The welfare state arguably saved market economies from the growth of communism in the 20th century but we have consistently failed in our efforts to eliminate poverty in America and now these welfare programs threaten to strangle the ability of government to act in our economic interests. Welfare expenditures have consistently grown, consuming a larger and larger portion of our federal budget and adding to the national debt, while outcomes have not improved. Some 45 million Americans currently live in poverty, about 1.5 million Ohioans live in poverty. Considering the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on welfare every year, that is an unacceptable result.
- The Welfare Trap discourages people from escaping poverty by making it more expensive to work than to live off of welfare. This is perverse. Welfare benefits must be scale as President Nixon said, “in such a way that it would always pay to work”.
- Eliminate the immense bureaucracy and waste of the welfare system by adopting a Negative Income Tax in its place.
- Priority must be placed on ending poverty rather than perpetuating it. Focus should be placed on economic growth, wage growth, and public investment in new technologies.
- The long-term goal is for the welfare system to act as a safety net, not a permanent crutch.
21st Century Economy:
Through investment of the Ohio Investment Bank, restructuring of our regulatory system, and expansion of our educational and training systems, Ohio will become a leader in a few, key industries of the future that will drive our economy forward.
- Health Care
To become economically competitive, power new industries and a growing state, and to protect the environment, Ohio must invest in and become a leader in energy production. Cheap, reliable energy makes Ohio a desirable place for energy intensive industry.
- Natural Gas: Natural gas is a cheap, reliable, and relatively abundant energy source. It is a necessary intermediary in adopting renewable energy. However, we cannot allow the pollution of our water nor to be used as a dumping ground for out of state waste water. Fracking in Ohio must make use of propanol rather than water.
- Nuclear: Current nuclear reactors are too costly to be a wise investment but 4th generation nuclear reactors are within our reach. These next generation of nuclear reactors will be cheaper, more efficient, smaller, and safer. Nuclear is more reliable than wind and solar and an important step in pollution free energy production.
- Wind and Solar: Wind and solar are on the verge of market saturation but it is not too late for Ohio to become a leader in manufacturing, producing, and advancing these energy technologies. Once installed, they have a low cost, ensuring cheap, clean energy.
- Beyond: In the long-term, Ohio should be at the forefront of new energy technologies, from fusion to hydrogen to the as of yet unknown.
Ohio must also develop and install supporting energy technologies such as smart grids and batteries.
While Ohio cannot easily export energy produced, it can export the technologies it develops around the world, bringing jobs in manufacturing to Ohio.
Ohio has an existing advantage in health care thanks to leaders in the industry like the Cleveland Clinic. We must further invest in new health care technologies and new health care businesses. This will create jobs and lower the cost of health care for all Ohioans.
Agriculture has always been central to Ohio’s economy. Now it is time to that it a step further.
- Vertical Farming: Vertical farming and related technologies can bring agricultural production anywhere in Ohio, including urban areas. Vertical farming can combat food deserts, conserve resources, eliminate the need for pesticides and fertilizers, and provide fresh food year-round.
- GMOs: Thanks to extensive red tape, only the largest conglomerates have been able to bring this technology to market granting them a monopoly to gouge farmers. Ohio will strive to introduce competition into the market, lowering prices, and giving more power to small businesses and farmers. GMOs can be a powerful tool for ending hunger, lowering cost of food, using fewer pesticides, using fewer petroleum products, and adapting to a changing environment when properly applied.
- Crop Diversity: Currently agricultural production values commodification, large quantities of similar goods that the market does not differentiate. The future will focus much more on specialization and quality, opening many high value, niche markets.
- New Technologies: Like most industries, agriculture is ripe for innovation. Along with GMOs and technologies related to vertical farming, agriculture will see increasing automation, new techniques, and adaptions to changing environment.
Innovations in agriculture will lower the cost of food significantly while creating many jobs, both high tech and low skill. It will add to Ohio’s exports both in manufactured farming equipment and in agricultural products. It will eliminate food deserts and improve health outcomes, lowering health costs, as healthier, fresher food becomes available to all Ohioans.
Education: While not considered an industry, education is a vital piece of the economy. As it stands, our educational system is hopelessly outdated, the deciding factor of educational attainment being primarily home life and background rather than quality or cost of education. We live in an age in which nearly all knowledge is available for free somewhere online, yet the cost of education only increases.
Whoever first manages to provide quality education in an online, scalable format will quickly become one of the largest companies in the world be it nonprofit, public, or private. That should be Ohio’s achievement. Ohio should allow for far more experimentation in its k-12 education system. More than likely, it must be rebuilt from the ground up.
Our institutions of higher education are in need of just as much redesign. Increasing costs with lower returns are discouraging students who would otherwise benefit. Our research universities are crucial to the plan to save Ohio as they will be at the forefront of innovation. Universities and community colleges must be able to provide the skills and knowledge to workers wanting to participate in the new economy. To achieve this, their funding must be expanded. To some extent, this will be done through increasing returns on patents through technology transfer offices.
Aerospace: This is undoubtedly the key industry of the future, though in many ways a more distant future than the previous four. That is remains early and that Ohio already has some expertise in the industry gives us ample opportunity to become a leader in this industry.
- Space mining: Will provide an abundance of resources to see humanity through the next century. In particular rare earth metals used in more advanced technologies. In the not so distant future it is an industry that will be worth trillions.
- Manufacturing: Aerospace offers many high tech manufacturing opportunities as the demand for related goods expands. Ohio should have a foot in the door of this burgeoning industry.
- Satellites: Satellite networks will continue to grow around the Earth. Building and servicing these networks are an important industry Ohio should be a part of.
- New Propulsion: Ohio must invest in developing new propulsion technologies to lower the cost of transportation to space.
Ohio jumping into the space industry sounds like the fever dream of a Star Trek fanatic (and yeah, it is), but as we build Ohio’s industrial base, we must also reach for the future, to plan for the next fifty years. The benefits of a thriving aerospace industry are numerous, not just the money to be made in space but the resources and technologies that will be developed that will support a thriving economy.
These industries are the key to the future and they are all interconnected, advances in one will push advances in the other. We are limited by energy, we are limited by natural resources. If we can change that, we can revolutionize the economy. Abundant energy, abundant mineral wealth, abundant food. It is achievable. These industries can be the bedrock for Ohio’s economy. How can we invest in these industries so effectively where other states and countries cannot? Through the Ohio Investment Bank of course!
A new economy requires (not requires but while we’re at it anyway) a new tax system. Without directly confronting the issue of total taxes collected, there are changes to be made to achieve a more efficient tax system.
Taxes to be eliminated:
- Income tax
- Sales Tax
- Property Taxes
New Tax System:
- Value Added Tax
- Land Tax
- Estate Tax
- Financial Transaction Tax
The new tax system is much more efficient than the old tax system but capable of generating the same income for the government. These taxes do not discourage wealth creation as our current taxes do but do discourage speculation that has a severe negative impact on our economy. This new tax system should be adopted. Over time, profits from the Ohio Investment Bank will supplement government income and the economic benefits of the OIB’s investments will reduce the necessary tax burden through higher employment, fewer people receiving welfare benefits, a larger tax base, and a more efficient government.