Who Gets Biggest Piece of the Pie?
Five pie charts show the increase in inequality and poverty in Wisconsin.
Happy Pi Day! Today’s date is 3-14, a close approximation of the pi value of 3.141592…
The best way to celebrate Pi Day is – news flash! – to eat some pie.
The second best way of observing Pi Day is to enjoy some delicious pie charts. Sure, pie charts don’t go as well with ice cream as the real thing, but they’re still enjoyable.
Here are five pie charts that tell the story of poverty and economic hardship in Wisconsin, and how the share of the pie that goes to the middle class is shrinking.
Pie Chart #1: Highest earners capture nearly all of the income growth in Wisconsin
Wisconsin families and businesses can’t thrive when income growth is nearly non-existent for everyone except for those at the very top. The share of income in Wisconsin going to the top 1% is at its highest level ever, widening the chasm between the very highest earners and everyone else, and posing a hardship for Wisconsin’s families, communities, and businesses.
Pie Chart #2: Jobs that pay family-supporting wages are disappearing, and being replaced by jobs that pay much less
Most of the job growth in Wisconsin and elsewhere has been among jobs that don’t pay very much. That trend makes it hard for people to work their way out of poverty and to support their families.
Pie Chart #3: Working isn’t always enough to lift people out of poverty
More than half of Wisconsin adults in poverty worked, but didn’t earn enough money to pull themselves out of poverty.
Pie Chart #4: Most black children in Wisconsin live in poverty
The loss of jobs that pay family-supporting wages has hit black families in Wisconsin particularly hard. Nearly six out of ten black children in Wisconsin live in poverty, and they are five times as likely to be poor as white children in Wisconsin. Living in poverty makes it harder for children to grow up and become healthy, well-educated members of our future workforce.
Pie Chart #5: Increasing the minimum wage could give an economic boost to many families
Raising the minimum wage won’t solve all our economic problems, but it would give a raise to many families who are struggling to make ends meet. Increasing the minimum wage to $12 an hour would raise the family incomes for 1 in 5 Wisconsin children, or more than a quarter of a million children across the state.