Swing State Wisconsin: The Major Issues

Presented by UW–Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and WisPolitics.com (October 2, 12 noon central)

Friday, October 2, noon to 1 p.m. 

Join UW–Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and WisPolitics.com for this noon-hour discussion on crucial policy issues leading up to this fall’s election.

Swing State Wisconsin: The Major Issues for Voters this November will feature a panel discussion with four La Follette School faculty members, who also will answer audience questions.

During this livestreamed event, these nationally renowned experts will offer evidence-based insights on society’s pressing problems, including health, climate, and economic policy as well as racial justice issues.



Menzie Chinn is a professor of public affairs and economics. His research examines the empirical and policy aspects of macroeconomic interactions between countries. He has been a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund, the Congressional Budget Office, the Federal Reserve Board, the European Central Bank, and the Banque de France.

Christine Durrance is an associate professor of public affairs. She is an applied microeconomist concentrating in health economics and policy. Her work includes a focus on maternal, infant, and reproductive health; risky behavior (e.g., substance use and violence); and the legal and policy environment.

Greg Nemet is a professor of public affairs. He focuses on understanding the process of technological change and the ways in which public policy can affect it. His first book, How Solar Became Cheap: A Model for Low-Carbon Innovation, was published in June 2019 by Routledge. In the book, he makes the case that by understanding the drivers behind solar energy’s success, other low-carbon technologies with similar properties can benefit.

Geoffrey Wallace is an associate professor of public affairs and economics. His research is in labor economics, the economics of marriage and the family, and policy issues relating to poverty. He is the La Follette School’s first Kohl Chair in Undergraduate Education and an affiliate of UW–Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty.

Moderator: Jeff Mayers — president, Wispolitics.com

This one-hour event is free, but registration is required for access. Registrants will receive a link the morning of October 2 to access the event.


28 thoughts on “Swing State Wisconsin: The Major Issues

  1. Nathan

    I have discovered a new kind of unemployment.

    Hello Menzie, I have an article that explains why since 2000: business investment has been weak; the fall in the U.S net labor share; the decline in the prime age U.S labor participation rate vs large gains elsewhere; the rise in deaths of despair. The article is called Skill Stalagmites, Technology Stalactites and can be found here https://seekingalpha.com/article/4361570-skill-stalagmites-technology-stalactites. I have split the piece into two parts: a 1500 word article for the general reader and a longer piece for the more sophisticated reader. There is a link to the latter at the end of the first piece.

    The punchline to the article is that the 4-5% gap in the lfpr between the U.S and peer economies is a form of disguised unemployment. And this is a novel kind of unemployment, which is not caused by a fall in aggregate demand.

    The actual cause is that firms are imposing higher effort levels on workers. I can summarize the argument you will find in the main article; it goes like this:

    1. Firms impose higher effort demands on workers; workers have to complete more tasks (for a higher wage) or be fired.
    2. The higher wage does not compensate workers for their lost work leisure; thus workers look for less demanding job positions (or refuse to move up to more senior roles).
    3. If one imagines a skill ladder, then all workers attempt to drop down a rung. This is easy for higher skilled workers, but what happens to workers at the bottom?
    4. The lowest skilled workers compete for job openings with somewhat more skilled workers. Firms prefer to hire the more skilled worker, resulting in the lowest skilled workers being pushed out of employment altogether.
    5. This assumes that employers can always identify the highest skilled worker from their pool of applicants. This won’t always be the case; if the higher skilled worker has a bad interview or the weaker candidate has positive chemistry with the interviewer, then the objectively weaker candidate can win a job offer.
    6. Thus provided the lowest skill workers are willing to keep searching for jobs they will eventually obtain a job offer and regain employment.
    7. This means though that workers on the second lowest skill rung will be unable to drop down to the lowest rung unless they also increase their job search activity. And in turn this forces the workers above them to increase their job search.
    8. Any person wanting a job now has to apply to many more job positions before they can get their first job offer. But after a string of failures, job seekers become discouraged and temporarily withdraw from the search process. It is this temporary withdrawal that is responsible for the drop in lfpr. For those who are the main breadwinners, the period of withdrawal will be short – perhaps only a few months. But for workers who are more marginally attached to the labor force, it could be years or forever.
    9. Evidence for higher effort in the U.S can be found in the higher U.S productivity growth since 2000 vs peer economies.
    10. Evidence of higher job search can be found in the elevated duration of unemployment, which in 2019 was still equal to recessionary levels. The American Time Use Survey also shows higher than normal time spent on job search.

