The Ohio Investment Bank

I propose the establishment of a state owned investment bank for the advancement of Ohio’s economy, ideally kept as separate from political machinations as possible while still providing democratic oversight.

The purpose of the investment bank is to offer a source of capital for the long-term investments necessary for the growth of Ohio’s economy. These are investments in infrastructure projects for the future like smart electric grids that work with renewable energy sources, sustainable housing development, greater access to internet, new transportation infrastructure, etc. These are also investments in new technologies and the Research and Development that the private sector has been reluctant to do in the face of a financial system that incentives stock buybacks over investment.

The bank will also offer capital for Ohio based start-ups, and the small and medium sized businesses so often ignored by large private banks and venture capital. These are not grants, this is not yet another government giveaway. The Ohio Investment Bank is expected to show a return on investment that will eventually cover its initial costs.

Branch Banking and Export Services

The bank will have branches at the municipal level or will partner with existing banks at the municipal level. These branch banks will foster relationships with the community and the businesses they are investing in. They will have a great deal of autonomy in determining what types of businesses to invest in to best suit the needs of the community but be within a certain set of guidelines to meet the investment bank’s goal of sustainable development and investment in the future. These branches will also offer technical support to businesses to give them a better chance at success. This structure will help ensure that decision making is being done by those best positioned to understand the local economy while maintaining the goals of the Ohio Investment Bank.

These branches will also offer export support to help connect businesses to clients in different countries and to build the supply chains necessary for the construction of a successful business. This is difficult for start-ups and small businesses and it is to the benefit of the Ohio economy to offer these services. If Ohio is to build a booming economy it must have strong connections to the global economy. The branches of the investment bank near universities may partner with their technology transfer office to facilitate the movement of new technologies from the research lab to the market.

The Ohio Investment Bank and the services it will provide will make Ohio an economic and technological leader and it will do it with limited cost to the taxpayer. The Ohio Investment Bank makes the government an active partner with businesses, entrepreneurs, and industry.

Ohio: An Agricultural Giant

I believe Ohio is well placed to be a leader in agriculture. We have extensive farmland, experienced farmers and cultivators, research universities with great agricultural departments, and the resources to make the next great leap forward in agriculture. The world’s population is only going to grow for the foreseeable future and supporting that population requires a great deal of agricultural resources beyond just food. While I don’t think we’ll be feeding the world any time soon, we can be leaders in the new technologies and techniques that will be instrumental in feeding the world. Below I’ll outline a few proposals I think both achievable and productive in accomplishing this goal.

Investing In New Technology and Techniques

Through the Ohio Investment Bank and partnering with Ohio’s many universities we will invest in new agricultural technologies and the businesses that will innovate and take them to market. These businesses will range from direct suppliers of these new technologies to the businesses and farmers will put them to use. We will also invest in developing new farming techniques which cannot be directly monetized but can be shared with farmers to increase outputs and lower costs.

Some of these technologies could be genetically modified organisms or the production of new strains by other means. These would be designed for higher yields, greater nutritional value, greater diversity of environment, diversity of crops, and sustainable farming practices. There will also be development of vertical farming techniques and related technologies such as environmental controls systems.

I believe Mansfield could benefit greatly from an investment in vertical farming to produce fresh, nutrient rich food locally and then selling to schools, restaurants, and grocers in Mansfield and the surrounding area. New farming techniques and new technologies such as GMO’s not controlled by monopolistic conglomerates like Monsanto will go a long way for Richland County’s farmers to produce more efficiently and keep more of their profits.

Industrial Hemp and Legal Marijuana

I don’t see any good reason not to allow for the growing of industrial hemp for industrial purposes like the production of paper. Industrial hemp is more efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly than lumber and has low THC so isn’t viable as a drug. Blocking the production of industrial hemp can only be the result of intense lobbying in the lumber industry. That’s just ridiculous. I am intent on ending crony capitalism and rent seeking in Ohio’s government, it’s just a disgrace.

I support the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana which will is outlined more in the Crime section of the platform. I do not support assigning monopoly power to a handful of growers and sellers. It is a money making crop with significant tax value. I am for growing the economy while simultaneously reducing crime and addiction.

End the Commodification of Agriculture

This isn’t an investment proposal, more of a regulation, part of my ongoing fight against the financialization of America. Commodification is basically the financial sector creating futures markets for products so as to bet and speculate on them. This has caused instability of food prices and has drained money away from farmers and consumers and gave it to the middlemen, traders manipulating the markets they create to profit regardless of anyone else involved. The commodification of agricultural products and other important resources led to the massive global increase in food prices before and after the recession. Perhaps the only good thing to come from the recession is that low employment and low incomes counteracted rising food prices so that prices did not rise too much. I support action to end this commodification. Ending commodification will keep prices lower and stable, responding to actual production changes, and keep more money in the hands of farmers rather than speculators.


