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Searching for the right name


It looks like the state of Ohio is going to “privatize” the development functions of its Department of Development. Gone will be the bureaucracy that is the state, to be replaced by something else. But what is the right name for this something else, this new beast?

Ohio’s new Republican governor John Kasich plans “to dismantle the Ohio Department of Development and turn it into a new private economic-development organization called JobsOhio.” Kasich envisions “a nine-member board, with the [Kasich] serving as chairman. Board members will be appointed to four-year terms by the governor and will be compensated for expenses only.”

So what do you call an entity that is “funded by both public and private sources and run by a board of current or former chief executives who would report to [Kasich] as chairman“? Fascism?

While the name is technically correct (partially correct, anyway), it is too pejorative to get a listen from many.

What about corporatism? The term is also technically correct. But it lacks punch — it’s too ho-hum.

Fascialism? I love that word. But it also misses the mark in this instance, and it leaves a slight perjorative aftertaste as well.

Corporate cronyism? Yes, that’s it. How else to describe a committee of “current or former chief executives” that will have a say in the allocation of public funds for the purposes of development and job creation? I can think of no better term to convey the essence of this proposal to fellow Ohioans.

Corporate Cronyism: coming to a competitive state near you.

Note: Ohio Speaker of the House, and fellow Republican, Batchelder says not to worry. He is satisfied that the bill addresses his conflict-of-interest questions. If he’s satisfied, I should be satisfied — we all should be satisfied — as well.

Jim Fedako, a business analyst and homeschooling father of seven, lives in the wilds of suburban Columbus. Send him mail.

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