In this commentary, originally published in Maine Ahead Magazine, Perry Newman of the Atlantica Group LLC addresses the current state of political campaigns and leadership in Maine. Political candidates and leaders tend to reminisce about the “good old days,” instead of focusing on solutions to the economic problems that have presented themselves today.

Rather than obsessing over a time when a young man could count on a job at the mill upon graduation, Newman suggests Maine’s leaders address themselves to Maine’s new realities. Such as the fact that Maine’s agriculture sector has very little chance of moving the state’s economy forward. Or that the same can be said for the paper industry. While important, these sectors are unlikely to rise to the level where they were once the central drivers in Maine’s economy.

In Nostalgia isn’t a strategy, Newman calls for Maine’s leadership to focus on the future, not the past. Policymakers need to avoid trying to rescue the old ways and instead make every effort to help Maine industry, new and old, be competitive for the future. Leadership must level with the voter and explore economic development policies that will benefit them today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

Click here to read the full commentary.