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Mar 5, 201901:04 PMMaking Madison

with Buckley Brinkman

Capitol’s partisan divide looks like a middle school dance

(page 2 of 2)

Our most pressing issues require all of us to work together and pool our talents. Almost all of us agree about these problems and the key decisions we need to make:

  • Body gap — We need more people to keep our economy growing, but demographics show that our workforce will not grow for at least the next two decades.
  • Aging population — We’re getting older. That creates funding issues across the economy as fewer people work and more people retire.
  • Technology and cybersecurity — Expanding technology makes our lives easier and also exposes us to more threats than ever before.
  • Education transformation — Knowledge changes with technology and moves faster than ever. Our educational systems must react by becoming more nimble and focused, while also preserving the value of basic learning.
  • Infrastructure — Our physical support systems are a mess. Experts say we need investments of more than $1 trillion to bring them up to snuff.

We’ve ignored these issues for far too long, and exponential change accelerates the impact of these shortfalls. Conversely, responding quickly can create tremendous opportunities for Wisconsin and all our people.

This list demonstrates what we face and how critically we need compromise. Our federal leaders remain stuck because they traded cooperation for political gains a long time ago. Our future depends on local leadership. States that build the most pragmatic and nimble governance will win the battles for future growth opportunities.

The budget provides a great format to build compromise and a common vision for the future. Let’s find a shared path forward.

Dad was right: It does take two to tango! Shall we dance?

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About This Blog

Buckley Brinkman is executive director and CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity and writes about the manufacturing sector in Greater Madison and throughout Wisconsin. He has a breadth of experience in helping companies drive growth, world-class competitiveness, and performance excellence, and has led efforts to save dozens of operations in the U.S. by finding new ways for them to compete. A Wisconsin native, Brinkman holds a business degree from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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