Thomas Suddes, a member of the Plain Dealer editorial board writes:
Fact One: In 2013, half of Ohio’s households had an income above $46,398 — and half below $46,398. (“Median household income” is the fancy-dancy term.)
But — Fact Two: Adjusted for inflation, 1984’s Ohio median household was about $3,000 more than that — $49,378.
That is, Ohioans, on average, are worse off than they were 30 years ago. And as noted here before, Ohio’s poverty rate, according to the Development Services Agency, is 16 percent. In 1979, just before the Reagan Revolution, Ohio’s poverty rate was 10.3 percent.
Bottom line: Despite the mumbo-jumbo from both major political parties — about tax cuts and “jobs ‘n’ progress” and supply-side “economics” — Ohioans aren’t sitting pretty. If you think otherwise, drive through what once were factory workers’ neighborhoods in Greater Cleveland, or Youngstown and Warren, or Mansfield, or the Miami Valley.
I would add that things are worse off in Ashtabula County. We must work to increase our “collective impact” on raising prosperity across the county! We need more high skilled and professional jobs in the county and not more entry level jobs in retail, services, and manufacturing. We must set in motion a leapfrogging strategy that carries us along the innovation path to economic development. And we must get ready for the “on-demand economy” discussed in last week’s forum series.