Thriving or barely surviving in Wisconsin? Here are some sobering facts from several reports.
The ALICE Report is an acronym which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed Wisconsinites. The ALICE report reveals the struggles our families, neighbors, and co-workers experience on a daily basis who work hard, earn above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford a basic household budget.
Over a third of ALICE households, 670,992, do not earn enough to cover the basic needs of housing, childcare, food, healthcare, transportation.
- A. In 2017, another 661,565 households lived below the official poverty rate. The poverty rate in 2016 had increased and is at its highest level since the Great Recession. The poverty rate for children rose to 12%. Children are now the poorest segment of the population.
- Most jobs pay less than $15 an hour. The minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and hasn’t been raised since 2009.
- Wisconsin’s middle class is shrinking as people fell out of the middle class to a lower tier from 2000 to 2014.
- Wisconsin’s tax system benefits the wealthiest individuals and corporations. The average tax cut in 2017 for the top 1% was $10,015 while individuals in the lowest 20% received about $175.
- Income inequality in 2017 was at its highest level since the Great Recession.
- Wages remain stagnant. The average worker has received an annual raise of three cents an hour since 1979.
- The suicide rate in Wisconsin is higher than the national average and has increased 25.8% from 1999 to 2016.
- Wisconsin lost 500 dairy farms in 2017. These losses impact farmers and their families, the local communities, and the state as a whole.
Do we care enough about our fellow Wisconsinites who are not thriving to vote for a change of direction on November 6th?
Joyce Luedke, Rothschild
Editor’s note: The views of our readers are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to P.O. Box 532, Wausau, Wis., 54402-0532.