Midterm elections and other Fun Stuff
   If you want a good leader in public service, the old wisdom goes, find someone who neither needs the job nor wants it. In other words, don't look for the political opportunist or the partisan social ladder-climber.
   How do you tell the difference?
   Usually, that's easy. Generally speaking, the aspiring politician is much more style than substance — or, in Texas terms, he's all hat and no
cattle. We've seen more than our share of such charlatans on the national and state levels, plus a few here and there on the local level. (Use your
imagination!)
   This year's attention is on the midterm congressional elections and the gubernatorial races. Ohio voters are focusing on the U.S. Senate race
between Lee Fisher and Rob Portman, and the governor's race between incumbent Ted Strickland and John Kasich.
   Logic suggests, since Strickland and Fisher have served together as the Unemployment State’s governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, that
either they both win or they both lose in November. It’s hard to comprehend voters approving one and rejecting the other. Right or wrong, many of Ohio’s
current economic maladies rest at the steps of the Governor's Mansion. They’ve had their chance to “Turnaround Ohio” and they've failed to deliver.
   The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C., has released its State Business Tax Climate Index for 2010.
   The foundation’s survey ranks the best and worst states for business taxes. Ohio, not surprisingly to those who do business here, was the 47th
least friendly state. Only California, New York and New Jersey were less friendly than the Unemployment State.
   The states that top the Tax Foundation list as the most tax-friendly include South Dakota and Wyoming. South Dakota has an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. Ohio has an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent.
   The foundation found that Ohio has gone from one of the least taxed states in the 1970s to one of the most heavily taxed states today, climbing
38 places from fifth lowest in 1977, to seventh highest in 2008. Estimated at 10.4% of income, Ohio’s state/local tax burden percentage ranks well above the national average. (See www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/50.html.)
   We’ll see what Ohio voters’ moods are, in a little more than four months... 
   On the local level, there's already a good deal of hype surrounding the 2011 Hillsboro mayor’s race.
   There's open discussion that incumbent Mayor Dick Zink may not seek a third term. (I haven't asked him.) And there’s open discussion that local
comedian and buyer of uptown landmarks Drew Hastings has some interest in becoming mayor. Or, perhaps more accurately, there are people who have interest in Mr. Hastings becoming mayor. (I haven’t asked him.)
   To the best of my knowledge, Hastings doesn’t live in the city; however, he obviously has the wherewithal to modify that, should he so choose.
   There’s also a bit of talk about one or two former city council members and one prominent businessman running for mayor next year. I have asked two
of the three about such possible political aspirations. One said “maybe.”
The business owner said “definitely not.”
   Should Mr. Hastings run and should he survive a primary and a general election, the tough question might be this: Will city council meetings be
any more humorous than they already are?
   We’ll see what happens in a little more than 16 months...
***
In search of sound 
financial policy
   “If you’re worried that lions are eating too many zebras, you don’t say to the lions, ‘You’re eating too many zebras.’ You have to build a fence
around the lions. They’re not going to build it.”
– Judge Richard A. Posner
   Judge Richard A. Posner is a federal appeals court judge. He graduated from Yale College in 1959, summa cum laude, at age 20. He graduated from
Harvard Law School in 1962, magna cum laude, where he was first in his class and president of the Harvard Law Review.
   He has been called the most cited legal scholar of all time.
   He has written his 39th or 40th book. This one is entitled “The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy,” and there’s a review by John Steele Gordon in the
June 21 edition of National Review.
   Since Professor Bill Horne devotes his column on Page 5 today to the Glass-Steagall ACT, I’ll try not to belabor the point.
   However, I will share this from Judge Posner: “(The repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999) was succeeded by a brief, disastrous era of lax regulation, regulatory complacency, regulatory inattention, and regulatory ineptitude. The combination of low interest rates and inadequate banking regulation proved lethal.”
   Gordon writes that Posner closes his 408-page book on a bit of a negative, asking: “Does the United States have an institutional structure and political culture equal to the economic challenges facing it?”
   We’d better hope so. And it can begin with a nonpartisan approach to “minding the store.”
   For the Left to put all the blame on Wall Street and for the Right to put all the blame on the federal government pushing home loans on people who
either could not repay them or had no intentions of repaying them, is all water over the dam.
   Regardless, a long-term solution is needed to ensure such folly is not repeated.   
