Saturday, October 07, 2006

T. J. and Alvin reframe the dialogue

Tribune-Chronicle: The Land of Cleves should listen to what's coming out of the Town of the Young, on The T.J. and Alvin Show. I figured I'd couch it in a cartoon format since this is Saturday morning, and that's what Saturdays are for--or used to be, anyway. We didn't call it "Saturday," in our house, we called it "Cartoon Day." But back to reality--

"Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, said the choice belongs to its residents, and an answer could lie in lengthening the school year.

‘‘We can say the global economy hurts us — and it has hurt us — but if we act like victims, we’ll be abused like victims,’’ he said in a passionate speech at the Chamber’s 15th annual Mahoning Valley Growth Awards breakfast at the Holiday Inn Metroplex in Liberty.

The key, he said, can be found in how well the area innovates and educates, not in pointing fingers or setting up huge government bureaucracies that follow 20th century thinking.

He pointed out that Korean children attend school 220 days in a year, while the Ohio school year is 40 days shorter. The difference amounts to two and two-thirds additional Ohio school years over the 12 years a state resident is in school.

‘‘A hundred and eighty days puts us at a disadvantage in the global market,’’ he said. ‘‘Let the discussion start here.’’

The second-term congressman said he recently met with prominent ‘‘futurist’’ author Alvin Toffler to discuss Toffler’s latest book, ‘‘Revolutionary Wealth,’’ which studies new global economic trends.

Ryan, whose Mahoning Valley and Akron district has been hard hit with job losses in the ‘‘old economy’’ manufacturing, said Toffler met him for an hour in Ryan’s office. He then canceled meetings to talk another 1 1/2 hours.

Toffler’s message was government and others have to change their views on the economy, Ryan said.

‘‘We approach it from the industrial age. Our government is built for bureaucracies — labor laws, taxes,’’ he said. ‘‘We can be a place where people all over the world look to see best practices, where the next Bill Gates is from.’’"

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