Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Is conservatism driving millennials out of Wisconsin?

74 percent of young people disapprove of Scott Walker's performance as governor

Are millennials leaving Wisconsin because of the conservative policies put in place in recent years? That’s a good question worth looking into.

A recent letter to the editor in the Stevens Point Journal demonstrated a real concern about whether Gov. Scott Walker’s policies were driving young people out of the state.
Millennials and younger voters are likely not in sync with Walker’s and Republicans’ policies privatizing our public lands, whether for hunting, fishing, or recreational pursuits. ...

Voters of all ages continue to witness Republicans and the governor limiting their right to vote and their access to polling sites. Do the businesses, chambers of commerce and media elites of central Wisconsin support this public assault upon people’s voting rights, including those of veterans?
(It’s worth reading the whole letter if you have the time, and I suggest you do so by clicking the link above!)

There are many issues that young people in the state want addressed. Broadly put, millennials want assurances that their leaders are going to back them up, helping them and the state itself when times get tough.

When the economic conditions of the state fail to provide a good life for people, it’s up to political leaders to try and change those conditions through various policies that shape the landscape overall. It’s impractical for politicians to create jobs on their own -- they can’t just legislate companies to hire -- but they can pass laws to make burdens on workers and small businesses less cumbersome.

Yet millennials are not seeing that from this governor or his legislative allies. Instead, Gov. Walker and Republicans are shifting whatever resources were available in the past toward help for a less deserving cause -- their political donor base.

This isn’t opinion; this is fact. There’s direct evidence that shows legislators and the governor have crafted bills designed to suit the specific circumstances of their constituents. Rep. Joel Kleefisch helping a wealthy divorced dad to avoid paying child support, or Scott Walker urging his corporate friends to donate vast sums of money to third party groups (and then passing legislation favorable to those same corporations), are just a couple of examples that come to mind.

Meanwhile, small businesses (which are more responsible for creating jobs than corporate giants) and start-ups are struggling.

That’s discouraging, for the state as a whole but also for millennials, and it’s partly why Gov. Walker is seeing such low approval ratings. Indeed, according to the November 2015 Marquette Law School poll, more than 74 percent of millennials ages 18-29 disapprove of the governor’s performance, the highest disapproval rating among all age groups.

So let’s go back to the original question: are millennials leaving the state because of the Republicans? We can’t say for certain that they are. But if they were, who could blame them?


  1. Yes, the political climate in Wisconsin is driving us out. I'm an IT professional and my wife is a doctor. We're looking at other opportunities now, whereas a few years ago we were content here.

  2. I love the state and what it was, but I will not disadvantage my children by encouraging them to stay in a Wisconsin that no longer exists. My wife and I are telling our kids to find employment upon graduation somewhere that values the things that they value, not one which is sliding into a low service model which rewards only the friends of those in power.

  3. It isn't just the Millennials. We young at heart Generation Xers want this, too: "...want assurances that their leaders are going to back them up, helping them and the state itself when times get tough. "

    Times got tough for us, and there was no one to back us up. I'm glad for that, however, I will fight the good fight for the Millennials and for those in my child's generation: Generation Z.

    And, due to the current path of Wisconsin into the dead end I see ahead (or that might be a freight train, can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, yet), I am raising my child to escape Wisconsin.

    I had several chances, but I love the geography and am now thrilled to live in the non-glaciated area of Wisconsin.

    Peace out. I'm voting for Bernie Sanders, but I really just want people to vote like this might be our last chance. Vote.

  4. Come to Minnesota! Everything is better here!

  5. Come to Minnesota! Everything is better here!