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Taking the fight for Ohio to Wall Street
Written by Richard Cordray, Ohio Attorney General   
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 12:53

Ohio's strength is in its people. I am always inspired by hardworking Ohioans who are trying to hold things together in difficult economic times. My office will always look for ways to protect Ohio workers, our greatest resource.

Therefore, I am greatly distressed that some Wall Street corporations and executives seem to act with total disregard for the life's work of regular Ohioans. Indeed, the damage our economy has suffered in the past few years has been caused, in no small part, because of misconduct and wrongdoing on Wall Street.

The Attorney General's Office represents Ohio's five public pension funds, which have more than $130 billion in investments. These funds provide retirement, disability and survivor coverage to more than 1.5 million people.

The future of these funds is vital to many Ohioans, ranging from the police officers and firefighters who keep our communities safe to the teachers who educate our children. They – and their families and dependants – rely on the health of Ohio's public pension funds. Ohio's workers deserve a stable pension system and peace of mind in retirement. Accordingly, my office is entrusted with protecting these assets and seeking compensation from those who have harmed them by violating the law.

Clarion call: `We can make it here’
Written by R. Thomas Buffenbarger   
Thursday, 10 December 2009 14:55

By This is not your father's recession, nor your grandmother's depression. In size, scope and duration, this economic downturn is different. And off-the-shelf solutions will not suffice.

President Barack Obama has undoubtedly been hearing from businessmen, labor leaders and economists on how to reverse America's record high unemployment. Pedestrian proposals are inevitable. But truly innovative ideas that can be implemented immediately are what American really needs.

From my perspective, only a strong, stable manufacturing sector can rebuild our economy and create jobs. But I'm biased. Machinist Union members build the ships, planes, rockets and machinery that power our exports and defend our nation. Machinists like to make things. Millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans do too. The White House should aim to stimulate that we-can-make-it-here spirit.

Time to rethink trade, agriculture policies
Written by Daryll Ray   
Thursday, 10 December 2009 14:52

A last ditch effort to conclude the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations was held in the summer of 2008 in the hope that George W. Bush would sign it and be able to get it through a Republican House and, with help from a few Democrats, the Senate. For many reasons, the negotiators were unable to come to an agreement that satisfied the various nations of the world.

The idea behind the Doha Development Round was the belief that increased trade liberalization would lead to increased development in the least developed countries of the world. It was argued that they would gain through the comparative advantage of cheap labor, cheap production, cheap land, and cheap resources.

Early economic models showed that the bulk of the gain from liberalized trade would be enjoyed by developing countries, including the least developed, and millions would be lifted out of poverty. Many analysts including the authors of this column pointed out the structural weaknesses of these early models.

No more tax money for new hog farms, please
Written by Frank Jones, Paul Sobocinski, and Ron Perry   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 16:40

The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment (CFFE) delivered a petition with more than 25,000 signatures from individuals around the country to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Oct. 20. It demanded that the agency immediately suspend the practice of providing guaranteed and direct loans for new and expanded specialized hog and poultry facilities. More than three weeks have passed without a response.

Hog farmers are hurting as low prices have persisted for many months—even years. Everyone is saying there’s a hog surplus and that herd sizes should be reduced. Despite the oversupply, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) continues to provide loans for new and expanded hog and poultry factories. This increases production even more and depresses prices. Based on USDA data, FSA direct and guaranteed loans for new hog and poultry construction for the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years totaled $264 million.

Television teaches kids – to watch more TV
Written by Donald Kaul   
Thursday, 12 November 2009 15:50

The war in Afghanistan isn’t going well. The economic recovery isn’t producing many new jobs. The banks that pushed the nation to the brink of a 1930s-style Depression with their reckless ways—having sucked up billions of taxpayer dollars in rescue money—are resuming those reckless ways. There isn’t enough swine flu vaccine to go around.

And now for some bad news:

Nielsen, the company that clocks television viewing in this country, has found that children between the ages of two and five are watching an average of 25 hours of television each week.

That’s three-and-a-half hours a day, Sundays included.

If you don’t find that disturbing, please go back to your Twittering Facebook or whatever it is that you use to keep track of the latest Hollywood marital crisis. Sorry to have bothered you.

From its very inception—and I was there, so I know—television has been hailed as a great educational medium, an unparalleled teacher. And so it is.

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