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I'd be really interested to hear opinions about this. I found some of the statistics in it close to unbelievable, but I trust the writer.

It's about poverty in Ohio.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1076608,00.html

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Comments

qowf
Nov. 3rd, 2003 10:42 am (UTC)
Dude. Where ever you live, you don't live in Southern Ohio otherwise you'd try not to debunk this.

These statistics are accurate. My family is from Southern Ohio. They and their friends have varying degress of education. Most members are not middle management. There have been so many layoffs; they live in fear for their jobs because jobs in Southern Ohio are hard to come by and harder to keep.

Southern Ohio has been experiencing a depression since the early eighties due to the fact that so many of the jobs in the region, in fact, the region's prosperity was built in manufacturing. Computer technology, the shipping of jobs overseas to cheaper labor and automation of jobs that it took people to do before have stripped the work places of jobs. Machining is not a big focus anymore which means the job market is not booming in Southern Ohio. In the jobs that are there, many people have been forced to take pay cuts to *keep* their jobs. Unemployment has sucked in that region of the country for a long, long time.

The only thing that is there is govermental contract work and that's hard to get. My husband and I have considered moving back there because one thing the area has is excellent schools and a low standard of living. However the only way we'd consider that is if I could land a job on Base because *that's* the only job with security in the area.

This is the wrong section of the country to pull out spin statistics. I'm sure in others it would suffice, however, not in Southern Ohio.
timesink
Nov. 3rd, 2003 11:29 am (UTC)
the region's prosperity was built in manufacturing

And coal, right? High-sulfur coal, the kind that causes acid rain. The kind that costs companies a lot in scrubbers and other environmentally-friendly whatnot, so why not buy low-sulfur coal instead?

leadensky, I recognize your name from other political discussions, and generally you and I share a worldview. But this article is dead on. Rural America is taking the brunt of the paradigm shift to a service-driven economy, and there's little that's been done about it -- unless you count government cheese.

qowf
Nov. 3rd, 2003 12:33 pm (UTC)
>>And coal, right? High-sulfur coal<<

Yep, said the woman who's grandfather and uncle worked at the steel mills in the area, whose aforementioned uncle still walks the coke pits on holidays for quadruple pay. It's the only way he and his family can afford Christmas.
leadensky
Nov. 3rd, 2003 01:48 pm (UTC)
Rural America is taking the brunt of the paradigm shift to a service-driven economy, and there's little that's been done about it -- unless you count government cheese.

As a person whose family has traditionally been farmers on both sides for several generations, I am well aware of this. The problem is that there is, actually, fuckall that can be done.

Farming, logging and mining jobs are going away. The people involved in those will have to re-train, and, in most cases, re-locate. Most people are resistent to that. In addition, the people most able to do so, have already done so, before the situation got desperate.

Wages are linked to the value of product produced. Jobs are linked to the number of manhours required to produce the product.

Automation lowers the cost of the product by decreasing the manhours required. Iron, coal, wheat and lumber are commodities that face pressure from overseas producers who can pay top wages for their products in that area and still undercut American wages by 50 to 90%.

There is not a government program on the planet that can make companies employ people at a loss to that company. And there's very little one can say to make me pay more taxes to support people who aren't working.

(Charity I do. Charity I do a lot. But I won't pay the government waste monster in the middle.)

And with dairy price supports declining, there's not even much cheese to go around.

- hg
leadensky
Nov. 3rd, 2003 01:55 pm (UTC)
NATIONWIDE a greater percentage of jobs have been lost in middle management. The article uses both national and local stats, as benifits it's message.

I am aware there are pockets of the country where automation and industry decline has decreased the number of jobs required.

Southern Ohio has been experiencing a depression since the early eighties due to the fact that so many of the jobs in the region, in fact, the region's prosperity was built in manufacturing. Computer technology, the shipping of jobs overseas to cheaper labor and automation of jobs that it took people to do before have stripped the work places of jobs. Machining is not a big focus anymore which means the job market is not booming in Southern Ohio.

Right. I don't argue this. But what's the solution? What sort of companies can employ these people? What sort of jobs can they do?

And what sort of hurdles (environmental and otherwise) do new companies face starting up in the region?

The situation there sucks for a lot of people - okay, I get that. So now what?

- hossgal