Restore

I believe a strong middle class sustains a strong economy. When working class people make more they buy cars, houses, new washers and dryers, have their homes fixed and remodeled, and on and on. When the super wealthy make more from their investments they just add another column to their bank balance. Jobs are created because there is a demand for products and services not because taxes are low for rich people. In order for our economy to grow we need an economy that is fair for working people. The people and communities who have been abandoned by our political and business leaders. The key to transforming our economy starts with demanding loyalty from the business community, insisting our leaders take responsibility for providing the infrastructure businesses need to be competitive and grow, and building a world class public education system.

Loyalty

It is not the fault of the corporate business community that they lack loyalty to America, we have allowed them to do so through the definition of their responsibilities, our willingness to let them shift jobs overseas, and our corporate welfare programs which rewards big business for moving jobs and provides them with significant advantage over small business. The officers of a corporation in Ohio are defined as having a responsibility to the corporation itself and the shareholders of the corporation. I believe this definition is inadequate because we the taxpayers of the communities where businesses are located are also stakeholders. We invest in the physical infrastructure roads, bridges, utilities, etc. which they need to operate and we train their current and future workforce, yet we are given no consideration in the decision making process. We actually do ourselves a disservice by offering tax breaks and financial incentives to companies who move. It is time we are included in the definition as stakeholders worthy of consideration and build lasting relationships with the business community. This will diminish a profitable corporation’s ability to shutter operations in Ohio and ship your job overseas all for the sake of maximizing shareholder return. We are going to stop racing to the bottom and start lifting each other up.

Responsibility

We also have a responsibility to the business community. A responsibility to educate the workforce of tomorrow and to provide a reliable modern infrastructure, we are currently failing at both. I am proposing a shift of all resources currently provided as corporate welfare including both tax breaks and cash incentives to programs which will co-invest in providing state of the art machinery and equipment and instruction to our local school systems. We need a collective effort to train tomorrows workforce and deliver jobs that pay dignified wages. The taxpayers of Ohio can clearly afford to put in our part we currently award in excess of $85 million dollars a year in refundable tax breaks to corporate America and JobsOhio receives state funding in excess of $120 million per year and currently has over $408 million in reserves. Given their opening in November 2011 this represents an average yearly accumulation of $80 million, it is clear these much needed funds can be redirected to our communities most of which will never see a JobsOhio project.

 

New Opportunities

We need to embrace opportunities for new entrepreneurs to start new agricultural, main street, and manufacturing businesses by providing access to capital and small business services. Our focus should be on our depressed neighborhoods and small towns that have been decimated over the course of the last 30+ years as scores of jobs left town and we left people behind. These communities represent the greatest opportunity for growing our economy and converting people back to taxpayers and empowered citizens.