The Smart. March 9, 2022.
Editorial: Governors empty gesture
While governors across the country have taken the easy decision and banned the purchase and sale of Russian vodka, the gesture is purely symbolic. Consider the ways Ohio helps the Russian economy. It’s a partnership that has grown, with imports from Russia to Ohio increasing 112% from 2020 to 2021, according to Ohio Department of Development data reported by the Dayton Daily News.
It should thrill our region to know that much of this partnership is the result of Ohio importing $751.2 million worth of Russian steel last year; an increase from $344.5 million in 2020. We also import mineral fuel and oil, fertilizers, paper products and – brace yourself – $10.7 million worth of Russian arms and ammunition .
What does Russia get from Ohio? Computers, perfumery and cosmetics are the two leaders of the $220 million in exports that Ohio sends to Russia.
One would assume that Russia can do without the more than $76 million in perfumery and cosmetics that the Dayton Daily News reports we are sending it. Can we do without over $751 million worth of iron and steel? That one isn’t that easy, is it?
Neither the Ohio Department of Commerce nor the Department of Development would discuss the finer details of the state’s relationship with Russia. But one look at the data makes banning Russian vodka seem about as absurd as renaming fries “freedom fries.”
Elected officials here in the United States have tough decisions to make as they figure out how to hit Russia where it hurts. The liquor store was a laughable place to start.
The newspaper. March 8, 2022.
Editorial: West Virginia lawmakers are leading the charge
West Virginia lawmakers are leading the charge in Washington, DC, to stop our country’s financial support of Russia through our use of their fossil fuels. The senses. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., sponsored the Russian Energy Import Ban Act. U.S. Representative David McKinley, RW.Va., is working on similar legislation to be introduced in the House of Representatives.
Good. If anyone is qualified to reassure nervous lawmakers that our country CAN do without fossil fuels imported from Russia, it is the Mountain State delegation. Manchin and Capito were among those who took part in a Zoom meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the weekend, in which Zelenskyy said he agreed with the United States banning Russian fuel imports. fossils.
Even Nancy Pelosi, D-California, agrees we should get there, telling reporters Sunday that the bill hoped for in the House “would ban the import of Russian petroleum and energy products into the United States, abrogate normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, and take the first step in denying Russia access to the World Trade Organization.
It seems like everyone is on board. The question now is how long it will take.
“It’s something that I believe should be done. It should be done immediately,” Manchin said.
He, Capito and McKinley are right, and – provided no one decides to seize the opportunity for filibuster political theater – the bills should pass and stop the flow of American money to Russia as quickly as the bureaucracy can do it.
Parkersburg News and Sentinel. March 10, 2022.
Editorial: Healthcare: Study suggests solutions that should be adopted
Officials know that if they want well-researched, multi-faceted solutions to our state’s complex challenges, researchers at West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics can deliver. When it comes to actually using these discoveries to craft laws or change “the way things have always been done,” the people of Charleston often lose some of their eagerness.
For more than two years now, COVID-19 has laid bare the problems of our state’s health sector, especially staffing shortages and access to quality care. So Ed Timmons and Conor Norris of WVU conducted a study that came up with SIX ways to fix the problem.
Timmons and Norris argued that professional licensing reduced the supply of available professionals and restricted mobility, helping to fuel staffing shortages.
“Professional licensing laws make it a crime to work in a profession without achieving minimum levels of education and training, paying state fees and passing exams,” Timmons said. “…Although they set minimum levels of entry, they also discourage entry and have a disproportionate impact on the disadvantaged. Research documents that professional licensing raises prices and increases unemployment.
Medical education was another target, as Timmons recommended changes, but “all of that would depend on changing medical school admissions criteria and accepting the new three-year degree.” This would, of course, reduce the hundreds of thousands of dollars they receive as students go into debt to become medical professionals. Again, the disadvantaged are discouraged from pursuing such an education.
The study was also aimed at physician assistants and nurse practitioners:
“Redesigning medical training and allowing PAs and NPs to practice independently in accordance with their training will reduce their shortage,” Timmons and Norris concluded. “Other reforms that encourage telemedicine or facilitate interstate migration will help underserved populations receive care.”
Such changes for the better require moves (some of which could reduce revenue streams) from elected officials and bureaucracy. They were ready to temporarily make changes when a pandemic forced action.
“If it made sense to eliminate regulation during the pandemic, it’s worth asking whether regulation will be needed in the future,” Timmons rightly noted.
This goes against the grain, but the people of Charleston and Washington, D.C., would do well to listen to those who have done their homework, if they are truly interested in doing the right thing for the people they serve. .
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