Wisconsin Economic Forecast Luncheon

It appears newly elected Governor Scott Walker has a sound recipe for securing a healthier economic future for Wisconsin: growth and productivity.  And to make it happen, he is quickly focusing on changing the design of the business environment.  Hmmm… where have we heard that before? Growth and productivity through better design…

Wisconsin Bankers Association presented the Wisconsin Economic Forecast Luncheon today at Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin.  The luncheon featured Governor Walker and also Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.  Kocherlakota provided a broad overview of past and future Fed actions to manage through the recession.  (Soapbox Warning: While the economic theories behind actions are hotly debated, what can’t be debated is the increased costs and regulatory burdens that have been placed on the banking industry.  While this may unfortunately be warranted for some, mostly large, banks that have acted irresponsibly in pursuit of profit, the effects on “main street” banks has been unnecessarily burdensome.)

Governor Walker spoke briefly about what he’s doing to transition “Wisconsin is Open for Business” from a slogan to a reality.  I’ve summarized his approach into three strategies:

  1. Growth – create an advantaged, favorable business environment in Wisconsin that promotes business growth (e.g., tort reform, lower tax rates, and other economic development tactics)
  2. Productivity – make the tough decisions required to cut spending (never a pleasant thing to do but at least Wisconsin is not in as bad a position as California or our neighbor, Illinois)
  3. Sharing the load – e.g., state employees to contribute 5% to their retirement, 12% of health care premiums, etc.

Hopefully, with the right tactics, relentless execution and some political leverage, Governor Walker can achieve his goal of balancing the budget by making Wisconsin a favorable, prosperous environment for business.  Along with a zillion other things on his agenda, of course.

Growth & Productivity Through Better Design…