Times are tough in Cleveland. How tough? Today a story gave us some sense of the distress felt by many people.
The times in Cleveland are so challenging that, when the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland announced that it was accepting applications for table game and poker dealer jobs that pay between $17 and $22 per hour, 11,800 people applied for 500 openings. Some applicants even took special coaching classes at a nearby community college to try to improve their interviewing skills and show the dazzling personality that casinos apparently are looking for in table game dealers.
In 2009, when Ohio voters approved the constitutional amendment allowing casino gambling in our state, it was sold as a way to create jobs — and at least that promise is being kept. Two years later, the economy still stinks, and former construction workers, machinists, and medical billing technicians who have been out of work for months are so desperate that they have flooded a not-yet-open casino with applications and even taken classes in hopes of improving their slim chances of landing a job dealing blackjack. In my view, that painful reality says a lot more about the true extent of our economic problems than cold statistics ever could.