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In statistics, the median is not a strip of grass down the middle of the highway. The median is the number with half of all values above and half below.
Snail Smith’s real name is Stanley, but his contorted windup and slow pitches gave him the nickname, Snail, during his short baseball career.
I like to complain as much as anybody else. In truth, I may do more than my share of finding fault and wagging a finger in warning.
After baseball, my favorite TV watching is the government channel. Here I can see the local government in action or local government inaction.
Spring is really here. Baseball is being played, the Cubs are already tragic, and Faye of the Forest reappeared on the back deck. She was parked on the railing as I sat down to write this column.
The rancor and moral outrage of the left and right over various current issues eats at the very core of civilized discussion.
Hortense and I were strolling from our car to the Exposition Hall of the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Our goal was the Indiana Artisan Marketplace, but we had to pass the Southwest Pavilion where they were holding the Midwest Reptile Show.
The news recently about Indiana’s economy was a mixed bag. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Indiana ranked 16th in growth of personal income among the 50 states. Our 3.7 percent increase over 2011 beat out the national figure of 3.5 percent.
“Here’s a fact for you,” said Seymour Semaphore, who knows my interest in statistical realities. “Four of the five Indiana counties with the lowest average unemployment rates over the past 24 years border Indianapolis.”
With all the hoopla about basketball, several important issues are being neglected. But what else can arouse the passions of our citizens?
Indiana gains from commuting. More money flows into Indiana than leaves the state from the daily movement of workers. In 2011 the difference between the inflow and the outflow was in excess of $4 billion.
The nation’s 366 metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, accounted for 89 percent of the $13.3 trillion United States Gross Domestic Product in 2011. After the polluted language we’ve heard from legislators in Washington and Indianapolis, doesn’t that sentence give you a nice, clean feeling?
Tim Ptomaine is a quiet fellow not given to hysterics, but the day we met he was agitated.
The plane was ready to take off, and I could not help noticing the woman sitting next to me. She looked like the national real estate agent of the year. Her iridescent baby blue and muted magenta tweed outfit clung to a body that survived on Special-K alone.
In the past week a suggestion has come forward that Hoosier schoolchildren should be educated in financial matters. Specific mention was given to loans, mortgages and credit cards.
Each year consumers cooperate with the U.S. Bureaus of Labor Statistics and the Census to report how we spend our money. According to the 2011 Survey of Consumer Expenditures, our 122 million households spent $6.1 trillion or nearly $50,000 per household.
Facts about the past or present are often hard to interpret. Facts about the future rarely exist, which leaves us with fantasies (forecasts) of pleasant anticipation or fearful apprehension.
The Rockefeller Foundation has called for ideas that address the nation’s youth unemployment situation. Here are mine:
After all the weeks of political campaigning, it is a joy to see an ad for an automobile, a beer, a hamburger, a dish washing detergent, even a medicine that has disastrous side effects.
Jim talks more than anybody else. Our Wednesday breakfasts aren’t dominated by him, but he does have more to say than any of the other nine at the table.
No week goes by without an email from Murkey Matrus, a successful Hoosier entrepreneur, now in retirement. Lately the themes have been consistent with the national debate consuming the presidential and congressional elections.
If you are new to Indiana, there are mysteries you need to understand. One of those is called Interstate 69, the highway being built between Indianapolis, Bloomington, Crane and Evansville.
In most economic matters there are information/action lags.
The data are in from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Indiana had a good year in fiscal 2012 (the 12 months ending in June this year).
In the decade of the Great Depression, the 1930s, the population of Indiana grew by 5.8 percent. Later, in the 1970s, a decade of great economic turmoil, the state’s population advanced by 5.7 percent. The 1980s saw a strong recession and a subsequent restructuring of American business; Indi…
Just when you thought you had enough of statistics, let me introduce you to JOLTS. No, this is not something about the NFL Colts. JOLTS is a series of data produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
Crusty Crawford joined our lunch table with a pronouncement. "We've always assumed a close tie between output and employment," he said. No one responded.