    The questions of why this is happening post 2000 and not before, and why only in the U.S and not elsewhere, are taken up in the full article.

    Hope you enjoy reading and please do spread word of the article around.
    P.S The article is published on Seeking Alpha, but don’t let that put you off. Though I don’t have a formal background in economics, I do keep up with the relevant literature.

    1. The Rage

      It’s called innovation burn out. First the industrial revolution died in 1925. Then information revolution in 2000. No where to spend to grow above population growth.

  2. Moses Herzog

    This looks like a fun one. Something tells me it’s going to stretch passed the hour long anticipated schedule, but that’s a good thing in this case. Wisconsin and its neighboring states will be very important.

  3. Moses Herzog

    Menzie, not to be overly crass, but any chance we can get Professor Durrance to discuss this, and the example it sets to other “family values” Republicans looking to Brad Parscale as a guiding figure for political success??

    WARNING: There is some of what I would personally term, mild violence, in this video, but still might be upsetting to young people or those sensitive to scenes of physical violence:

  4. Bruce Hall

    Off topic for pgl:

    Weekly update of COVID-19 data from CDC:
    “Second wave” hospitalizations and deaths peaked the end of July; cases continue to rise as more testing includes PCR test that detect the presence of virus fragments but not necessarily active infections.

    Michigan COVID-19 data (since pgl was interested):
    Note: Michigan Gov. Whitmer continues to pushed infected COVID-19 people into nursing homes; the only state still doing that. She learned well from Gov. Cuomo. Claims it is safer that way. Data shows otherwise.

    1. pgl

      Get a clue dimwit – I am not interesting in your lies, your spinning, your misrepresentations of your own links, or your disgusting attempts at humor. In fact NO ONE here is except your fellow clown CoRev.

    2. pgl

      ““Second wave” hospitalizations and deaths peaked the end of July”

      I’m sure you are aware that some clown named Bruce Hall was telling us deaths were declining in July. Get in touch with this liar and tell him to recant that stupid lie. Not that it would help your credibility as you have none.

        1. pgl

          Jibe? That is how the dumbass in mommy’s basement justifies his serial lies and stupidity? Jibber Jabber. Get current with the lingo old man.

    3. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall Please read you own links. Gov. Whitmer’s order does not “push” infected COVID-19 patients into nursing homes. I’ve already provided you with the factchecker finding on this claim. It’s wrong. And in your own link you will find the actual order. It does not say what you think it says. Correction…I don’t believe you have actually thought about what it says, so I’m wrong is believing you “think” it says something. It would be more accurate to say that her order doesn’t say what you’ve been told to believe what it says. Please do you own due diligence on these issues.

      1. Bruce Hall

        Her executive order was to establish sections of nursing facilities or separate nursing facilities to house infected patients. The reality is that the staffs were exposed to COVID-19 and have the ability to transmit the virus to the sections of those facilities that do not house infected patients.

        The fact that any nursing home has COVID-19 patients in the same facility (even if as a separate wing), is still a dangerous situation. Nursing homes are notorious for providing minimal care and not following protocols. https://www.wxyz.com/news/coronavirus/lawsuit-says-lapeer-nursing-home-banned-workers-from-using-masks-as-covid-19-spread

        Why do you suppose Gov. Cuomo reversed course? COVID-19 patients should not be in nursing homes… period.

        1. baffling

          “COVID-19 patients should not be in nursing homes… period.”
          if you fill up your hospitals, where exactly do you want to place the covid patients? on the street? this is why society needs to implement policies that reduce the spread, so that hospitals do not fill up and you can keep the patients where they are most cared for and least risk to society. drinking at bars and shopping without masks does not accomplish this requirement.

