On Tuesday morning, many Ohioans experienced what can be described as a “Wizard of Oz
Eight of Ohio’s 88 counties have unemployment rates of seven percent or higher. Four of those counties are in the 6th District, where factories are shutting down and workers are losing their jobs.

As a result, families are losing their homes. (According to RealtyTrac, more than 7,000 Ohio properties entered foreclosure last month alone.) More children in rural Ohio are living in poverty (up 5.6 percent since 2000, according to a report from the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute). Ohio is being left behind.

Something needs to change, and it starts with good jobs. Providing companies with incentives to invest in struggling areas is a good start. Backing our local schools with real funding—not rhetoric—will ensure we have a strong and steady local workforce. A meaningful increase in the minimum wage will show our workers that we value hard work, we respect what they do, and we care about their families.

Bringing common sense solutions to our inadequate and extremely costly health care system will benefit all Americans, including business owners who struggle to stay competitive with overseas companies.

When we achieve these goals, Ohioans won’t have to shake their heads when they open the paper and read about politicians who talk about our “strong economy.