Health Care Technologies

This issue is addressed in the Health Care section of my platform but I’ll address it again here. Ohio already has leaders in the health care industry. We must leverage this and invest in new health care technologies and businesses. This investment will be done largely with the Ohio Investment Bank. This will not only create jobs and boost the economy but will also make health care cheaper for everyone.

Direct Assistance and The End of Poverty

10 years into “recovery” and Ohio’s poverty rate remains higher than it was pre-recession. This has been the most sluggish recovery in decades, perhaps in history. A true recovery must not only bring us back to where we were before the recession but make up for the lost growth. The former has yet to happen, the ladder isn’t likely any time soon. Richland County and Mansfield have seen real increases in poverty over the last two decades. Richland County’s poverty rate is greater than Ohio’s poverty rate and Ohio’s poverty rate is greater than the United State’s poverty rate. Our leaders have failed, we’ve failed at a local, state, and national level to fix this problem. It has been over 50 years since the War on Poverty was declared. I think it’s time it was won.

Ending poverty is something we can and must do and it is absolutely within our reach. My entire platform addresses the issue of poverty in some way or another and will contribute to its elimination once implement but here I will discuss the most direct ways we can eliminate poverty. I know how stupidly obvious what I’m about to say is and how meaningless it may seem but it is actually a very important point: poverty is fundamentally a lack of money.

Thus, the task at hand is getting money into the hands of those in poverty. This can be done by improving wages, creating new jobs, and lowering costs of vital goods and services so more money can be kept in the pockets of working people. Methods for accomplishing this are outlined elsewhere in this platform (everywhere really). Another way of getting money into the hands of those in poverty is to give it to them directly. I think this second way, particularly when coupled with the first, will absolutely eliminate poverty in Ohio and grow the economy quickly. I don’t claim to know the best way to do this but I’ll outline a few proposals I think will succeed.

Ohio Income Credit

I think giving all Ohioans $500-$1000 a year is attainable and will provide a significant boost to the economy as it grows demand, increases spending power, and gives many the small push necessary to lift oneself out of poverty. This isn’t enough to eliminate poverty, all things considered it isn’t much at all. But the important part is that it is universal, you receive it if you are rich or poor, working or unemployed. Existing welfare programs offer perverse incentives to not work. It is referred to as the welfare trap, when there is greater incentive to remain unemployed and stay on welfare rather than get a low paying job. This guaranteed credit means that people can seek work without losing the income boost, that people can seek higher paying jobs rather than take the first one that comes along, that people can take time off to seek an education or be a more active parent without worrying so much about money. The worry is of course still there, $500 isn’t enough to live on, but it makes a difference. One day, as Ohio’s economy grows as these policies are implemented, the income credit will grow while simultaneously becoming less important.

Ohio Family Assistance Plan

Another direct funding approach we can take which I believe will have a greater long run effect is putting an income floor in place for families. I propose an amount ranging between $4000-$6000 be paid to all Ohio families in poverty annually. In many ways this is inspired by Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan which unfortunately was killed in the senate. In the announcement of his plan President Nixon said,

“The present system often makes it possible to receive more money on welfare than on a low-paying job. This creates an incentive not to work, and it also is unfair to the working poor. It is morally wrong for a family that is working to try to make ends meet to receive less than a family across the street on welfare. This has been bitterly resented by the man who works, and rightly so–the rewards are just the opposite of what they should be. Its effect is to draw people off payrolls and onto welfare rolls–just the opposite of what government should be doing. To put it bluntly and simply–any system which makes it more profitable for a man not to work than to work, or which encourages a man to desert his family rather than to stay with his family, is wrong and indefensible.”

These are indeed my sentiments. This plan would scale the benefits as family income increases so that the family always benefits and is never punished. This will help lift the 300,000 Ohio families currently living in poverty above the poverty line. It is our moral obligation to help end poverty but if morality isn’t exactly your thing, there are substantial economic advantages. By eliminating family poverty we greatly reduce crime, we greatly improve education attainment, it increases future hours worked and future incomes of the children significantly (not to mention future taxable income for Ohio), and it doesn’t reduce the incentives for parents to work while leading to better parenting as less time is spent worrying about how the family will pay the bills.

