Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Milwaukee Median Family Income Only 56% of Madison's

This is kind of shocking. According to a press release from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance the median family income (which means that half of families earn more than this amount and half earn less) in Milwaukee is only $35,765, compared to $64,264 in Madison. Now, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is essentially a bunch of corporate Republicans, so you have to make allowances for that, but if the numbers are anywhere close to the truth that's a mighty big difference. Here's a quote from a story about these findings in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Madison has some "built-in advantages," such as the major research center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and that it's the state capital, said Ryan Parsons, a research associate for the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

"But I think what Milwaukee needs to do if it wants to regain some of that balance that was lost in the last 50 years is more of a focus on education and retaining good college graduates," Parsons said. "One of the reasons Madison has such an edge over Milwaukee is having people who can fill high-tech science research jobs. A lot of that work force is missing from a city like Milwaukee."
Nice that they recognize that education is a big piece of this puzzle, but as always the question is what are we going to do about it, and who's going to pay for it. Seems to me that if our corporate citizens are so concerned about education they should be more than willing to raise Wisconsin business taxes, which are among the lowest in the nation, so that we can improve things.

Somehow I suspect that's not the message Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is trying to get across.

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