My friend is a carpenter. He has two heavy boxes of tools and several other containers with stuff. I recognize some of the tools, but many of them are mysterious to me.
Rarely do I find a book that I can suggest to all my friends. "College Acceleration: Innovating Through the New American Research High School" by Eric Ban is such a book.
The baseball season is here. Basketball and hockey are slipping behind us. Football lies ahead. This is the time to appreciate, to celebrate the excitement and suspense of our great American game.
Hoosiers, as Americans everywhere, have prepared or are preparing their 2011 tax returns. These voluntary and timely payments account for about 85 percent of the taxes owed to the federal government. Are you part of the 15 percent not in compliance with the tax laws?
Congratulations to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on the following media release from March 13:
I have no inherent opposition to school vouchers. The idea parents should be able to choose what schools their children attend is fine with me, within limits. That the state should pay for education stirs no primitive animosity in my soul.
"Psst, bud," the voice spoke from the shadows. "Wanna earn a few bucks ... easy like?"
I've been trying to escape the partisan politics now dominating our state and our country. My efforts have not been successful.
There is a parody going around on the internet of the famous Abbott and Costello routine "Who's on first?" This one concerns the unemployment rate and the fact some people choose to drop out of the labor force after experiencing a prolonged period without a job.
Euturn Wright, the noted economic development specialist, was in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl extravaganza. I talked with him as we stood waiting to climb the stairs for the zip line. This exhilarating 800–foot ride down a cable from a height of 95 feet was one of the highlights of the su…
The ongoing trend in state–local government relations in Indiana is increasing paternalism.
"It's simple," Harry the Hipster tells me. "You guys, and most economists are guys, make this stuff so complicated. So much of this is connected to that, with this exception and that caution, like maybe nobody can understand. You get my drift?"
In case you did not notice, the major problem in the economy is weakness in the construction industry. Although recovery has taken place in most sectors, construction, particularly residential construction, continues in the doldrums.
Herbert Humbler, a Hoosier more modest that most, points out a new trend in Indiana. "I'm not sure, but it seems to me," he says, "that we are into an era where ordinary caution so typical of Indiana is being forsaken for accelerated action. That is not the Hoosier way."
The Indiana General Assembly would do the state a service by NOT bringing right–to–work legislation up for a vote. This is contrary to the position of the governor and the Republican leaders who see a political opportunity to stomp on unions that tend to support Democrats.
Herman Halflife is a friend who wants to improve my existence at the risk of being a pest. He is always after me about why I did not and do not achieve more in my life.
Each year about this time, Elvin Elfenhausen, one of Santa's most reliable elves, let's me in on the goings–on at the North Pole. Few business activities are as complex as Santa's workshop. Imagine producing myriad presents for children of all ages and distributing those goodies in a brief s…
Ah, December when the sweet sounds of retail trade are in the air. Christmas music accompanies the electronic beep of the code scanner.
Billy Bygone is an ardent follower of political news on Fox and MSNBC. Like a fanatic football fan, he spends hours anticipating and analyzing who's ahead in the preliminaries to the primaries.
I don't care if Michelle Bachman has migraine headaches. I don't care if Herman Cain had trouble controlling his hands in years past. It does not bother me that Mitt Romney has changed his mind on key issues for political advantage. Newt Gingrich's marital and extra–marital affairs are no af…
Skylar Smooth is the sage of site selectors. He knows the business: find a client who wants to open a new facility or move an existing one and then locate the ideal place for that firm. Skylar's mail box is full each day with brochures, pamphlets, sample boxes, and DVDs portraying the beauti…
The 2010 Census was a portrait of how Americans live. This week let's look in depth at how Hoosiers house themselves and the business opportunities those choices provide.
The elections of 2011 are just ahead. Voter turnout, if the past is any guide, will be lower than in the general eection of 2010 and lower still than in the presidential election of 2008.
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