Energy Independence and Sustainability

Energy is one of the primary inputs for a growing economy and industry (the others being labor, capital, land, and production materials). Cheap and reliable energy makes a place desirable for energy intensive industries and manufacturing. It also greatly improves the lives of people, particularly as our world becomes increasingly reliant on electronic devices. It keeps the lights on, keeps us cool or warm, it does everything, you know this, so why am I explaining it to you? I don’t know either. Onto the policy!

My goal is the Ohio will become energy independent, meaning that it produces all the energy it uses within our own borders, and that we will do this in a low cost, sustainable way. This means investment in new energy technologies like renewables such as wind and solar, nuclear energy particularly 4th generation nuclear reactors, natural gas, and whatever other forms of energy we can develop. This means investment in related energy technologies like batteries capable of holding large charges and charging quickly, a smart energy grid, and increasingly efficient technologies. Much of this investment will be led by the Ohio Investment Bank. Not only will Ohio benefit from the cheap energy but also the development of new industries and new jobs producing the related technologies.

Some of these technologies are more long-term investments like 4th generation nuclear reactors while others are short-term and destined to be retired like natural gas or how coal has already become economically and ecologically unfeasible. Wind and solar are not likely to dominate our energy supply anytime soon as they are not entirely reliable like nuclear and fossil fuels, more investment in the grid and batteries is necessary. It is best that we increase the capacity of renewables while investing in clean, sustainable, and reliable 4th generation nuclear. After years of Republican domination of Ohio’s government our competitiveness in energy production has been substantially held back. No longer. Neither will we allow Democrats to hold back proven and sustainable technologies. In the end we must do what is best for Ohio, not special interests or political parties. Frankly I’m disturbed how politicized an issue energy has become. It is a basic, fundamental necessity for a 20th century economy, it will be all the more important in the 21st century. Don’t let old politics hold Ohio back from the future any more. Just join with me and we can make an energy sector that works and an economy that works.

Job Training and The Skills Ecosystem

In a swiftly growing and changing economy, people are our greatest resource. As our economy grows it will create new jobs and industries which will require skilled and specialized workers. At the same time global economic forces are rendering many jobs obsolete. What this means is we need a to build a complex and open system of education and job training to ensure no one is left behind and everyone has an opportunity to participate in expanding wealth.

This requires us to build a skills ecosystem where businesses, community colleges, and workers coordinate to fulfill the needs of a growing economy. Community colleges need to work with businesses to design fast paced training programs for specific roles in new businesses. Community colleges must work with workers to provide an affordable education that accommodates their needs and schedule. Concentration of new industries will create dynamic clusters of ideas and skills, a great deal of on the job training and apprenticing will characterize these new industries as formal training will not yet exist.


I can’t say I have much to offer with regards to educational reform, I know we need it but that’s about it. When I have brought up my thoughts on what could make for better education I have been roundly criticized. It is possible that my negative experience in the public education system has left me too critical. Nevertheless as I am an independent minded individual constantly seeking to improve I cannot help but to offer an idea or two. Below I outline just a few of my thoughts but do not consider them policy proposals.

Standardized Testing

I think there is far too much testing in public education. Too much time is spent focusing on tests rather than learning or receiving an education. The world is changing quickly and people must learn to adapt to change, not pass a test.

Online Schooling

It is inevitable that education moves online in some format or another. THis does not mean entirely online schools, it simply means more and better educational resources will be available in a digital format. This could be incorporated into a physical school with more independent learning than strict lecture (well known to be one of the worst forms of teaching) or there could be entirely online schools. Whatever the case, the producer and purveyor of digital educational resources is going to be a big industry. I think Ohio should try and be a leader here.

Universal Voucher System

I support a system of universal vouchers for k-12 education in Ohio. What this means is that Ohio offers an amount of funding for every student. This funding will go with a student to whatever institution they enroll in be it public, private, or something else. The desire of institutions is then to attract and educate as many students as possible at the lowest cost. As part of this system it would not be allowed for anyone to charge for a k-12 education beyond the voucher. Thus it is a more equal playing field between public and private institutions. A private institution then must truly be better to attract more students rather than to offer the prestige or extras that private institutions currently do to separate wealthy parents from their money. Again, just expressing my thoughts, not a policy proposal.





I believe in devolving decision making to the lower practical level of government because those closest to a problem are best equipped to handle it. This means allowing cities and localities to pass their own laws on most issues without being overruled by the state. This also means providing more funding to cities and localities to use as they see fit. This is a reversal of the last 8 years of Republican government that has steadily increased the concentration of power in Columbus.

