Saturday, January 05, 2008

Everyone's leaving Ohio!

Our local newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch, has an article titled "More people leaving Ohio". Basically, the article is stating that more people are leaving Ohio then coming here. This claim is based on the fact that United Van Lines says for the 15th consecutive year, 57% percent of the moves they have made are out of Ohio.

No one should be suprised hearing this news. That's right, absolutely no one.

Ohio's Economy sucks. We have auto plants closing, or near-closing every year. Many of those who worked in the manufacturing industry that we've known over years, are gone, retired (not by choice) or are working in jobs that are no where near as advanced (nor well paying) as what they were doing in the steel and auto industries. Some of our cities don't rank well. Topics of discussion with family members are often dominated with the debate of whether to accept the then-current early retirement package being offered by insert manufacturing company with a union here.

We in Ohio cannot seem to keep religious matters from imposing upon everyone in the state. We seem to have religious wacko's coming out of the wood work (ahem, from the Cincinati area) working to tell everyone how to act. Will the young people in our state stay in such an environment? No, they won't. Look at the populations of some states out west. They are closing grade schools because there is no young population base that's marrying and having kids to supply the schools. They're all leaving or already left (we have family in Oklahoma, someday I'll write about that).

The higher-education situation in Ohio sucks too. For a few years now, there've been a lot Ohioans going to North Carolina (and obviously other states). Why? Because it's cheaper to go there in-order to send their kids to college. Yes, for a few years they are paying NC's out-of-state tuition rate, but it's far cheaper to do so then stay in Ohio and pay Ohio's in-state rates. Obviously, after you've moved down south to educate your family, and enjoyed the warmer temperatures, why would you move back to Ohio? Answer: you won't.

The last 15 years of "Republican Control" have stagnated Ohio's Economy. The decision to cut higher education funding (hence force the Colleges to significantly increase their rates) immediately started killing Ohio's economy because it's becoming near impossible for many people to send their kids to state schools. Prior to this, in-state schools were always the cheaper schools to send your children to. Another boneheaded cut - From 2001 to 2003 Ohio cut $268 million out of their child care assistance fund. If you have a part of our population who aren't making squat, have children, want to goto college and will eventually have a decent income from having gone to college why would you cut their knees out from underneath them? If they cannot afford childcare, they won't attend college. It's that simple; Help them help themselves to earn a decent income and fuel that tax base.

Thankfully Ken Blackwell didn't win the election. We'd already discussed how soon we could relocate out of the state if he'd won.

This all lends itself to a higher-education brain-drain throughout the state. Who thinks that will help attract industry? (I will admit the decision to drop Ohio's Tangible Personal Property Tax was a smart, belated, move).

If you have no people, you have no tax base. That's a brow-raising thought isn't it? Look out west for what Ohio could easily become.