I like Mike Ivey’s take on Wisconsin’s economic development efforts:
If holding conferences and talking about high-tech were the sole gauges of economic development success, Wisconsin would be booming these days like Dublin, Ireland.
Unfortunately, every other state from Alabama to Oregon is trying to market itself as the next Silicon Valley or Research Triangle.
And Wisconsin is having a particularly hard time shifting gears from its traditional old economy of manufacturing and agriculture into a new economy world where brains count more than brawn.
This type of distasteful cheerleading does no one any good. I’ve worked for entrepreneurs on the west coast and started a business here some years ago. I think our problem is an aversion to risk taking, which manifests itself in our schools and government. These entities typically discuss a “same service’ approach year after year after year, which makes no sense.
There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but we need many more people to take a few risks. We also need a simplified business tax and regulatory scheme. The paperwork is simply out of control.