Ohio Anti-Corruption Act

One of my first priorities once elected is passing the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act which is based to some extent on the proposed American Anti-Corruption Act. This will include policies to limit the amount of lobbying that is done in Columbus and end the revolving door between elected representatives and lobbyists. This will also limit campaign contributions from unions and corporations and bring an end to PACs and dark money. I demand an entirely transparent government for Ohio and an end to the rent seeking and crony capitalism. The first step in solving Ohio’s problems and rebuilding our economy is cleaning up the government and removing the corruption in Columbus. Ohioans deserve a government for Ohioans, not special interests and those with the biggest checkbook.

Unicameral Legislature

I don’t see much point in the state senate. It is not like the senate at the federal level where each state is apportioned a set number of senators. The state senate is almost no different than the state house, it even has basically the same proportion of Republicans and Democrats. It is an extra an unnecessary step and an unnecessary cost to taxpayers.

Eliminate the Position of Lieutenant Governor

It is a pointless position that costs Ohio taxpayers $140,000 annually. If we are concerned about what will happen should a governor resign or die we will simply follow a line of succession of the other statewide elected officials.

21st Century Government

It is my goal that the government of Ohio be brought into the 21st century and be as fully digitized as possible. Within the next decade Ohioans should be able to vote, pay fines and taxes, participate in government, and handle nearly all bureaucratic nonsense from the convenience of a laptop or phone. This digitalization will save the government money and save time and costs for Ohio citizens. It is in fact possible, we just need the vision and commitment.


I am for democracy and greater enfranchisement. I want people to vote and participate in government because I believe that results in ultimately the best outcomes. To this end it should be as easy to vote as possible in a secure way. This means abundant polling locations open for extended periods of time, online voting, and the right to vote not being infringed. We should also lower the voting age perhaps to 17, maybe even to 16. The goal here is to get people active in government early. This will improve turnout and improve active participation in government. The usual arguments I see against this are that young people lack the mental capacity to make good choices and that they will just vote the way their parents do. It is already the case that people vote the way their parents do for decades after leaving their parent’s home, this is largely a result of genetics and the way one was raised, and I don’t think many parents would argue that their teenage children are anything if not independent minded. To the other argument I just point out that we do not require people to be of proven intelligence to vote and intelligence doesn’t necessarily correlate with who one votes for.

Believe in US

There is reason to be optimistic about the future. It’s true that the world is a safer place than it has ever been, that the world is a better place. Crime is down, the stock market is higher than ever, and the standard of living seems to just keep improving. To predict the next ten years on these statistics alone we’d say that things are looking up, the world is going to be better, and the good times will just keep rolling. But rarely is this not the case. When the times are good, why would anyone question that they will always be good?

The truth is the country can turn a corner and find itself in a very different place that no one would have predicted ten years before despite it being the path we were following all along. The truth is society is more than GDP and crime rates and people know this. People know that all is not well, that the country stands at a precarious point, that the worst is yet to come. The world is a better place but everything that helped get us to this point has crumbled. Like a business that fired all the employees and sold all its assets to report one last profitable quarter. How is it that the people know this when our experts and analysts and political leaders can’t even begin to comprehend it? It’s because the people are closest to the matter, they’re on the ground. You could call it intuition but the truth is we’re actually living it.

Over the last few decades we’ve lost our social cohesion, the fabric holding society together has been torn apart, and we’ve lost all faith in the institutions that used to hold the country up as they became gridlocked, corrupt, and unable to fulfill their duties.

Our public education is no longer an institution that seeks to improve the next generation, a grand effort to make the country better, instead it is a strict, bureaucratic system designed to push children through a series of hoops and tests. Our higher education is just as bad, a machine that profits off students and produces an abundance of worthless degrees.

Our criminal justice system is no longer designed to keep the innocent out of prison and stand up for society. Now it is a tool being run for profit and used to punish or threaten the innocent. Millions undeservedly have their lives and futures stolen from them. At the same time many are protected from ever facing justice by their wealth, corruption, or other influence. This is not justice and people know it. They know they live in a society that cannot be trusted to protect the innocent or stop the criminal.

Our government is run by lobbyists and party insiders with dedication not to the people or the country but to win elections, to win for their party, and to make money. We no longer have dedicated public servants, we no longer can elect regular people who just want to do good for their family, neighbors, and country. We elect politicians who work for corporations and interest groups, not the people. Politicians who would rather put the government in permanent gridlock than work together to pass laws that work. Our government is corrupt, it is gridlocked, and it does not represent us. How we believe in it?

