Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The Republican Party of Wisconsin is rallying support for the state senators who are the objects of recall petitions by putting up a site called It features this graphic (click to enlarge):

Three things:

First of all, the per capita income in Wisconsin is actually $36,822, not $26,447, according to the Fed; it hasn't been as low as the GOP's figure since the late 1990s. I don't know where the party got that number.

Second of all, that's income per capita. That is, it's total income averaged over every person in the state -- the young, the old, the sick, the incarcerated, and the unemployed as well as people who are working.

Oh, and third, that $76,500 figure is salary plus benefits. You can't buy a loaf of bread with a health plan, but it counts in state employees' income as far as the GOP is concerned, even though no one's benefits are counted in that other number, the per capita income number.

So, to sum up: Unionized teachers and firefighters and the like are filthy leeches who should raise their families, save for college, take care of elderly parents, etc., etc., on a third of what they make -- in cash and benefits that can't be converted to cash. And if they don't like it, they should send their babies and schoolkids and grandparents to work, dammit, because the average person in Wisconsin makes (in cash) a third of what they do (in cash and benefits).

Got it?

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