As we smoked a Rocky Patel Edge yesterday, we pondered this Northward view of the Ohio river from the Kentucky side.
148 years ago, if we were black, we would be looking at freedom less than a mile away. That river was the Mason-Dixon line and blacks were free if they could make it to the other side.
Today the river is still a boundary of freedom. Not anything like it once was, but consider these freedoms that suffer when you cross this river into Ohio:
Business Friendliness. Kentucky is rated #27 to Ohio's #39 in business friendliness by The Tax Foundation. If you want to start a business, Kentucky is more a friend to you than Ohio.
Guns. While we would call Ohio "gun friendly," it doesn't compare to Kentucky. Two laws come to mind that just show there are still enough liberals in Ohio that want to keep citizens from being completely free: 1) Ohio concealed carry permit holders must declare to police officers that they have a permit and are, or are not, carrying a weapon. See why no other state requires this - our Canton PD post. Officer Daniel Harless was suspended for a while, but is now back on patrol in Canton. 2) Ohio restricts magazine capacity to 30. Another silly law that has not saved a single life but has restricted the commercial activities of every law-abiding Ohioan.
Taxes. While Kentucky and Ohio are nearly in sync in income and sales taxes, Ohio allows towns to charge their own income tax. Ohio caps local taxes to 2% - that is in addition to federal and state taxes. We shared this with Captain Capitalism over cigars earlier this month, which prompted him to make this video.
Speed Limits. Kentucky lets you drive up to 70mph on their freeways. Ohio, until last year had the upper limit of 65. They have now allowed some stretches to be driven at 70, but they are few. In addition to local taxes, another surprise if you move to Ohio will be the speed traps. Speed limits have less to do with safety and more to do with revenue generation. For example, it is 55 on the 3-4 lane freeways through Cincinnati.
White Guilt. You'd be surprised to learn that white guilt is prevalent in Ohio whereas hard to find in Kentucky. Of course this is subjective, but we dare anyone to offer an argument. And this has less to do with freedom than it does with fostering an honest, open and competitive environment. We've been active in the entrepreneurial and investor networks within the S. Ohio and N. Kentucky cities. It was in Ohio we were told, by a bunch of white investors by the way, that our business idea was sound, but that "we prefer to invest in diversity." Cincinnati is a VERY segregated city, and it is also in Cincinnati where America's latest race riot occurred - in 2001. Since the riot, the city built the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. It is an ugly building that sits between Cincinnati's sports arenas. Here is a picture from their website, taken at night. To see the building in the day, just look for the school buses. It is a very public joke that the Center's only visitors are the public school kids that are bused in for their 'see how horrible white people can be' field trips.
Public Education. Only our critics would argue education can't be tied to freedom. Wrong. A quality education is the foundation of freedom. We are less free today, regardless of what state we live it and regardless of which party is in the white house, because we've had successive generations pushed through a government-run [liberal] education system that prioritizes the unions and employees over the students. Karl had one child in an Ohio high school and feels the education there was at, or above, average. But again, Ohio looks poor in comparison to Kentucky when you consider a Cincinnati school was recently caught modifying their student's ACT tests before submitting the tests for grading. The embarrassment was covered up, and more cheating is suspected across the state. Further, the city's main newspaper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, didn't print a word about it. Note to 'educators' that feel they need to cheat: Don't show an entire class of pupils to be at, or above, the national reading levels. If the test results for a large inner-city high school resemble only the right side of a bell curve, there may be some cheating.
Watch out for those Rocky Patel cigars! They can inspire all kinds of thoughts.
And to put this in perspective - Ohio is a great state if you move from California (#48) as Karl and his family did back in 2008.
10.23: Thanks for the link, Captain!