Warning to Ohioans: The 2017 Distressed Communities Index (DCI), published by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), shows just how distressed most of Ohio’s larger communities are today. Offering glaring detail any data cruncher relishes, the state of the Buckeye state stands in stark contrast to the fantasy propaganda Ohio Gov. John Kasich sells about how he took a state going broke and turned it around.
After seven years of a Kasich administration that’s pushed tax breaks for the wealthy, robed public school districts to fund poor if not corrupt for-profit charter schools, repealed the estate tax and sold off state assets for a few dollars today, all of which adds up to programs and policies that have put the state in retrograde motion, the DCI should cause media to start reporting that all is not well in Ohio.
The DCI combines seven complementary metrics into a broad-based assessment of community economic well-being in the United States, EIG says about its methodology. The nuts and bolts of the report uses Census Bureau data for the years 2011 to 2015 to report on 26,000 zip codes and 99.9 percent of the U.S. population, as well as cities, counties and congressional districts.
As the report says, it helps “Americans to understand how their local well-being stacks up at every scale of life,” EIG says, explaining that each community is graded as prosperous, comfortable, mid-tier, at risk, and distressed.
Without going into detail here, all of Ohio’s major cities fall into the high end of the distressed index. Ohio’s population is stagnant, which means it’s not growing at the rate the national population is, which in turn means less economic growth and fewer jobs.
Kasich has now overseen 58 straight months of under performing the national job creation average, so when he talks glowingly about creating more than 400,000 jobs on his watch, that may sound impressive to the uninformed, but in the context of how Ohio stacks up compared to other states, it’s not good.
Democratic candidates for governor and others running next year for statewide offices, should seize on the DCI data in order to advance their agenda that they can do better. If Ohio voters want change from the stagnation Kasich and company have overseen, change can be just one election away.
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