by MMAC President Tim Sheehy
Metro Milwaukee’s number one goal for 2017 is economic growth. Growing the region’s economy is the best bet for delivering bottom line benefits to its citizens. And not just to some of its citizens, in some parts of the region, but opportunities for all.
We can always be more efficient in providing public services. We should always strive for better, more effective ways to spend our tax dollars. But for those services in need of more revenue, like K-12 schools, universities, workforce training, roads, and public safety, the answer lies not with higher taxes, but top line growth that delivers more tax revenue. There are exceptions, where the region must choose wisely to invest in its quality of life assets that keep the region attractive. Cost cutting is temporary, efficiency is permanent, but growth is the answer.
What Milwaukee makes is what makes Milwaukee. The source of ALL top line growth comes from the products and services exported from the region that bring in new revenue and new jobs. Making things and shipping them to other parts of the U.S and around the globe, managing other people’s money, selling insurance, developing software security, making beer, pizza, flavorings and sausage - this is what drives growth. Serving corporate headquarters, bringing in patients, research dollars, and visitors strengthens our economic base. We need to invest in developing the talent, quality of life, and infrastructure to support this economic activity so we can reap the personal and public revenues that flow from this type of economic growth.
MMAC members represent almost 40% of the region’s economy, by jobs and economic output. We have an aggressive agenda for 2017, the Blueprint for Economic Prosperity, which advocates for policy priorities aimed at supporting and spurring growth. Encourage your peers to join with you in driving the success of this agenda. Our economy has plenty of competition, and it has its challenges, but with your help it also has focused regional business leadership. To borrow from Henry Ford, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t.” We think metro Milwaukee can make big strides in 2017.
To a prosperous and growth filled 2017!