Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has boasted Wisconsin’s low unemployment rate, which has been below three percent for several months.
But is that the whole story? According to Mandela Barnes, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, it’s not.
“Governor talks about low unemployment rate but, the fact is, we have a pretty high poverty rate,” Barnes said, speaking to students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on Tuesday night. “A less than 3 percent unemployment rate and a 12 percent rate of poverty, that just means more people are working for much less, and that is not sustainable.”
Barnes also noted that, as the Nov. 6 election nears, he and his partner, Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers, want to focus on is what they can do to turn Wisconsin around, instead of pointing out Walker’s flaws.
“We can talk about those things,” Barnes said. “We’ve had 7.5 years to do that. And we’ve had election cycle after election cycle that has only been the case.
“But we haven’t always talked about our message, our vision for the state of Wisconsin.”
Barnes received a rousing ovation from students when he walked into the room. Part of his message was urging them in part to get involved in the election process. He said the youth movement is critical.
“We under 35, we are the least reliable voters,” Barnes said, “and it’s a real problem because we need to make sure that, whatever ‘blue wave’ you wanna talk about, includes a ‘you wave.'”
Barnes also railed on the cost of college education. He said taking out student loans shouldn’t cripple someone’s future and prevent them from contributing to the economy.