The Winter 2011 Listening Project survey featured a series of questions that polled respondents about their thoughts on the economy and ideastream’s coverage “Changing Gears.” Below are the survey questions, and selected responses from the 50 respondents.
Question #1: What is your view of the region’s economy over the past six months?
“I am optimistic but worry that high foreclosure rates have caused long-term harm in some communities.”
“Resources were squandered on political divisiveness that could have been used for job creation.”
“Many can’t find jobs and have just stopped looking. I’m retired but would love a part-time job but there is nothing around.”
“The November 2010 elections are another indication of Ohio’s lack of belief in itself and its unwillingness to invest in itself. ‘Open for business,’ says the governor-elect. Which business? Enron? BP? Fracking? Privatization of essential services?”
“The economy is improving, but not evenly. Everyone needs to look for ways to make extra money which will stimulate the economy. The internet is changing the way we do things. There are good opportunities, but choose carefully.”
“I work in public service and the impression I have is many more people (need) services and help than in the past decade. Our volume for assistance is THREE times what it was 18 months ago - and keeps increasing daily as we set internal records for assistance documentation. All in all, the mood is not getting better - and the unemployment rates stays the same and seem to be edging upwards even still…”
“It couldn’t really have gotten any worse. We bottomed out early, I think.”
Question #2: How would you describe your own personal or familial economic situation over the past six months?
“As an upper-class family, our economic situation over the past six months has stayed the same.”
“I finally got a job after searching for about 15 months.”
“I still continue to be worried about pending layoffs (myself) and the apartment complex where my husband works going into receivership (and causing him to lose his job).”
“Although my husband still has a job, it is paying half of what it used to. This wouldn’t be bad except food, gas, utilities, etc…, have risen.”
“Of course it hasn’t helped that the ex has stopped paying child support and is instead wasting my time and limited income to take him to court, which he can afford.”
“Doing more to keep my low income job rather than starting over again. Wife’s job is in danger too.”
“Increased health insurance cost without any increase in pay. Health insurers seem to be trying to set a new baseline before 2014 when reform kicks in.”
“We just keep working…”
Question #3: How would you rate ideastream’s recent economic coverage (within the past six months)?
“I feel that ideastream’s coverage is excellent.”
“I love Changing Gears.”
“The region could use a developing (continuously improving), focused, matrixed plan for job creation and community reinvestment.”
“I like the Changing Gears project, but do not feel it is hard hitting enough.”
“I love listening to ‘Marketplace’ and ‘As it Happens.’ I’d love to see you do that on a local/regional level.”
“Your 9:00 AM program too seldom has on specialists from outside Ohio, or specialists willing to be critical, naming names, of the decision-making of business executives or government officials. Also the voice of average citizens (John and Jane Does) would be nice to hear.”
“You need to integrate via PRI some of the BBC’s perspectives. World perspectives are very different than the U.S. perspectives. We need to be less U.S. and more world perspective.”
Question #4: Is there anything you’d like to have ideastream cover in future economic-related reports and programs?
“Specials on the Rust Belt.”
“I would like to see more focus on the retail and transportation industries.”
“I think that we have an outstanding network of parks and of hospitals in the region. I see a future in work focused around healthy living. The local food movement and green building network are also doing strategic work to move our region ahead.”
“ideastream should discuss why even highly educated individuals are experiencing high levels of unemployment. Scientific and engineering development work has practically disappeared from Northern Ohio. Even NASA Cleveland would be gone if it wasn’t for a lot of make work projects demanded by the Northern Ohio Congressional delegation.”
“New job prospects for people over 55 years of age. Employers seem to want younger people but we over 55 have a better work ethic.”
“RTA service cuts. How are people living in the inner city going to get to jobs in the suburbs? Some have to take three buses - and they are not always so reliable.”
“Where are the ‘new’ jobs in NE Ohio?”
“Do more coverage on the resurgent manufacturing economy and also about how Gov. Elect Kasich wants to kill alternative energy projects.”
“Effect of economy on non-profits and on children’s services - care of children and youth in CCDCFS custody/foster care.”
“Cover the need for technical training and how young adults can become prepared for careers in this area - auto repair, HVAC, truck repair, etc.”
“Where are the jobs? Property taxes. What the banks really did that has affected cities and properties. China products - where are the American products?”
“Higher education is overpriced. With the advent of the internet, (and) concern over the environment, we need to rethink the idea of having students brought to a central location only to sit at a computer or listen to a lecture which could be more interactive and informative using a computer. They could stay at home and accomplish the same goal. We need to bring our educational system into the 21st century.”
“Where are all the biological science jobs the bio sector was supposed to bring with it?”
Question #5: Are you familiar with the series “Changing Gears”?
“The talking heads on radio programs don’t create jobs.”
“Painful realization that I may never recover the financial security of the 1990’s.”
“It has potential.”
“I like this series but do not feel it is hard hitting enough.”
Question #6: If you’ve listened to “Changing Gears,” what do you think?
“It’s good the way it is; if you keep tinkering with it you may break what you have.”
“There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs, but there are a lot of scams too.”
“It is too nice. Rehashing old problems but offering few solutions and cowardly. Not willing to report on the real political reasons for the decline of the Great Lakes region.”