Trust-but-verify economics

Ronald Reagan described his stance toward the Soviet Union on the dubious undertaking of arms control: “Trust, but verify.”

It’s not much of a stretch to see that same attitude coming through in a survey of business leaders released Friday by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC).

Local chambers of commerce are generally upbeat about the direction of attitudes toward the business community in Wisconsin and they see good things ahead. Not only do overwhelming majorities of chamber executives say the state is on the right track, the numbers released last week represent a striking, 180-degree turnaround compared with responses to a similar survey in 2009.

According to the survey:

A large number of chambers (74%) think the state is on the right track. This is a mirror image of survey responses 12 months ago when 74% thought we were heading in the wrong direction and a vast improvement over 2009 when only 18% thought we were on the right track. Seventy-nine percent of the local chambers feel strongly that Wisconsin is very or somewhat pro-business, compared to only 18% two years ago.

Somehow we doubt the dramatic shift is mere coincidence, given that in between, Wisconsin government took a similar one-eighty as a result of the 2010 elections.

So how does this sunny optimism square with the disappointing employment numbers reported for the past few months?

We strongly suspect this is an example of “trust-but-verify” economic decision-making. Employers are happy about the state’s current policy direction but they also realize how fragile that happiness may be. Optimism is tempered by the realization that thousands of Wisconsin residents are fully dedicated to tearing down the reasons for their optimism with more recall elections.

Only their complete and utter defeat will convince business that pro-growth policies are durable.  Once that is established, just watch Wisconsin’s economy grow.


About Wisconsin Club for Growth
The Club for Growth is a national network of over 40,000 men and women, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. Wisconsin Club for Growth, Inc. is dedicated to informing, educating and rallying citizens of Wisconsin to embrace and enact policies that lead to sustained economic growth, limited government, and minimal taxation. Wisconsin Club for Growth can and will have an enormous impact on the direction of our state. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes that effective lobbying is done at all stages of the budget cycle, including when our leaders make public promises and can be encouraged to support policies that spur economic growth. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes we must support pro-growth policies and encourage public officials with backbones to remain truly committed to making our economy and our state stronger. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes our leaders must stand up to the tax and spend mentality in Madison and work tirelessly to cut taxes and unleash the power of the free-market.

One Response to Trust-but-verify economics

  1. Pingback: Trust-but-verify economics | Republican Party of Marathon County - Wisconsin

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