Friday, September 05, 2008

Ohio First

Null Space offers an interesting analysis of one part of Ohio's latest plan for economic development:

There has to be a better way than what we do now and I am not sure what Ohio is thinking of is really anything different. It has a few different tactics in there, including greater emphasis on workforce, innovation zones and related things. That's good, but remember, the biggest flows of migration both into and out of Pittsburgh always include Cleveland and several other Ohio regions. That type of workforce integration works across all the metropolitan and micropolitan regions through out Ohio and its neighbors. So I am not quite sure what it means to aim for greater job growth than the neighbors you are most integrated with. Maybe the goal ought to be a strategy that improves conditions across the greater region. Anything less and it has to devolve into some form of Russian roulette. Why try to take economic growth away from.... yourself?

Ohio's solution is parochialism at its worst. While globalization transforms the world, the folks in Columbus are living in a bunker designed during the heydays of industrialization. The my-state-versus-your-state approach is, at best, a tragedy of the commons.

Aiming to roll out of the gutter is not the kind of vision Ohio needs.

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