Back in 2009, Republicans blamed former Gov. Ted Strickland for letting NCR move from Dayton to Atlanta. At the time, citizen John Kasich attempted to ridicule his predecessor at a GOP dinner event, claiming that if he was governor “he would have gone to the CEO’s house and ‘that guy couldn’t get out of his driveway because I’d be sitting on the hood of his car.’”
Goodyear Marches to Mexico
Maybe Gov. Kasich should have been sitting on the hood of the car of Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer instead abandoning Ohio and traipsing off to early presidential primary states trying to breath life into his moribund campaign for president. While Gov. Kasich has been away pushing a federal balanced budget amendment and unsuccessfully trying to boost his name recognition, which hoovers barely above zero, Goodyear, headquartered in Ohio, decided to go play in another country. Since Congressman Kasich voted for NAFTA, he shouldn’t have been surprised to learn the company said it will build its new $550 million state-of-the-art tire plant in Mexico instead of Akron.
A company spokesman said the new plant, the company’s first in Mexico, will be capable of turning out 6 million premium consumer tires per year to serve customers in North and South America, as reported by The Cleveland Plain Dealer Saturday. When the company announced plans to build the plant last summer, Akron and Chester County, South Carolina, made bids to attract the factory, which the company says will employ about 1,000 people. Ohio could use those jobs, given Gov. Kasich’s poor and too slow performance on the jobs front that has now placed the state 37th in job creation, and extended its streak of consecutive months below the national average for job creation to 29, as reported by Plunderbund.
Goodyear said it chose Mexico because of its central location in both North America and the growing South American consumer tire market. Surely Gov. Kasich, who gave away hundreds of millions in tax incentives to keep a handful of other big Ohio-based corporations, knows how important a thousands jobs is to the more than 50,000 Ohio workers still looking for work. Akron officials said a preliminary analysis showed the new plant could have resulted in $150 million in new payroll for the Akron area. Building the plant in Akron would bring in $2.6 million in new payroll taxes for the city. Goodyear officials said an Akron location would add more than $50 million a year in costs over other locations. It’s safe to say that state or national media won’t challenge the governor on why he let this big one get away, when he gave tens of millions to other companies were seemed to be playing state officials for all they could get out of them.
Kasich Blames University Tenure
Ohio’s governor doesn’t seem to be keen on what he calls “old line” industries like making tires. He’s rather have the likes of Google and Amazon setting up shop in Ohio, but they’re not doing that, and probably won’t even though Mr. Kasich talks a good game on being business friendly again. He’s backward thinking on energy, where he froze the state’s renewable energy portfolio. While in Washington recently, he pretty much trashed Ohio universities for not being innovative enough for his tastes. “The Midwest for whatever reason gets extremely comfortable with the status quo. Change is not something that they get real excited about. And it’s reflected in our university structures,” he said, the PD reported.
True to his partisan ideological belief that unions of any kind are bad for business, he blamed tenure at universities for Ohio not being more innovative and entrepreneurial. Kasich said western and eastern universities are open to promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs who put together creative partnerships that work.
“You can’t commercialize most of the products out of our universities in most places in the country. Why? Because there’s not a culture of innovation. There’s not a culture of risk-taking. There’s not a culture of people getting excited about new ideas.” Gov. Kasich said, identifying tenure as the enemy.
“I don’t know if that’s a 17th or 18th Century philosophy, but the rules of tenure in my opinion create the disincentive for people to be risk-takers,” he said, the PD reported. “Tenure puts a premium on academic publishing over innovation and then protects the status quo rather than rewarding risk takers.”