people, while Wisconsin has recorded a net out migration of 2,000 people. Personally, I have chosen to not move out of state. Instead I am using my voice and vote to make Wisconsin a better place to live. I plan on voting for Caleb Frostman ( for state Senate and Mahlon Mitchell ( for Governor because I believe they’re dedicated to the common good and to toward making Wisconsin a better place for all Wisconsinites. I urge you to read the mentioned study and to thoughtfully consider our desperate need for new leadership in Madison. This beautiful state cannot afford another four years of Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans.


Mike Brodd

Sister Bay, Wis.

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