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Honda by the Numbers
IndustryWeek (10/24/2017)

In part 3 of his One-Handed Economist series, "What Is Your Value Proposition?" Ned Hill examines how Honda’s obsession with metrics is reflected in an effective mission statement — and how superior performance results.

To read more blogs from the series, please visit

Democrats Don’t Have an Easy Answer for the Rust Belt
The Atlantic

But the question is what Democrats should say. The biggest problem Democrats face now, and will face in the future, is that there are no simple solutions to the economic crisis in the Rust Belt. Democrats have tried, with proposals like infrastructure projects, science and technology education, and tax credits for companies that offer apprenticeships, but few of the policy prescriptions that could begin the process of getting millions of white, working-class men back to work are very sexy. “There’s no silver bullet,” Ned Hill, a professor at Ohio State University and the faculty affiliate for the Ohio Manufacturing Institute, told me. “This is an adult conversation so easy answers aren’t there.” 

Hill says that one way to create jobs in the Rust Belt is to bolster apprenticeship programs so that unskilled workers can get trained in some of the hundreds of thousands of jobs now going unfilled. Another is to model the manufacturing system on the one in Germany, where public-private institutes translate research into potential commercial products, and detailed educational pathways help train students for jobs that will be in demand. “We’ve lost the ability to train a sophisticated manufacturing workforce,” he said. One-fifth of the German workforce is employed in manufacturing—double the U.S.’s share.

Many Trump Foes Eager to See Him Act on NAFTA,  But Economists Warn Against Protectionism
Tom Troy, Toledo Blade, Nov 20, Renegotiating NAFTA

Many economists see NAFTA as a scapegoat for job losses that have more to do with efficiencies, such as robotics and obsolete plants being closed. Ned Hill, professor of public affairs and city and regional planning at Ohio State University, said a withdrawal from NAFTA will drive business to Vietnam and Thailand because of the need for low-cost labor. “If their goal is to raise trade barriers to any country that has a labor cost advantage over the U.S., two things are going to happen: There’s going to be a trade war and the American consumer is going to revolt” because of the suddenly high cost of products, he said. And the manufacturers in the United States who export to Canada, Mexico, and China — Ohio’s three biggest export customers — will suffer.

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"Deregulation shaved $15 billion from Ohio electric bills, lawmakers to meet Friday to re-regulate"
John Funk, Plain Dealer, November 17: 

"The claim is based on joint research and statistical analysis completed for NOPEC by Cleveland State University's Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and Ohio State University's John Glenn College of Public Affairs."

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Ned Hill offers some thoughts on what's next in manufacturing. 
Rachel Abbey McCafferty, Nov. 16. 

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"Factory Towns Felt Left Behind by Clinton, says Ohio State Manufacturing Economist"
Thom Knox Columbus Business First, Nov 9

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Will Trump’s victory be good for Ohio businesses? 
Mark Williams and Dan Gearing, Nov 9

It all depends “The single-most-important thing is the future of NAFTA and the future of the North American trading bloc, because that’s enormously important for Ohio,” said Ned Hill, an Ohio State University economist. Hill cites Honda as an example of a major employer that stands to lose if Trump follows through on his talk about trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement. Honda has assembly plants in Marysville and East Liberty, and it also has factories in Mexico and Canada. A Honda spokesman had no comment. Hill’s larger worry is that Trump does not seem to have a clear economic worldview. That leaves companies guessing about his priorities.

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