There are only two clear and undeniable ways to gauge the will of the people.
How they vote and if they move.
In elections, millions of Ohioans choose who they believe will best lead their state.
When people decide to move, they use a predetermined set of variables to decide that they want to live somewhere else. These variables can be anything from wanting to live somewhere warmer to wanting to go somewhere where it’s easier to get a job.
Recently, we learned Ohio isn’t the most attractive state in the union.
Under state law, the General Assembly will be required to adjust congressional boundaries after the 2010 U.S. census. Even though the state is expected to gain population — it added about 14,600 residents between July 2008 and last July — Ohio will lose one congressional seat for sure, and probably two, because the 435 seats in the House are apportioned nationally.
As a result, the fast-growing states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina among them — each will gain a seat in Congress, while states with relatively stagnant population growth, including Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania, each will lose a seat.
Ohio is the only state in jeopardy of losing two seats, according to an analysis of census estimates by The Plain Dealer. It determined that Ohio is 42,753 people short of securing 17 seats in the House.
That’s not good.
Less congressional seats = less influence in the federal government. It means fewer Congressmen looking out for the best interests of the great state of Ohio.
In the most recent estimate released earlier this week by the U.S. Census, Ohio’s population growth accounted for only 6% of the total growth of the 12 states that encompass the Midwest as defined by the census.
That means with all geographical factors being relatively constant, there are other reasons why Ohioans and Americans as a whole are avoiding Ohio.
These people are voting with their feet.
Ohio needs recharged. It needs revitalized. It needs to be seen as a new symbol of what it made it great for so long – a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.
This isn’t something that can be fixed with a slogan. Ohio’s economy hasn’t been jumpstarted by any stimulus. And Green Jobs aren’t going to right the ship.
Interestingly enough, two of the top five growing states, Texas and Florida, are states without an income tax. Some like to characterize the idea of eliminating Ohio’s income tax as extreme. Well, those voting with their feet seem to disagree. Perhaps a more fair tax system has made these states more attractive. Because one thing is for sure, their weather sure hasn’t changed.