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John Quill made his annual spring appearance last week and may stick around for another few weeks. As we enjoyed a relatively warm afternoon on the deck, he asked:
The new movie about Noah and his ark, combined with the antics of the Indiana General Assembly, led me to setting the fabled story here in the Hoosier state.
Who should be in charge? Governments or private entities? If government, should it be the feds, states, or locals? What level of government, if any, should control transportation, education, health care, libraries, and almost anything else you can imagine?
Once upon a time, Walter Cronkite was “the most trusted man in America.” Last week, I heard former Congressman Lee Hamilton, “the most trusted man in Indiana,” give a talk on ethics in government.
Trust those witty folks in the Indiana General Assembly to keep confounding us simple Hoosiers.
Congratulations to the Indiana General Assembly! These good men and women, unexpectedly, have taken a step forward toward rationality. Or so it would seem.
Recently I had the honor of addressing the Indiana House Committee on Roads and Transportation. One would think such a distinguished group would not want to hear from a longtime critic of the General Assembly. But they merely laughed when I was introduced.
Two good things happened recently: First, we survived another commercial blitz for Valentine’s Day. Second, fear of the public’s good sense caused the Indiana General Assembly to abandon its latest anti-gay crusade. Now we can consider marriage and divorce, two important activities often neg…
Sometimes it seems our political leaders know only four-letter words like jobs. They often precede this with another four-letter word: good.
From what I understand, most Hoosiers are more concerned about the economy than they are about same-sex marriage, alcohol at the State Fair, or any of the other inconsequential matters now occupying the General Assembly.
January is the month for the State of the Entity speech by the chief executive. We have the State of the Union, the State, the City and, some places, the County. Most such speeches are recitations of “successes” and outlines of ideas for the future.
Economic development activity includes prospecting trips and granting incentives. As we witnessed in Indiana, the governor of Louisiana also is off “to develop deeper relationships with companies in Asia”
To begin the New Year, I want to apologize for an error in last week’s column. There I wrote the personal property of commercial and industrial firms was assessed at the state level. That is not true. County assessors remain responsible for such assessments.
Strangely, there is little opposition to eliminating taxes on the equipment (personal property) of Indiana’s businesses.
“Again, why?” William Nillie asked.
“The sky will fall. Inflation will soar. Money will be worthless. Stocks will crash. Auto sales will plummet and Indiana’s economy will go into the tank again.”
The Indiana General Assembly is generous when giving away the revenues of local governments. The latest scheme, advocated by the politicians wielding power at the state level, is to give a nice tax break to businesses at the expense of local governments. They propose to get rid of the proper…
While most folks have heard of The Terminator, many have forgotten the denominator. That’s the number below the line in a fraction.
It was not surprising to see the confusion and attacks generated by the federal government’s effort to make the purchase of health insurance easier. We have seen it before. In business, universities, governments at all levels; new computer applications fail before they succeed.
“What is the purpose of this season of buying and buying more?” asks Oliver Offenon.
What is the No. 1 complaint of Hoosier employers? The labor force is outdated. We do not have enough workers with the training and experience to compete with other states and nations. Some employers would supplement that concern with the high percentage of applicants who cannot pass drug tests.
We have been hearing a great deal about how manufacturing is leading the nation back from the recession, and Indiana is out ahead of the nation in that recovery. Do the numbers verify the story? By-and-large, Yes.
‘Tis the season for strategic planning. Organizations, public and private, for profit and nonprofit feel the need to know where they are going in the next year. If they haven’t made a new strategic plan (or cannot find the one they made last year), there is the anxiety of traveling without a map.
It’s coming, not tomorrow, but soon. You and I will be asked by our federal and state representatives how the nation and Indiana should pay for the roads we drive.
It was after 4 o’clock and Myrtle my muse was late. “What kept you so long?” I asked peevishly.
There are so many ways to look at Brown County. You can marvel at the golden colors as the leaves turn this time of the year. You can admire the high median household income and high rates of educational attainment enjoyed by the citizens of Brown County. Or, you can zero in on the low wages…
It was delightful to read in the newspaper that Kokomo, Elkhart-Goshen and Columbus were among the leading metropolitan areas in economic growth in 2012. The report came from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, and stimulated local public relations people to rejoice with news releases t…
The debate over the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA or Obamacare, seems to be a vast waste of time and energy. The act passed Congress, has been upheld by the Supreme Court and has already done considerable good for millions of Americans.
“Dead last,” Derrick Duldrum pronounced.
Are Hoosiers satisfied to be the best of the worst? Is mediocrity our highest level of aspiration? I like to believe the answer to those questions is NO, but I have my doubts.
Governors and mayors normally talk as if they are personally responsible for bringing jobs to their states and communities.
Michael Huber is the new president at the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. His is not the ordinary climb up the ladder. He has not moved from one chamber to another, ever increasing the size and scope of his responsibilities.
Every student who has taken introductory economics will tell you “if the price rises, less will be bought.” This is so firmly believed that is has been called “The Law of Demand.”
I did not expect it. Although as I look back, I now see I could have seen it coming. Like a hurricane, its path could be forecast although its timing and intensity were surprises.
I have just returned from a trip to the former East Germany and the current Czech Republic. Both were under communist rule for 40 years and they both, in different ways, are working toward the benefits and pitfalls of capitalism.
Several years ago, I asked the chancellor of Ivy Tech in Gary, “Why does your institution exist?” The response was clear and definitive, “We are a second chance school where those who seek additional education experiences can turn after high school.”
“Do you believe in testing?” asked Eugenia Evergreen in her extra earnest voice. It was as if I were being asked if I believed in abortion, the right to choose or the Grand Canyon.
This story requires a long timeline. It is suggested you put on your slippers, snuggle in something comfortable and put your favorite beverage by your side.
Sometimes what everyone knows is not actually known by everyone. Often those who know something don’t pay any attention to what they know. At times that avoidance of the known can be costly.
“So, like how are we doin’?” Eva LaFever asks. “We’re makin’ progress? We’re slippin’ back, maybe?"
The May unemployment rates for Indiana counties were released last week. They show improvement, although the state figure (8.1 percent) remains above the national rate (7.3 percent).
Opinions are solely the writer's. Morton Marcus is an independent economist, writer and speaker. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column is not intended to confuse you, but to share the difficulty of making flat statements about a complicated matter. Be patient and maybe together we can make sense out of what appears to be chaos.
When you come down to it, having a job isn’t enough to make it in modern America.
To many Americans, Indiana is known for corn and the 500 race. These are views that are out-of-date and injurious to the state.
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.
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