Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Can We Learn From The Past?

Over the past year, we have lost two of our finest business and community leaders:  Win Wallin and “Pinky” McNamara.  Their lives were similar in that they rose from modest circumstances, were enormously successful in business, and gave generously to create opportunities for others.  They dearly loved Minnesota and fully embraced the University of Minnesota.

Perhaps as we look at the current budget impasse, we can learn from them.  They knew how to put together a deal and make everyone feel good about it.  This was due to their ability to see opportunity when others could only see failure and to turn disadvantage into success.  Why not apply this attitude toward our state budget.

Since Wallin and McNamara understood the value of opening doors for the young, it may be well for the ultimate budget to do the same.  This vision covers wider concerns from education to creating an innovative growth-oriented economy.

Why not broaden the current debate from taxes (both party budgets call for sizeable tax increases but disagree on who pays) and focus instead on growing our economy and maximizing opportunities for the young.

Imagine bringing together community, academic, and business leaders in the mold of Wallin and McNamara and working towards an agreement that represents opportunity rather than political advantage?

After all, it was this focus that gave us these two remarkable men.

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