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EYE ON THE PIE: For whom the roads toll

Evan Bayh has made it official: he will not run for governor in 2016. His reason: he could not have the impact he would like to have since the General Assembly will be firmly in the hands of the Republicans. This is consistent with his long-term position as a figurehead rather than a leader …

September 20, 2014 10:42 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Return sales tax to counties of origin

There are 17 legislative interim summer study commissions operating in Indiana. From these will come the blueprints for legislation in the next session.

September 13, 2014 8:05 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: Political season opens with a bang

Now that Labor Day is past, the season of hunting for voters is fully open.

September 06, 2014 12:18 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: Taxing commuters a complex task

Lately, at least in Indianapolis, nice people have been making noises about taxing neighbors who do not live in Marion County but work there.

August 30, 2014 8:00 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Hoosier workers not gaining on the nation

A few readers of the South Bend newspaper have sent emails complaining that either they do not understand my columns or that I waste their time by not sticking to the facts. That I include some of my conclusions from the data seems to be an irritant.

August 23, 2014 7:53 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Hoosier spending revealed

The good folks at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis have come up with a new number, one we have never seen before.

August 16, 2014 2:52 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: The higher education funding mess

Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years.

August 02, 2014 8:06 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Tax simplification is no simple matter

The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.

July 26, 2014 9:22 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Private sector option for safer streets

We were in Edinburgh at the Pixy Theater waiting to hear the Wright Brothers play. For reasons I cannot explain, I began to think of the growing concern about public safety in communities across the state. It was an incongruous series of thoughts in that delightful setting.

July 19, 2014 9:39 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Indiana’s small-business friendliness

It must be the season. Another ranking of the states crossed my desk this week. That’s the second in two weeks. This time it’s from the Kauffman Foundation, the Kansas City organization that promotes entrepreneur development, and its polling affiliate, Thumbtack.com from San Francisco.

July 12, 2014 9:59 am

EYE ON THE PIE: A new ranking of the states

The same day Gov. Pence held his tax circus (conference) 2 weeks ago, CNBC the cable business channel CNBC released its ranking of “America’s Top States for Business.”

July 05, 2014 4:20 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: Indiana’s cold beer wars

The regulars who frequent Fitness by Denial were sitting around imbibing their favorite beverages when the topic came up. “What do you think of the court’s decision in the cold beer wars?” asked a senior member of the state Legislature.

June 28, 2014 11:09 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Ups and downs of the Indiana economy

You probably did not notice it. Perhaps the World Cup or the early summer weather absorbed your attention. Nonetheless, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis published the latest data about Indiana’s Gross Domestic Product.

June 21, 2014 7:52 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Ivy Tech may hold keys to Indiana’s future

Now that Ivy Tech’s physical empire has been built, with a branch in almost every county, it’s time to determine what role that institution will play in providing education for Hoosiers.

June 14, 2014 11:32 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Targeted economic development

Where, oh where, should we put our economic development resources? This question often goes unasked by economic development agencies. There are those who are philosophically opposed to answering that question. Others believe the answers are so obvious, it is not necessary to give voice to the issue.

June 07, 2014 11:33 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Hoosiers keep fooling themselves

If Indiana is doing so well, why are we doing so poorly? By now you’ve heard Indiana continues to have a declining unemployment rate, a rate below the unemployment rate nationally.

May 31, 2014 9:53 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Municipal fantasies you may have missed

Hoosier mayors and their city councils are beleaguered by fiscal crises set upon them by Indiana’s Legislature. Some mayors take up the challenge, working hard to trim expenditures, doing as little harm as possible to the public’s welfare. Other mayors invest in fantasies.

May 24, 2014 10:28 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Men and women and mind games

Economist Gary Becker died last week. He was a professor at the University of Chicago and winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in Economics.

May 17, 2014 8:01 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Local economic development in doubt

Recently I heard a state representative and a state senator discuss the activities of the 2014 Indiana Legislature.

May 03, 2014 9:56 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Illinois brings joy to Indiana

From the email this week, I sensed a profound need by Hoosiers to find joy in the problems of Illinois.

April 26, 2014 2:46 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: Truth is often unwelcome

Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.”

April 19, 2014 7:55 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Reality not built on news releases

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:

April 12, 2014 9:49 am

EYE ON THE PIE: If Noah had been a Hoosier

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.

April 05, 2014 12:47 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: Lack of ethics is a two way street

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.

March 22, 2014 3:06 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: Urban transit questions go unanswered

Trust those witty folks in the Indiana General Assembly to keep confounding us simple Hoosiers.

March 15, 2014 9:34 am

EYE ON THE PIE: State to study economic incentives

Congratulations to the Indiana General Assembly! These good men and women, unexpectedly, have taken a step forward toward rationality. Or so it would seem.

March 03, 2014 12:33 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: A tribute deserved

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.

March 01, 2014 11:44 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Marriage and divorce Hoosier style

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…

February 22, 2014 9:36 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Hoosier wage gap widens

Sometimes it seems our political leaders know only four-letter words like jobs. They often precede this with another four-letter word: good.

February 08, 2014 11:41 am

EYE ON THE PIE: When is enough enough?

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.

February 01, 2014 8:57 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Indiana twiddling with tax reform

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.

January 25, 2014 12:45 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: Economic development or ego gratification?

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”

January 18, 2014 8:27 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Odds and ends for the new year

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.

January 11, 2014 9:48 am

EYE ON THE PIE: More concerns about business taxes

Strangely, there is little opposition to eliminating taxes on the equipment (personal property) of Indiana’s businesses.

January 05, 2014 6:00 am

BITS & BYTES: Wishing doesn’t change the facts

“Again, why?” William Nillie asked.

December 28, 2013 9:40 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Is the party over?

“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.”

December 21, 2013 9:45 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Personal property tax evidence needed

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…

December 14, 2013 9:38 am

EYE ON THE PIE: The devil is in the denominator

While most folks have heard of The Terminator, many have forgotten the denominator. That’s the number below the line in a fraction.

December 07, 2013 9:49 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Confusion in world of computers

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.

November 30, 2013 9:28 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Competing views of giving

“What is the purpose of this season of buying and buying more?” asks Oliver Offenon.

November 23, 2013 9:24 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Not the time to emphasize our negatives

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.

November 16, 2013 9:04 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Indiana leading the way back

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.

November 09, 2013 10:31 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Strategic planning for economic developmen

‘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.

November 02, 2013 11:52 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Breakfast competition mirrors capitalism

It was after 4 o’clock and Myrtle my muse was late. “What kept you so long?” I asked peevishly.

October 19, 2013 9:43 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Brown County working sensibly toward better future

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…

October 12, 2013 9:27 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Data used to make us feel good

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…

October 05, 2013 9:34 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Health care debate rages

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.

September 28, 2013 10:16 am

EYE ON THE PIE: Entrepreneurial deficiency questioned

“Dead last,” Derrick Duldrum pronounced.

September 21, 2013 2:56 pm

EYE ON THE PIE: The job deficit and political noise

Governors and mayors normally talk as if they are personally responsible for bringing jobs to their states and communities.

September 07, 2013 9:43 am

EYE ON THE PIE: A change at the top

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.

August 31, 2013 10:12 am
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