Our businesses have changed their models away from innovation and building a lasting business to monopolizing industries and maximizing shareholder value. That is not how the free market works, that is not how capitalism should work, and that’s not good for business. People know this, they know businesses are as likely to cheat them as to benefit them. In the 2008 economic collapse people saw just how tenuous the new, global economy was, how insecure their investments, their jobs, their savings, their lives were and they have not forgotten. The bankers, the politicians, the economists can go on and on about how GDP is up, the stock market is soaring, and unemployment is down but the people know that nothing changed, the underlying problems were not solved, and the economy is one bad month away from crashing all over again. 2008 should have been a wakeup call, instead we glossed over it with bailouts and economic predictions of prosperity based on the same economic models that completely failed to predict the economic collapse to begin with.

Part of this is that we’ve conflated finance and business. Finance has grown over the last few decades to represent a much more significant portion of GDP despite not actually adding real value to the economy. Finance used to be properly regulated. Finance used to be a utility to spur the economy onward and to help businesses grow and expand. Now finance is the economy and the profits don’t extend beyond Wall Street.

Such degradation of our country’s institutions has a far greater side effect than just their own collapse. Social trust is at an all-time low. When social trust is low we won’t invest in each other, we won’t invest in our country, we won’t invest in our future. It all seems too complex, our problems are so monumental and so entangled that it seems no solution will ever present itself.

To accomplish great things, the things that we could not accomplish alone, we have to commit to each other, to our country, and our community. This point was in fact well made when our country began, in the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”. I believe we will recommit to this pledge. I believe that when America faces its greatest challenges it digs deep down and finds what made it great, the commitment to the idea that collectively we are strong, that we were the first country to prove the people could govern themselves, and that the United States of America is greater than the sum of its parts. I believe in us.

Ohio’s New Frontier

What we need and what I am calling for, is nothing less than an economic and political revolution, a sea change in our society and institutions. Let us build a new economy for Ohio. We’re going to push Ohio into new industries and new frontiers.

Ohio will be at the forefront of new medical technology leveraging existing institutions like the Cleveland Clinic to bring advances in medicine and help lower the cost of health care for all. We will be at the forefront of new agricultural technology leveraging institutions like the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and no longer will the greatest innovations in farming be monopolized by massive multinational corporations but instead be open to fair market competition so that the farmers of Ohio can truly benefit. We will be at the forefront in new energy technologies not just in their development but in their implementation in new smart electric grids across the state to power our new industries and new manufacturing with cheap, abundant electricity. We will invest in new communication and transportation infrastructure to bring our state closer together in ways it never has been before and bring the rest of the world closer to Ohio. We will grow Ohio into a major exporter not just to other states but to the world. We will invest in growing Ohio’s skills ecosystem working with businesses, universities, and community colleges to give our citizens the skills and resources they need to power Ohio’s economic revolution. We will invest in new industries and new businesses, we will give the entrepreneurs the capital and resources they need to explore and expand new markets, to unleash market powers on Ohio’s economy.

We will build Ohio into a state where economies of scale and economies of agglomeration create a positive feedback loop of growth and innovation. Productivity gains and gains from freer trade must no longer only accrue to the wealthiest of society but must lead to corresponding salary increases so that the cycle of productivity growth and economic development can continue. Ohio has a strong foundation for this future, we have the people, we have great research universities, we have resources and strong businesses and institutions to serve as a solid jumping off point. All we need is the political will to do so, a legislature and a governor ready to act, and more important the people of Ohio ready to stand up and demand a better future, who have an entrepreneurial spirit, who will work hard for that future.

This is the future I envision. This future will take time, it won’t be exactly as we imagine it, what businesses and what industries take hold will still depend on prevailing market forces; but we can harness the power of the market to build this future and that is exactly the point. Government and business cannot be antagonistic toward each other. As a state we are at our greatest when we are all working together. Government and entrepreneurship is a partnership that built America into an economic power since the time of Alexander Hamilton, the architect of the American system of economic development that has been adopted by Germany, Japan, South Korea, and China to revolutionize their own economies. We need experimental policy making, policy making that isn’t afraid to make mistakes, policy makers who recognize when they’re wrong and who will act quickly to fix it rather than zealously defend their mistake. We need policy making that tries a portfolio of policy experiments and scales up what works while shutting down what doesn’t. That is harnessing the power of decentralized governing. Through the coordination and cooperation of government, business, our universities, and our citizens at the local, city, and state level we can build a future for all Ohioans. It’s time to demand more from your representatives Ohio, it’s time to set aside the partisan politics and the ideologies for a pragmatic plan to revolutionize Ohio’s economy and system of government.

Fight For the Future