The Buckeye Institute today released our latest report Ohio Right-to-Work: How the Economic Freedom of Workers Enhances Prosperity [bad link fixed]. I hope you will take the time to read it. It is an important issue for the state of Ohio and our economic future.
In the aftermath of the heated debate surrounding Senate Bill 5, and the overwhelming loss of Issue 2 this past November, there are many who feel this is not a good time to be reengaging the public and policy makers on labor law reform.
We disagree. In fact, in light of the passage of a right-to-work law in Indiana this is not a conversation states like Ohio can avoid. The debate has been ignited in Michigan, Minnesota, and a number of other states seeking to break out of the economic stagnation so many have experienced.
Ohio simply can’t afford to take large-scale reform off the table, particularly reforms that have the potential to mean significant economic growth and opportunity for its citizens. Ohio must stop the outflow of jobs and people to the south and west. Right-to-work is an integral part of this debate.
The reality is that Ohio has been falling farther and farther behind economically for decades.
Here are some startling statistics from the report released today:
- From 1977 to 2008 the inflation-adjusted personal income of Ohioans grew just over 35 percent compared to 55 percent for the nation as a whole.
- Ohio had the third lowest rate of growth (as measured by personal income) during this period. Only Michigan and West Virginia saw lower growth in personal income.
- During this period per capita income in Ohio fell from slightly over 1 percent higher than the national average to around 11percent below the national average.
In the weeks and months ahead the Buckeye Institute will be driving the debate on this issue but based on the facts and history as outlined in this report not on the myths and misinformation that are already being spread.
Ohio can’t avoid the economic reality and the changes happening just across our borders. If we are to compete and prosper tough choices will have to be made and fundamental reforms tackled.
The future of our communities depends on it.