    4. pgl

      “Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-169 on Aug. 11, which extended recommended sanitary precautions to be taken by nursing homes. It also required “long-term care facilities” to “not prohibit admission or readmission of a resident based on COVID-19 testing requirements or results” if the building has a dedicated wing for quarantining.”

      Hey dumba$$ – read this paragraph as it is the reality that contradicts your serial intellectual garbage. Come on Brucie boy – the other pre-K are chucking at your total inability at basic reading skills. If the building has a dedicated wing for quarantining. Write that on your little chalk board 500 times before you write another dishonest, disgusting, and really stupid comment.

  5. pgl

    Bruce Hall wants us to believe governors ‘pushed’ infected people into nursing homes. Of course we know that is a lie and his own link makes no such claim. But it does tell us AG Barr is running a political hit job on Democratic governors. I cannot wait until January 20 when the new AG starts criminal investigations against little fat ass William Barr. Lock him up!

      1. pgl

        May 27? Trump’s team keeps changing its stuff even this week. Hey Bruce – we get you hate New York. The feeling is mutual so a little advice. Stay out of my city cause if you show up we’ll have those Proud Boys turn on you!

      2. pgl

        ” As always, standard precautions must be maintained, and environmental cleaning made a
        priority, during this public health emergency.
        Critical personal protective equipment (PPE) needs should be immediately communicated to your local
        Office of Emergency Management, with the appropriate information provided at the time of request.
        Requests MUST include:
        o Type and quantity of PPE by size;
        o Point of contact at the requesting facility or system;
        o Delivery location;
        o Date request is needed to be filled by; AND
        o Record of pending orders.”

        Gee Bruce – did you stop reading before you got here? I guess so. Now Trump does not go this far in precaution when it comes to his rally and dipshits like you applaud him for promoting irresponsibility.

        Bruce – how many times do we need to remind you – learn to effing READ.

      1. pgl

        She admits there may be flaws but you have yet to admit to your lies even though you lie even more than Trump does. What’s the matter Brucie – has Kelly Anne Conway stopped talking to you?

        1. CoRev

          For G$$s sake drop it, worst analyst in the world. How many lives lost will it take before you admit that the policies were flawed/bad/wrong. NY’s especially so.

      2. pgl

        “Whitmer has defended her policy throughout the pandemic. Her administration says the original plan to send nursing home patients to the TCF Center never materialized because it wasn’t set up for long-term care. On Monday, Whitmer offered some different thoughts. “We, I think, learned a great deal in the last 10 weeks,” Whitmer said. “I think if we could go back in a time machine and do some things differently, sure, there are things we would improve upon, but every action we took was based on the best science and the best information available to protect people and save lives.”

        Of course Trump withheld resources and withheld crucial information as he lied to our governors repeatedly. And it seems Bruce Hall repeated those lies. So Bruce Hall is responsible for the failure too. But he is a total weasel who refuses to even acknowledge his serial lies. Sort of like Trump who in his own words “is not responsible” for a damn thing.

      3. 2slugbaits

        Bruce Hall This is an old story appearing on a website famous for peddling rightwing nutjob stories. Several weeks ago I gave you the link to the factchecker on this story and it was rated false. The Gov. Whitmer lies were started by a GOP Michigan state legislator. And one of the lobbying groups for the elderly in nursing homes also trashed that legislator’s lies and concurred with Whitmer’s action to kill his bill that would have prevented COVID cases from going to nursing homes. Whitmer’s directive did NOT force COVID patients into nursing homes. It ALLOWED patients who had tested positive to go there under certain conditions. It was not dissimilar to Cuomo’s policy. And oh by the way, a few days ago I also gave you the link to Cuomo’s 27 May directive on nursing homes. Your Cuomo story was “mostly false” by Kaiser, which is a pretty straight shooting organization when it comes to healthcare.

        Your really, really need to find better sources. And you and CoRev really need to start taking Prevagen for that failing memory. Since CoRev insists that I provide links to the obvious, here is some more information on those memory pills:

      4. baffling

        bruce hall, would such actions be consistent with the message from the white house? they argued the virus was contained and would disappear soon. we had nothing to worry about. i think that sums up the guidance provided by the white house. why are you criticizing whitner for simply following the advice of the white house?

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