When it comes to job creation, Scott Walker has been pathetic. He talks a great game, but he's just pathetic. Here are some fast facts from PRWatch:
In June 2014, CMD did an analysis that showed that the Wisconsin Economic Development Authority, Walker's flagship jobs agency which he chairs, had only created 5,800 jobs in the past three years. During the same period Wisconsin's WARN database indicates that 13,000 jobs were lost to plant closings and mass layoffs. Federal data puts Wisconsin in the 37th spot of all 50 states for new job creation and dead last among its Midwestern neighbors in job creation.
The question at hand in this segment is the minimum wage, which Scott Walker has managed to duck quite adeptly in his first pass while deflecting onto the endless possibilities for minimum wage workers to improve their lot by attending community or technical colleges.
Mary Burke responds by noting that Walker has cut funding for community and technical college financial aid back to 1989 levels, which means people are on waiting lists to get help with improving their skills. She further notes that not all minimum wage employees are going to be able to make a shift to more skilled work like welding jobs, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that there aren't many jobs out there. She concludes by saying "We have got to raise the minimum wage immediately."
Brace yourselves for Walker's response, which is so cynical and nasty it felt like he was slapping around everyone struggling to make ends meet.
He first points to a Wisconsin state website called JobCenterofWisconsin.com, which is basically for recipients of unemployment benefits to list their resumes and hope maybe they match up with a job on the site.
Then he lays his true feelings out on the table declaring, "We don't have a jobs problem in this state; we have a work problem."
Moocher alert! Wisconsites, your governor wants you to know jobs aren't the problem, it's you lazy, mooching, minimum wage grubbers that have the problem. And you know, it's all just a matter of you looking for a better job. Skills? Meh. Just connect the dots, little moochers, and it will all be good.
Here's some icing on that crap cake. The panel circled back to the original question which was quite clear: Do you believe a Wisconsin worker can live on a minimum wage, do you believe the state has an obligation to make sure workers are paid some sort of minimum wage, and if so what that should be?
Walker only needed to answer yes or no to the first two questions, and name a number for the third one. Instead, viewers got this:
WALKER: My point is I believe the state should be focused on helping people create jobs that are much greater than the minimum wage. I was paid the minimum wage when I worked at McDonald's as a kid. I used that to save up for money in college. I didn't expect that that was going to be my lifetime's work.
Side note: Yeah, I didn't really expect that either, but after six years of fruitless searching, I'm not too proud to go put in an application at that retail outlet or fast food place. Over 50 means you readjust all of your expectations for what jobs you're eligible to be hired to do.
Walker goes on:
And so we've got to have opportunities for young people, whether it's part-time or seasonal work, got to have an opportunity for them to go forward but at the same time, we've got to make sure that people who are living off that to support themselves and their families have jobs that pay far greater than that.
Oh, imaginary utopia, how beautiful it would be, but that's not reality. Too bad Governor Walker hasn't opened his eyes to the fact that families are living on what can be scraped together from not one, but two or more minimum wage jobs with no benefits and no upper mobility. Now he's going to mansplain the way you do that.
The way you do that is not by an arbitrary limit by the state. The way you do that is by ultimately giving people the skills that they need, opening up the programs, and as far as the technical college--
And there he was cut off, since he had already gone overtime.
So. Scott Walker does not support an increase in the minimum wage, nor does he believe the state has an obligation to set a floor (not a 'limit'), and so he does not need to name a number.
Suffice it to say, Mary Burke unequivocally stated that a minimum wage increase was indeed necessary and needed immediately.
It's no secret that Walker doesn't believe in the minimum wage or that he views minimum wage workers as moochers. But it was still pretty shocking to hear him say that in the context of a debate.
Take THAT, Wisconsin hard-working people. You now know exactly what your governor thinks of you.