COLUMBUS — Ohio Mayors Association President Mike Barhorst attended the Ohio Chamber of Commerce 2022 State of Business Summit held earlier this week in Columbus. The annual event, sponsored this year by JPMorgan Chase, featured a fireside chat between JPMorgan Chase CEO and Chair Jamie Dimon and Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Stivers.
The business summit included a frank exchange between Dimon and the audience about how world events are impacting business in Ohio and across the country. The free-flowing conversation included topics as diverse as the war in The Ukraine, crypto currency, the minimum wage, taxes, the standard of living, the pandemic, the economy, the educational system and beyond.
When Stivers asked Dimon about the work from home phenomenon, Dimon was quick to respond. “While it may have been necessary during the pandemic, it is not good for the economy over the long-run. It slows decision-making, it stifles creativity, and it does nothing to promote ingenuity. Of the young people we are hiring, they want to go to work. They want to meet people. They want to date. They want to develop relationships. It’s hard to do that at home looking at a computer screen.”
Responding to a question from Stivers about the minimum wage, Dimon was candid. “The bottom 20% of workers have not had a wage increase in 20 years. Increasing the minimum wage would help them, help the economy, and be good for the country.”
With respect to education, Dimon compared the United States to Germany and Switzerland. “About 30% of students in each of the three countries attend college. In both Germany and Switzerland, the other 70% receive vocational training and enjoy excellent careers in a wide range of professions. That simply does not happen in America. As a result, we have an untrained work force that hampers economic growth and leads to a host of societal problems.”
When asked about how governmental regulations hamper small business growth, Dimon was again straightforward. “There are a number of things that hamper business growth. Regulations are but one of those. Taxes are another. Even more crucial is having a trained work force. It is hard to grow any business if you cannot find trained employees.”
“I’ve watched Dimon’s career with interest after he became Chairman and CEO of Bank One,” Barhorst stated following the event. “At the time, Bank One was Sidney’s largest financial institution, and an important player in the local economy. When Bank One merged with JPMorgan Chase and he became president of the newly merged financial institution, it was natural that I would continue to follow his career.”
“Having the opportunity to represent Ohio’s mayors has provided the opportunity not only to meet government officials from across the state and beyond,” Barhorst continued, “but executives like Dimon who have truly helped shape the future of this country. It has truly been rewarding, and beneficial to the city of Sidney.”
The sold-out event was held In the Rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse. Following the fireside chat, participants had the opportunity to meet members of the Ohio House and Senate who were in attendance.