What we need (Utah Phillips)

Everyone needs a nice place to live in,
And good food to eat that's not too expensive,
And clean clothes with no holes or patches.
A doctor to call, an old friend to visit,
A way to get places, parties, and music.
A street to walk safely,
And benches to sit on with shade in the summer,
And warm friendly places to be in the winter,
Some work to do that's useful to others
and doesn't get boring.
People to come to for all kinds of answers,
And somebody checkin' so nobody's forgotten.
Money to spend that's given and taken
Without feeling guilty.
Love without pity,
Pride without anger,
Everyone knows what everyone needs,
But programs, laws, city councils, commissions,
Agencies, bureaus can't give it to us.
All of us need the best in each other,
And if we can find it,
And if we can give it,
The rest will soon follow.
If we all stick together,
We'll get what we need.

(This was printed in the insert of Utah Phillips' 1979 album All Used Up. I googled for it yesterday, for a Christmas tweet, and was shocked not to find it in wide circulation... only on this Facebook site. So I'm posting it.

(Mr. Phillips was born in Cleveland in 1935 to two union organizers.)


Ohio coal: How many jobs?

As angry bipartisan crowds of Ohio politicians gather to defend "our coal jobs" from the US EPA's proposed new rules for coal power plants, it's worth noting just how many jobs we're talking about.

Here's how many, courtesy of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Labor Market Information site:

Yes, those are the actual numbers -- no zeros have been omitted.

(It's off topic, but note the increase in Ohio coal employment during the "Obama war on coal" years.)

Another 4,000-5,000 Ohioans work at fossil-fueled power plants, mostly operated by the utilities. Can't tell from the LMI figures how many of those jobs are at coal-fired plants,  but the state has almost as many utility generating sites fueled by natural gas as by coal these days.

So estimating generously, Ohio might have as many as 7,000 actual "coal jobs".

(For perspective: Total jobs in the state -- about 5.4 million. Total unemployed in the state as of April -- 328,000. At least 46 individual companies -- retailers, banks, health systems, manufacturers, universities -- had more than 7,000 Ohioans on their payrolls in 2013.)


Ohio House committee testimony on HB 483

On Wednesday I went to Columbus and testified about House Bill 483 before the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee.

Here's my prepared testimony.

Olivera Perkins quoted some of it in her Tuesday PD article about the bill.

Update 4/7:  News this morning -- the Committee is removing the language that would require online filing of unemployment claims from the version of HB 483 they'll be reporting out.  Progress!

(Of course there's plenty of opportunity for the House, or the Senate, to put some version of it back in before HB 483's final passage.)