Sunday, July 11, 2010

Forum Unable To Avert Recession

Tom Daykin reports the findings of a new study of the Main Street Milwaukee program, conducted by the Public Policy Forum, shows the program has unclear goals and is in poor condition.

The study focuses on the years 2005 through 2009. Now, the program may have coordination, funding, and vision issues. But to draw any definitive conclusions from data gathered in which half of the years being studied were recessionary is unfair.

To knock business and job creation during such a period is ridiculous. Is the Public Policy Forum unaware that the country, and the world, has been losing jobs? Do they really believe "more expertise in economic development" would have changed the program's outcomes during this recession?

This is analogous to saying the Public Policy Forum is failing the public because it hasn't developed public policies to help Milwaukee avoid the negative consequences of the recession. So, according to their own logic, the funders of the Forum should demand more accountability of the Forum managers, hire people with more public policy expertise, and specify the Forum's mission.

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