Ohio Economic Woes Cause Unwanted Living Arrangements

Ohio never recovered from the 2001 recession, and today 16 percent of families live below the poverty line. The state continues to lose high-paying factory jobs, and adult children and moving back in with their parents to make ends meet.

In the southeastern Appalachian part of the Ohio, 32 percent of families lived below the poverty line in 2000. And 56 percent lived with incomes less than $40,000 for a family of four.

"Middle-aged men moving in with parents, wives taking two jobs, veteran workers taking overnight shifts at half their former pay, families moving West - these are signs of the turmoil and stresses emerging in the little towns and backwoods mobile homes of southeast Ohio, where dozens of factories and several coal mines have closed over the last decade, and small businesses are giving way to big-box retailers and fast-food outlets."

Shari Joos, 45, a married mother of four boys from Wellson, Ohio, explains: "If you don't work at Wal-Mart, the only job you can get around here is in fast food."

Full Story: Blue-Collar Jobs Disappear, Taking Families’ Way of Life Along



Plan for the future

Coming from the Rust Belt myself, this story sound woefully familiar. Everyone in the region has been aware that working in the declining manufacturing field is a risky business. This has been the case at least since the first oil shock in 1973. Sad to think some folks haven't figured that out 35 years later.

I knew people growing up that made good money in the factories so their kids felt education and improving their job skills wasn't necessary. Just get that "secure" job making widgets and spend your money on all the toys you can (or can't) afford. The workers who have lost their jobs and are now forced to take lower paying jobs should have it seen it coming and taken steps to save and take some night/weekend classes done some research into moving into a another field of work. If you work someplace for 30 years and made good money during that time you should enough money to cushion the financial blow and had a plan B.

Americans aren't the best at thinking about long-term planning. It doesn't matter if it is urban planning, personal finances, government budgets, foreign policy, edcuation. . . it's easier to pass the buck to the next generation or at least delay paying this month's bill. Too many people want to find somebody to blame and don't want to any responsibility for their own lives. In this election year, voters would be wise to remember there's always a man (or woman) who claims to have all the answers if only you give them enough power. Hopefully, that power isn't turned against you later on.

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