The Dispatch recently highlighted, in its main front page article, the heartbreaking growth of eligibility for Ohio’s school lunch program. Due to the loss of jobs, continued economic pressure on Ohio’s working and poor families, the Dispatch article points out, a majority of Ohio’s public school students are now receiving government aid just to be able to have a decent, healthy lunch while going to school.

I would certainly think that this information would spur our legislators to immediately go into crisis mode, and begin to do everything possible to reverse this growing misery, despair and poverty. I guess that would be the case if the present legislature had, as its goal, to actually perform their jobs in a way that would help our citizens. However, that hardly appears to be so. This past year also saw passage of SB 5, the attack on Ohio’s public worker’s collective bargaining rights. Now in neighboring Indiana, the legislature is moving to pass a notorious ‘right to work’ law, which would gut worker’s ability to bargain to raise their living standards. Dispatch editor Joe Hallett was correct in pointing out that workers living in states with ‘right to work’ laws presently make on the average of $5,333 less each year than workers in states where collective bargaining is still operating (“Indiana’s Enactment of Right-to Work Law Will be Felt in Ohio,” Sunday, 1/15/12). This is just one more example of the Republicans in office working overtime to continue to impoverish working folks, while doing everything possible to enrich the wealthy top 1%. Shame on them!

Bruce Bostick