Hamilton Journal News
Ohio’s strategy needs to be more than ‘talk, talk ...’
Talking up Ohio’s pluses, as Gov. Mike DeWine wants to do — albeit at a possible cost of $50 million — isn’t a bad idea. Trouble is, even with Ohio’s distinctions, its leaders have some explaining to do.
■ Why Ohio incomes, on a per capita basis, lag the nation’s.
■ Why, in a nation made digital-first by COVID-19, Ohio continues to futz around about statewide broadband access. Talk, talk, talk: That’s Ohio’s broadband “strategy.”
■ Why Ohio’s purportedly liberal Democratic Party has yet to elect a Black Ohioan to a statewide executive elected office. (Democrats did nominate and help elect Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart, a Greater Cleveland Democrat.)
But Republicans nominated Ohio’s first elected Black statewide executive officeholder, Cincinnati’s J. Kenneth Blackwell, who was state treasurer, then secretary of state, then the GOP’s 2006 nominee for governor.. Moreover, Republican Gov. James A. Rhodes appointed, and voters subsequently elected, the Ohio Supreme Court’s first black justice, the late Robert M. Duncan.
■ Why Ohio’s purportedly conservative Republican Party, defenders of the Constitution, are forever trying to roll back a woman’s right to decide if, and when, she will bear a child.
■ How Ohio realistically can lure Californians and New Yorkers to move to Ohio. Example: Two years ago, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that per capita personal income in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area was $79,844. In the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area, it was $66,854.
But per capita personal income in the Cincinnati metropolitan area was $56,033. In the Cleveland metropolitan area, it was $55,451. In the Columbus metropolitan area, $52,477 — and in the Dayton metropolitan area, $49,161.
Inevitable counter-argument: Taxes are killing New Yorkers and Californians, and scaring off businesses. But according to the U.S. Regional Economic Analysis Project, per capita personal income in New York in 2019 was $71,717; in California,
$66,619; in Ohio, $50,199 — and, nationwide, in all 50 states, it was $56,490.
Then comes what’s supposed to be the ultimate, unbeatable argument for why people should leave Manhattan and Beverly Hills for suburban Ohio: “Your dollar goes further in Ohio.”
Actually, it doesn’t go very far at all.
You send dollars to the electric company and the insurance company, a few counties away.
The electric company and insurance company pay Statehouse lobbyists to … persuade … Ohio politicians to boost your electric rates or make it harder for you to win a personal-injury lawsuit — a perpetual motion machine that strip-mines your checkbook.
As Ohio attractions go, the State Fair’s butter cow and Saturdays in Ohio Stadium are decent lures.
But they can’t hide the fact that, yeah, sure, some people in Ohio are making money — but you may not be one of them.