There could not have been two more conflicting and, thus, baffling reports.
The first finds that for the first time in seven years incomes in America increased by more than 5 percent. The second finds that two in five households in Dane County don’t make enough to cover basic living expenses.
Things are betting better in the U.S., and worse here in Dane County. That feels wrong.
It’s even harder to understand because the national data shows the biggest income gains came for Americans living in poverty. Clearly that increase was not felt here.
Now, one of the factors cited for the improved median income nationally is a higher minimum wage in some cities and states, supporting the Dane County Board’s recent vote to raise the minimum wage here.
But it is also clear the jobs Gov. Scott Walker wants credit for creating are in business sectors that don’t pay family supporting wages. That has to change.