Opinion and Editorials

EDITORIAL: Our wish list for next year

December 25, 2010

We don’t expect all our holiday wishes for the New Year to come true. We’re not that naïve. But in this season of hope, we’d like to offer these familiar refrains—and end with some proof that dreams do, sometimes, come true. First, our wishes:

• For Eli Lilly and Co., a blockbuster drug. A collection of new drugs that generate healthy sales is more likely. The company needs to replace billions in revenue it will lose when key patents expire in 2011 and 2013.

• For Simon Property Group, a willing target. The nation’s largest shopping mall owner has cash to spend on a company that would add to its bottom line, but consummating an acquisition has been a challenge.

• For Hoosiers everywhere, a comprehensive workplace smoking ban. The dangers of secondhand smoke are well-known. The benefits of a ban are obvious. Give bar owners a level playing field and the addicted a new incentive to quit.

• For our children, well-funded schools where the best teachers are properly rewarded. And as the debate over education policy grows louder, here’s a wish for rhetoric that makes one point perfectly clear: Parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their children.

• For our state and its legislators, a truce on social issues. Such issues demonize our fellow citizens, take time away from the most pressing issues, and poison the well of cooperation and compromise that is the source of good government.

• For our health, walkable cities and towns that are designed for people first, cars second. And continued momentum for public transportation.

• For Indiana’s fiscal health and for accountability in local government, reform that sweeps away expensive, outdated layers of bureaucracy and officials who are unknown to those they claim to serve.

That brings us to a few success stories—proof that, with lots of hard work, good things can happen on a grand scale.

• In a country and an economy where states are drowning in red ink, Indiana is in the black. Staying there will be a challenge, but it will be simpler than climbing out of a deep hole.

• Our city has become a hotbed for software-marketing firms—ExactTarget, for example, and Aprimo, whose recent sale will generate cash we hope will be plowed back into the local tech community. The energy from this sector is building a culture of youthful entrepreneurship here, making the city a magnet for talent and investment.

• The Indianapolis Cultural Trail gives us a unique asset that other cities envy. Project for Public Spaces, a 35-year-old New York-based organization that promotes the creation of sustainable communities, recently named the trail one of five success stories that should inspire cities around the globe. The other success stories were in Hong Kong; Bogota, Colombia; Melbourne, Australia; and Zurich, Switzerland. Such recognition sends a signal that progress and creativity live here.

These achievements are worth celebrating as we look forward to a productive and prosperous 2011.•

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To comment on this editorial, write to ibjedit@ibj.com.

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