Posted on | October 1, 2012 | 26 Comments
Back home from a week in Ohio, I find the two latest polls — from PPP and the Columbus Dispatch — showing Obama still ahead in the Buckeye State, although not by the insane 7- to 10-point margins claimed by polls last week. Anybody can report on the polls, but what about the reality on the ground in Ohio?
One of the bits of Conventional Wisdom you hear about why Mitt Romney is having a hard time in Ohio is that the economy isn’t so bad there. Republican Gov. John Kasich’s pro-business policies have ameliorated the state’s woes, and many Ohioans are also grateful for the GM bailout, so therefore (according to the Conventional Wisdom) Romney’s economic message doesn’t resonate as much.
Being habitually skeptical toward the Conventional Wisdom, I doubt the sufficiency of these explanations. And my doubts were bolstered last week when I walked into a convenience store and saw the headlines in Thursday’s Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum:
Those three front-page headlines in this small-town paper (in Crawford County, Ohio, where my wife is from) tell us a lot about what’s really going on in Ohio these days:
Unemployment remains the same
Even though Crawford Co. unemployment rate
fell 1 percent, more people are not employed
BUCYRUS — Although the unemployment rate for Crawford County fell from 9.0 percent in July to 8.0 percent in August, it does not mean more people are employed.
According to the Ohio Labor Market Information, the civilian labor force in Crawford County went from 20,700 in July to 20,500 in August but the number of employed people remained the same for both months at 18,800.
“Since the number of employed stayed the same, 200 people went off of unemployment because their time limit is up and they have not found work yet,” said Dave Williamson, director of the Crawford County Economic Development Partnership. “We have no more people working than we did last month.” . . .
See? No new jobs, but 200 people exhausted their unemployment benefits and therefore the official rate drops 1 percent. Generalize from this one example, and this shows how easy it is to pretend that this is a “recovery,” rather than a depression. Next:
Study says more children
have health insurance
Despite increasing poverty, the number of children with health insurance increased across Ohio last year.
Uninsured children fell from 6 percent to 5.8 percent. The data comes from the annual American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The increase in children on insurance comes as median incomes across the state were relatively flat, and the percentage of families in poverty — especially those with children — rose slightly.
The reasons for the increase in insurance for children could be numerous, said Curtis Skinner, of the National Center for Children in Poverty.
Generally, he said, insurance coverage is better for children than adults because they qualify for Children’s Health Insurance Programs or Medicaid.
Ohio might have been more proactive in promoting its insurance program for children, Skinner said, or more families might have qualified for the benefit because of lost jobs or wages. He said the increase in children’s health insurance was not likely caused by an increase in private insurance coverage.
Angela Krile, spokeswoman for the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, said she also couldn’t pinpoint the reason for a drop in uninsured children. She said one in three Ohio children are enrolled in Medicaid, which helps provide coverage for families in poverty.
“Really, this just shows the importance of Medicaid in our state for children,” she said. . . .
Got that? The good news — more children have health insurance — is actually bad news: More children in Crawford County are now living in poverty, and a third of all Ohio kids are covered by Medicaid. Can you say “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” boys and girls? Next:
are going hungry
‘Pack the Park’ event aims to help
BUCYRUS — There is a harsh reality in our community: children in Bucyrus and Crawford County are going hungry. The proof exists in the rising percentages of free and reduced-price lunches in school districts throughout Crawford County.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, local citizens can help combat this growing issue during an event called “Pack the Park” at Aumiller Park. Presented by the new Crawford County Young Professionals group and Together Time, this is an opportunity for community members to help feed hungry children in Bucyrus.
“The Young Professionals became aware of this problem facing Bucyrus City School students: more than 70 percent of our students require assistance with food by receiving free or reduced lunches,” said Casie Grau, CCYP president. “We are concerned about our area youth and the impact that lack of food and nutrition has on their ability to learn and succeed in school.” . . .
What? Children going hungry in Ohio? More than 70 percent of students in Bucyrus schools qualify for free or reduced lunches?
Is this the Hope or the Change?
Bucyrus, Ohio, is not a squalid inner-city ghetto. This is a small town about midway between Columbus and Toledo, in a county with a total population of less than 44,000, about 97 percent white. If the economic news is this bad in Bucyrus — unemployment stuck at 8 percent, one-third of children on Medicaid, 70 percent qualifying for free or reduced school lunches — how on earth can anybody be deceived into the belief that Obama’s policies are making things better for Ohio?
And if I can see this just by picking up a local paper in Ohio, how has it escaped the notice of those who control the Conventional Wisdom?
- Sept. 29: VIDEO: Paul Ryan Says Joe Biden Is ‘Making Up All New Falsehoods’
- Sept. 29: Do You Believe the Ohio Polls?
- Sept. 27: VIDEO: AFP’s Jen Ridgely Talks About ‘Obama’s Failing Agenda’ Ohio Bus Tour
- Sept. 27: Get on the Bus! AFP Leads ‘Obama’s Failing Agenda Tour’ Across Ohio
- Sept. 26: ROMNEY RALLY IN TOLEDO: Huge Crowd Stands in Line in the Rain!
- Sept. 26: Fear and Loathing on the Road to Toledo
- Sept. 26: The Most Biased Question, Ever
- Sept. 26: Polls: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies?
- Sept. 25: SCENES FROM ROMNEY-RYAN RALLY
- Sept. 25: ROMNEY-RYAN AT DAYTON AIRPORT
- Sept. 25: PAUL RYAN IN CINCINNATI
- Sept. 25: Cracking Under Pressure?
- Sept. 24: Scenes From Ryan Rally in Lima, Ohio
- Sept. 24: GREETINGS FROM LIMA, OHIO
- Sept. 24: The Best Revenge: Ohio-Bound
- Sept. 23: Memo From the National Affairs Desk: Worldwide Headquarters of Crazy, Inc.