ALICE in Marathon County, WI (County Seat, Wausau)

Politicians are all excited about the “super low unemployment” in Wisconsin, and of course, north-central Wisconsin politicians are excited too.  What is the reality for Marathon County’s working-class people?

The concept is called “ALICE,” and it comes from the United Way of Wisconsin’s two-year and four-year studies of Asset – Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed persons (A.L.I.C.E. is the  acronym, and it doesn’t stand for ALICE in Wonderland for sure).

Here’s a couple graphics from the United Way ALICE Wisconsin Report:


The question we should be asking ourselves — whatever our role in the community, whether elected official, or grassroots activist, or struggling worker — is this:

What good is “the lowest unemployment ever, when almost every city or large village in every Wisconsin County, has over 40% of its working people living under stress, unable to “make ends meet” adequately so as to be financially stable?

That is the question. Not, “what number can we report to the media to make our political regime look good?”