In this episode, I received a solicitation from JobsOhio (the Ohio Economic Development Corporation) about relocating our Massachusetts-based business to Ohio. I looked at the data and concluded that there are a bunch of reasons why I personally won’t be doing that.

Links mentioned:
State equality scorecards from HRC
US News and World Report education rankings
Mass Shootings by State

Mind Readings: Moving Business to Ohio?
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In today’s episode, I got a piece of paper mail from the State of Ohio recommending that business leaders should be relocating their businesses to Ohio. And they make some claims in here about having a thriving economy. Low tax rates lots of innovation, et cetera.

Now, here’s the thing. A lot of business communication is focused around taxes, right? It’s cheaper to operate your business in one place for another. But one of the things that we are all struggling with right now as businesses is employees. Right? Finding employees that are qualified. Finding places for our employees to live, which are aligned with the values that our employees have.

Now, we are my company is a Massachusetts based company. So let’s compare a few data points about Ohio and Massachusetts and see if Ohio is actually a better place to do business. Massachusetts has an 8% tax rate on businesses for any amount of revenue. Ohio’s a 0.26. Right. So they have they do have lower taxes, but taxes are one of those things that they like subscriptions.

Right. Like Netflix and Hulu and stuff like that. You get what you pay for some services cost more, but you get more for your dollar. Netflix has a lot of content. Amazon Prime, not as much content. And then there’s all the little ones and twosies like, you know, Paramount Plus and stuff like that. So what do you get in Massachusetts?

What’s included in the Massachusetts subscription that is not included in the Ohio subscription? Well, this there’s three things I think, that are relevant. Number one, talent itself. If you look at the U.S. News and World Reports rankings for education, Massachusetts is rated in for education and number two in America. And it is one of the best states for higher education for all forms of education.

Ohio is rated number 31. Right. So your talent pool there, at least from a broad education basis, is much lower Right. So you’re going to have a harder time attracting talented workers there than you would finding them than you would in Massachusetts. That’s number one. Number two, on a absolute basis, Ohio is number ten in America for mass shootings.

Massachusetts is like number 35. Right. It’s way the heck down on a percentage population basis. Ohio is number 16. Number 15 in America. For mass shootings. Massachusetts on a percentage basis is number 36. So Ohio is less safe as a place to live because you’re more likely to get shot there in mass shootings, which is generally bad. And finally, from a social perspective, we’re going to use HRC the Human Rights Campaign’s data about the laws around nondiscrimination and equality.

Now, HRC focuses mostly on things like gender identity LGBTQ friendliness, but the Venn diagram of discrimination and hate crimes against gay people and racism and sexism and etc. is basically a circle. Right. If a place is discriminatory against one class of minority they’re discriminatory against everyone that is not in the majority. There are very few exceptions to that rule, the very, very tightly knit Venn diagram.

So how does Massachusetts and Ohio compare? Massachusetts has virtually all pro equality laws like second parent adoption, surrogacy, laws, foster parent training required, foster care nondiscrimination. It has no anti-equality laws like prohibition of surrogacy or laws against sodomy laws against criminalizing HIV and AIDS. It has tons of pro equality laws for hate crimes. So enumerated hate crimes laws mandatory reporting of statistics.

Nondiscriminatory laws are employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care. It has no religious refusal exemptions. It allows. Massachusetts has a ton of laws against anti-bullying for all sorts of things LGBTQ inclusiveness, no laws against transgender exclusions in sports and things like that, and inclusive health care laws for pretty much everybody. And people like transgender folks are not excluded in Medicaid coverage.

So from a equality perspective, from a a social good perspective, Massachusetts is doing pretty well. Ohio, on the other hand, pretty much everything that Massachusetts does, Ohio does not do. For example, there’s no second parent adoption laws. There’s no hate enumerated hate crime laws. There’s no mandatory reporting of hate crime statistics. Right. HIV and AIDS are still criminalized in Ohio.

There is no equality laws for employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption. There are no anti-bullying laws for most categories. Transgender people are excluded in state Medicaid coverage. Transgender people are excluded from receiving appropriate state I.D. So if all you care about is pure profit and nothing else. Yeah, I guess Ohio would be a better place to do business because you’re going to pay less in taxes at a state level.

But in terms of providing the kind of environment where your employees would want to live and work Especially younger employees, because something like 5% of Generation Z identifies as transgender Ohio is a terrible place compared to Massachusetts. I would not want to raise my family there. Not with the lack of laws and protections. It has more mass shootings.

It has lower education. I wouldn’t put my business there not not for lower taxes because as I said, taxes are subscriptions. You get what you pay for. Massachusetts has higher taxes. It has higher personal taxes. It has higher business taxes. But you’re paying those taxes for a reason. You’re buying something with them. It’s not paying taxes to the government and then vanishes into a black hole.

You’re paying taxes to get stuff Better laws, better enforcement of law, safer schools, safer everywhere, more restrictions on what people can do with their firearms. And yeah, this is definitely a a political perspective. If you are in the population of people who likes having laws against transgender people getting Medicaid. If you’re the kind of person who likes having a place where there are more mass shootings because there’s there’s much more gun ownership, then Ohio is the place for you, right?

It is definitely a place for people who want a certain outlook on life for my business and my family and stuff is not a good fit for me. And I would question the wisdom of sending out this kind of mailing to businesses in Massachusetts, particularly Massachusetts cities, because we tend to cities in general. The Massachusetts cities especially tend to be much more liberal because you know what you’re getting, right?

You know what you’re getting when you pay higher taxes in Massachusetts, you’re getting more services you’re getting more benefits, you’re getting better laws, et cetera. So I think it’s safe to say I will not be relocating my business to Ohio. Anytime soon. And that Ohio itself has a lot of work to do to make it a place where everyone has equality under the law and to make it a place where it is safer for people to live and make it a place where people are better educated to invest more in education, again, higher taxes.

But you’re buying a better educated population, which means better workers which means more productive workers, which means more sustainable business. And the if you’re the the laws of where you live. Focus on things like equality then you’re going to attract employees who value those things. And those typically it’s not it’s not a strong correlation, but there is definitely an association of people who care about equality and people who tend to be better workers.

Right. There. They view other people as equal. They view other people as deserving a lack of judgment until you prove that you’re a jerk individually, and especially for people with families where you have younger generations that identify and see the world very differently than, you know, us old folks. Massachusetts is going to be a more welcoming environment for them.

It’s going to be a safer place for them to live. Um, you know, something as simple as like conversion therapy, right? Conversion therapy is expressly prohibited under most progressive states laws, school suicide prevention policies, LGBTQ inclusive sex education laws, these are things that don’t exist in Ohio.

And they’re important. They’re important for everybody, but they are especially important for the younger generations of talent that we are all trying to create to keep up with the global economy. So that’s today’s mind readers. I’m sure that some folks will have some interesting things to say in the comments. Please keep it simple. And focused on data as much as you can.

I’ll put links to the various pieces of research in the post so you can check it out for yourself. But thanks for tuning in. We’ll talk to you soon. If you like this video, go ahead and hit that subscribe button.

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