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Ohio Governor John Kasich's union-busting Issue 2 has gone down in flames. By a 61%-39% margin, voters rejected Ohio Republicans attempt to pin state revenue shortfalls during a deep recession on unionized teachers, police, firefighters and other state public employees.
The question now remains: Will this humiliating defeat for John Kasich lead to a change in course by the Governor and his group of elected Republicans in Columbus?
It doesn't sound like it.
In an acceptance-of-defeat statement, Kasich said this...
Despite tonight’s outcome, it doesn’t change the fact that Ohio's ability to create a jobs-friendly climate is impacted by local governments' ability to reduce their costs.
Kasich is sticking to his supply side guns, no matter how many times he shoots his feet with them. The Republican Governor is definitely saying that unless Ohio state, city, county and township government workers earn less, Ohio won't be able to "create a jobs-friendly climate."
This Lehman Brothers-inspired thinking, especially during our current recession, is seriously misguided.
Demand for goods and services creates jobs. The entire concept of creating a "jobs-friendly environment" by demanding state employees, over 300,000 of them, to take a cut in pay and/or benefits,.....is bass-ackwards.
The less workers earn in Ohio, the less demand for goods and services there will be. Less demand for goods and services can only result in fewer jobs as the downward spiral of austerity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Ohioans don't want their state turning into Texas....a supply siders dream but often a nightmare for poor and vulnerable state citizens. Texas has no state income tax...is a right-to-work-for-less state...and offers it's citizens one of the most threadbare safety nets in the nation. 10% of all jobs created in Texas are minimum wage. Texas leads the country in the number of state citizens without health care coverage.
So, no....the idea that state citizens must earn less and have a lower standard of living in order for Ohio to increase jobs is not only misguided but fatalistic.
Yes, average Ohioans won one last night. But make no mistake, Kasich has not learned anything....and so the battle in Ohio of the haves versus the have-nots will continue. The only way for Ohio to fend off this supply side, backwards thinking is to send a majority of Democrats to Columbus next fall.
I mentioned this a few days ago, but I think it bears repeating. 39% of Ohio voters yesterday, almost all Republicans, voted to take wages and benefits away from the families of teachers, firefighters, police, nurses, and road workers. That same 39% will be back next fall to return Republican supply siders to Columbus. Those Republican voters have already come out in favor of siding with the haves at the expense of the have-nots. They will not stop in their efforts to change Ohio for the worse.
The rest of us must stop them.
Finally....and for me, this is the ass-kicker of this current Ohio saga.....the Ohio estate tax. Part of John Kasich's Lehman Brothers bible contains verses which place the wealthy on pedestals. This is a natural result of embracing top-down economic philosophy and rejecting a demand economy. So, as Governor Kasich and his knee jerk Republicans accuse state union workers of slowing job growth in Ohio by earning an average wage and average benefits.....the wealthiest less-than-1% of Ohio citizens will receive a huge windfall starting in 2013. No more estate tax.
Ending the estate tax in Ohio won't create any jobs.....because without increased demand by average consumers, average workers....no new jobs will be necessary.
Supply side economics has failed not only our state, but also the nation. It is, indeed, voodoo. Magical thinking. It is the job of Ohio citizens to keep fending off the threats posed by voodoo-economics leaders until those leaders can be replaced.