   Rory Ryan is publisher and editor of The Highland County Press.
If you want a good leader in public service, the old wisdom goes, find someone who neither needs the job nor wants it. In other words, don't look for the political opportunist or the partisan social ladder-climber.
   How do you tell the difference?
   Usually, that's easy. Generally speaking, the aspiring politician is much more style than substance — or, in Texas terms, he's all hat and no cattle. We've seen more than our share of such charlatans on the national and state levels, plus a few here and there on the local level. (Use your imagination!)
   This year's attention is on the midterm congressional elections and the gubernatorial races. Ohio voters are focusing on the U.S. Senate race between Lee Fisher and Rob Portman, and the governor's race between incumbent Ted Strickland and John Kasich.
   Logic suggests, since Strickland and Fisher have served together as the Unemployment State’s governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, that
either they both win or they both lose in November. It’s hard to comprehend voters approving one and rejecting the other. Right or wrong, many of Ohio’s current economic maladies rest at the steps of the Governor's Mansion. They’ve had their chance to “Turnaround Ohio” and they've failed to deliver.
   The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C., has released its State Business Tax Climate Index for 2010.
   The foundation’s survey ranks the best and worst states for business taxes. Ohio, not surprisingly to those who do business here, was the 47th least friendly state. Only California, New York and New Jersey were less friendly than the Unemployment State.
   The states that top the Tax Foundation list as the most tax-friendly include South Dakota and Wyoming. South Dakota has an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. Ohio has an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent.
   The foundation found that Ohio has gone from one of the least taxed states in the 1970s to one of the most heavily taxed states today, climbing 38 places from fifth lowest in 1977, to seventh highest in 2008. Estimated at 10.4% of income, Ohio’s state/local tax burden percentage ranks well above the national average. (See www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/50.html.)
   We’ll see what Ohio voters’ moods are, in a little more than four months... 
   On the local level, there's already a good deal of hype surrounding the 2011 Hillsboro mayor’s race.
   There's open discussion that incumbent Mayor Dick Zink may not seek a third term. (I haven't asked him.) And there’s open discussion that local comedian and buyer of uptown landmarks Drew Hastings has some interest in becoming mayor. Or, perhaps more accurately, there are people who have interest in Mr. Hastings becoming mayor. (I haven’t asked him.)
   To the best of my knowledge, Hastings doesn’t live in the city; however, he obviously has the wherewithal to modify that, should he so choose.
   There’s also a bit of talk about one or two former city council members and one prominent businessman running for mayor next year. I have asked two
of the three about such possible political aspirations. One said “maybe.”
The business owner said “definitely not.”
   Should Mr. Hastings run and should he survive a primary and a general election, the tough question might be this: Will city council meetings be any more humorous than they already are?
   We’ll see what happens in a little more than 16 months...
***
In search of sound 
financial policy
   “If you’re worried that lions are eating too many zebras, you don’t say to the lions, ‘You’re eating too many zebras.’ You have to build a fence around the lions. They’re not going to build it.”
– Judge Richard A. Posner
   Judge Richard A. Posner is a federal appeals court judge. He graduated from Yale College in 1959, summa cum laude, at age 20. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1962, magna cum laude, where he was first in his class and president of the Harvard Law Review.
   He has been called the most cited legal scholar of all time.
   He has written his 39th or 40th book. This one is entitled “The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy,” and there’s a review by John Steele Gordon in the June 21 edition of National Review.
   Since Professor Bill Horne devotes his column on Page 5 today to the Glass-Steagall ACT, I’ll try not to belabor the point.
   However, I will share this from Judge Posner: “(The repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999) was succeeded by a brief, disastrous era of lax regulation, regulatory complacency, regulatory inattention, and regulatory ineptitude. The combination of low interest rates and inadequate banking regulation proved lethal.”
   Gordon writes that Posner closes his 408-page book on a bit of a negative, asking: “Does the United States have an institutional structure and political culture equal to the economic challenges facing it?”
   We’d better hope so. And it can begin with a nonpartisan approach to “minding the store.”
   For the Left to put all the blame on Wall Street and for the Right to put all the blame on the federal government pushing home loans on people who either could not repay them or had no intentions of repaying them, is all water over the dam.
   Regardless, a long-term solution is needed to ensure such folly is not repeated.   
   Rory Ryan is publisher and editor of The Highland County Press.