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Ohio! To Arms!

March 12, 2011

John Kasich, governor of Ohio, in his State of the State speech, said:

“Well, Ohio has been under siege and not just from India and China. And, oh, yes, we live in a global world, and they’re looking every day to take our simple products and move them overseas. And I want all of you to know that I have told one Chinese delegation after another that we don’t like the fact that you manipulate your currency, we do not like the fact that you don’t play on a level playing field when you trade with us, and it will stop. And we will be a strong voice in Ohio to make sure we get our fair share, India and China –”

Under seige?!? Those are fighting words.

But, wait. Kasich, again:

“But, you know, we’re also under siege from Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia. Those from Dayton, NCR, gone. An empty building. We’re under siege from North Carolina, from Florida, from Texas. They all come inside the boundaries of Ohio and they try to lure away our best and brightest. They take our jobs, sometimes they take our job creators out of our beloved Buckeye State. We’re not going to let that continue. We cannot afford to let that continue.”

Seems that Ohio is under siege from all sides. Or is it?

The sabers of rhetoric rattle at everyone outside the political boundaries of Ohio. Yet the sabers of iron and steel only rattle at those outside the political boundaries of the US. But if the political entity called Ohio is under siege from those who “take our jobs,” shouldn’t the state militia answer a call to arms? Why is Indiana justified in its plunder while China is not?

Kasich charges China with currency manipulation and Indiana, et al., with invasion and theft. What’s the difference? Are sieges and takings only an affront when seen from opposites sides of a national boundary?

Or, with regard to trade, are political boundaries simply a fictitious notion?

I believe Kasich just answered that question.

Note: Of course, the goverments of the several states and the US should stay out of trade. And tax advantages do draw capital and investment. But the same that is true for an Ohioan trading with someone in Indiana is true for an Ohioan trading with someone in China. Neither act of trade should rattle the saber, rhetorical or otherwise.

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