Yesterday, John Kasich announced his JobsOhio plan to legalize bribery privatize the Ohio Department of Development and create a board of corporate campaign donors executives who will be paid their private market rates in salaries and bonuses for deciding which business get how much of a slice of the corporate welfare pie in Ohio.  By promising Lehman Brothers-type compensation and bonus packages, you’d think someone would ask how is increasing overhead costs to administer these programs going to lead to a better result.  But what do I know?  I’m just applying rational thought and logic.

Last night, I mentioned that the same approach was tried in Florida with questionable results.  But perhaps that’s an unfair comparison given the vast differences between Florida and Ohio.  Maybe I should have looked for an industrialized midwestern State that was more like Ohio than Florida is…

How about Michigan?  Yep, Michigan has its non-profit corporation for economic development called the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  And how’s Michigan doing?


Worse than Ohio.  It’s 50th out of 51 for unemployment in the nation.  It had been rock bottom until Nevada beat it out (which I’ll write about later…)

On top of that, the Michigan corporation was criticized just a few months ago as being “ineffective,”  “inefficient,” and “irresponsible” after it gave a convicted embezzler still on parole a $9.1 million subsidy deal

Michigan embezzler

Critics have charged that as a corporation the MEDC is not transparent and creates “more job announcements than jobs.”

The Auditor General’s report said a number of companies that didn’t meet certain MEGA requirements were awarded the tax credits anyway, according to spot checks it conducted.

A Mackinac Center study of MEGA tax credits awarded between 1999 and 2004 found just 29 percent of the jobs promised by the companies receiving the credits actually were created.

Different isn’t always better.  And the reality is that the knowledge base and skill sets required to being effective at macro economic development is vastly different from the knowledge base and skill sets required to being an effective corporate executive.  That is one of the fundamental flawed assumptions of Kasich’s proposal: that success in business = success in knowing what works in economic development.

JimTresselNotHappyWoody Hayes or Jim Tressel would never copy from Michigan, and neither should our Governor.

And they sure as hell wouldn’t do it if they knew it didn’t work.  And yet, that’s what John Kasich wants to do.  He wants to bring the Michigan economic playbook to Columbus.  Instead of trying to beat Michigan.  John Kasich wants us to be Michigan.

Well, not for me, thanks.

I’ve got something to tell ya, Mr. Kasich:

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