Experts have estimated that Ohio is somewhere in the ballpark of $8 billion in debt, and the state’s unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is at 9.5 percent. Connected to Ohio’s economic woes are students at Ohio State, where rumors of a tuition raise are rife. Couple this with President Barack Obama’s economic proposal to eliminate Pell Grants, and the modern student will profess to profuse sweating.
To get Ohioans back to work and to bring companies to the state, Gov. John Kasich and the new head of Ohio’s Department of Development Mark Kvamme have started work on JobsOhio, a private, nonprofit organization seeking to revitalize Ohio’s economy. Red flags, however, need to be raised.
First, Kvamme is a venture capitalist that is a resident of California, not Ohio. This fact has elicited claims of Kvamme’s appointment as being unconstitutional, and undeniably he should be viewed with suspicion; he’s an individual that has been appointed to a state position in a location where he doesn’t plan to reside. Kvamme receives no additional trust for a comment made in an interview that ran in The Columbus Dispatch on Feb. 19, as he blamed only the federal government for causing the economic crisis.
Mystifyingly detaching the blame from close-fisted CEO’s suspicion aside, Kvamme should have his opportunity to get companies and jobs to come to Ohio, but it comes at the cost of the second red flag.
The second imperative issue is that Kasich is familiar with America’s corporate sector; his management position with Lehman Brothers investment firm serves as vital knowledge in what position Ohioans and students should take toward Kasich’s policies in making decisions for Ohio. Kasich has claimed that JobsOhio will be completely transparent, but the only transparent functions announced are four meetings throughout the year and an annual report. One annual report is not enough. The costs of this organization to taxpayers and what money goes into the company need to be shown in a monthly report. State money in an $8 billion deficit is nothing to mishandle.
Similar to Kvamme, Kasich deserves his opportunity to improve this state. Regardless of the strategy, if it places Ohio’s economy in a positive direction, it’s an excellent idea. The truth is, however, that America’s financial collapse needs to be fresh in the minds of everyone. Big business and its propensity to overpay higher-ups was one of the many factors that led to the economic meltdown. Kasich and Kvamme need to remember that this is a state, not a corporation. The citizens and students who reside here are not your employees; they are citizens that form this state, and we have the choice in deciding how long you keep your positions.