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Michigan embezzler

Surprisingly, a D.C. think tank recently concluded a study into the performance of State Economic Development Agencies similar to the JobsOhio plan that Governor Kasich wishes to implement.  (A copy of the study after the jump)

“Rather than making economic development activities more effective, privatization often is little more than a power grab by governors and powerful business interests.”—Good Jobs First.

It’s findings found, shall we say, a few  problems:

  • The idea of privatizing economic development isn’t new, but over twenty years old;
  • The trend nationally is that States are actually going from privatizing entities back to a public entity;
  • Privatized entities have all had at least some of the following problems:
    1. Misuse of taxpayer funds;
    2. Excessive executive bonuses;
    3. Questionable subsidies given to members of the entity;
    4. Conflicts of interest in subsidy awards;
    5. Questionable claims of effectiveness;
    6. Resistance to accountability

Thank goodness, we don’t have a Governor that’s shown a tendency to pay people exorbitant salaries, dismissal of transparency, and a tendency to engage in cronyism by appointing his biggest donors and personal friends… to usher in JobsOhio, or else JobsOhio might be doomed to fail from the start.

But it worked in Indiana, right?

A former budget official in Indiana told a reporter that “most of
the numbers [IEDC] gave us were either not true or could not be substantiated,” adding that he considered IEDC “a political organization that really only served to make it seem like the governor was doing something about the economy.”

Funny, the same thing could be said about JobsOhio…

So what was the Kasich’s Administration reaction to yet another report detailing, state by state, how privatizing economic development functions has not resulted in an inherently better results, but instead created more problems than they solved?

"Ohio’s government-run economic development efforts have failed Ohio’s taxpayers for far too long because they’ve failed to produce the job-creating results our state so desperately needs. A private sector approach can be more accountable to taxpayers because it can more adroitly respond to Ohio’s economic needs and be as nimble as the businesses it seeks to help thrive, retain and recruit.

"That accountability includes being a good steward of both the public’s trust and its resource and there’s a strong commitment to making sure that happens." [Source: Columbus Dispatch Daily Briefing Blog, 1/12/11]

What’s that saying about people who refuse to learn the lessons of history?

Good Jobs First Power Grab Study

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