Using the words "WMC" and "optimism" in the same context is moving very quickly up my favorite list of oxymorons. I discovered this very rare usage today in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The story reported the results of a survey of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce board of directors and members. In unprecedented fashion they actually showed some optimism for a change.
WMC has been notorious for constant negativity and the bashing of Wisconsin's business climate. They are also a major force behind the entire "tax hell" myth, even as Wisconsin's rankings have gone way down under Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. The lowest tax rankings in 49 years in fact. Remarkably, a majority of those surveyed identified the effects of the (Bush) economic downturn as their number one concern (44%) as opposed to taxes (19%) and regulation (16%). A full 45% said that they planned on hiring over the next 12 months. Again, these are large companies that are members of WMC, not just companies in general. Given where these numbers are coming from, I find them remarkable. WMC and (slight) optimism, who would have thought it was even possible?
Now for a survey of one. Given its record of being the sugar-daddy arm of the Republican Party, I fully expect WMC as an organization to flip on these latest survey results as the political season continues to heat up. It simply isn't in their narrow political interests to be optimistic about anything going into a political season. So you can expect them to go right back to the Republican "Party of No" playbook: doom, gloom, negativity and general bashing of Wisconsin.