Ohio : Respite for the Working Poor

Submitted by DerekArnold on Wed, 02/01/2006 - 00:52.

I was reading a series on the working poor from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (you know, Cleveland had two newspapers once--Seattle has the Times and the P-I--but I digress) and I thought of a way to (1) jumpstart Ohio's economy and (2) bring bright, motivated people to Ohio. 

How about this:

           We reward people who give time to Ohio.  I can envision a program where the State by way of educational credits and loan forgiveness (not unlike how Teach for America operates) that encourages people, especially those in lower-paying fields such as social work and education, to move here and get loan help for a given time period (1, 2, 5, 10 years) and earn loan forgiveness.  Even if they depart Ohio after their term is up, they will have done good work while they are here.  They get their load lifted and experience, the state gets people who like what they do and provides some of the services that were lacking.


Also, as an added inducement, people who are Ohio natives (born in Ohio or have a H.S. diploma from an Ohio high school) or graduated from an Ohio university will get a little more loan help. 


I bet you are all wondering how this should be funded.  I am glad that you asked...

The state should repeal all of the tax cuts for the wealthy and for big businesses that have been passed in recent years.  Any business or wealthy person that complains simply does not believe in Ohio.  So, frankly, who cares what they have to say?  Their businesses will benefit anyway because they will have more potential customers.  These customers will be very educated and will need resources just as the current citizens do.  This money sitting in their bank accounts collecting dust or in shareholders accounts collecting dust (or interest) does the masses in Ohio not as much good as it would providing funds for teachers, social workers and various educated but financially burdened citizens.



You are correct that there need to be incentives - rather than the present disincentives – to bring social service workers and socially oriented business plans to lower income and economically deprived areas.    Our present system addresses economic and social problems by allowing those most able to physically MOVE AWAY from these areas, leaving those less mobile –almost always because they are less well off financially -  in a downward spiral of falling home values, and failing work opportunity. 
I think this has developed what is essentially a “caste system” in our country.  This will eventually blow up in our faces if we don’t address it sooner rather than later.   Because the entire population does pay the freight – in crime, in lack of educated labor, in poor health – it is actually more efficient economically to resolve the social issues head on as you suggest.    

Why don’t you write up a prototype piece of legislation - post it on Realneo so it can get kicked around - and send it on to Ms Tubbs Jones and/or to our state reps.


best jeff