Ohio’s success rests on choices, not chance
Posted on 09/13/19 by Ben Stein (he/him) in Revenue & Budget
If you’re superstitious, today’s date—Friday the 13th—might have you worried. But at Policy Matters, we know tough times aren’t the result of bad luck, but bad policy. Families struggle to afford childcare, communities lack the resources to combat the opioid crisis and our K-12 funding formula has been unconstitutional for 20 years because legislators choose to fund corporate tax breaks over public services, not because a black cat crossed someone’s path.
Ohio workers have largely missed out on the benefits of this record economic expansion because of anti-union and anti-worker decisions made at the state and federal levels—not because of a broken mirror.
And no matter how many ladders we walk under or cracks we step on, it’s choices made by our leaders—choices that prioritize their corporate donors over their constituents— that prevent the energy-sector overhaul we need to stop the harm climate change is already doing to our kids—and the damage it’s certain to do if we don’t act.
It’s not by chance that Ohio job numbers, graduation rates and average income lag the national figures: It’s the result of conscious choices made by our elected officials. But our leaders can choose differently, and so can we. We can choose policies and leaders that reaffirm the dignity of work and reject the influence of moneyed interests. We can hold employers accountable when they steal from their workers. We can roll back the ineffective tax cuts that have syphoned money out of our budget without delivering the benefits their advocates promised. We can choose to build an economy the way we built the middle class: by strengthening unions, investing in the public sector and shoring up the social safety net.
At Policy Matters, we’re not superstitious. We know that with good public policy, we make our own luck.