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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Saturday, October 02, 2004

    And now...back to Ohio's excellent economy 

    With President Bush in Cuyahoga Falls today and John Kerry holding a town meeting near Youngstown tomorrow, it would be useful if the candidates previewed the arguments they will make and the answers they will provide about the economy in their third debate. The president believes there are simply pockets of despair in Ohio's laggard economy whereas Kerry recognizes the larger problem but offers solutions that will surely fall short if the state does not fix its broken education system, reassessing how and how much it is willing to support primary through post-graduate studies. Here are some gleanings to ponder:

    - Because Ohio has nearly 370,000 unemployed, the state will receive another $863,000 in federal funds to help retrain workers who lose their jobs due to foreign trade. Sounds good, huh? The money is enough to train only 2,000 laid-off workers at any one time. ``Other states get far more of such funds,'' says Toledo Blade business writer Jon Chavez, ``which suggests Ohio's job losses aren't as heavily influenced by foreign trade.'' But they loss exists and it hurts.

    - The hurt is evident in the inability of former Republic Technologies International LLC to get the ``shutdown pensions'' to which about 2,500 workers thought they were entitled. The 6th U.s. Circuit Court of Appeals said no. The hurt also is obvious in new statistics from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Toledo. Bankruptcies in 20 Northwest Ohio counties already have reached 8,218, making 2004
    the third highest number in court history with three months remaining in the year.

    - Ohio also is a lousy place to have a low-paid job. Plain Dealer business reporter Alison Grant points out that in Ohio's set-up ``low wage workers have gradually been squeezed out of qualifying for unemployment benefits. Other states use more generous criteria.

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 1:17 PM

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