Sheila SuessKennedy

Recent Articles

KENNEDY: Daniels diminishing higher learning

August 23, 2014
The current political focus on what we used to call “vocational education” not only minimizes the value of a liberal education, it ignores the reality of today’s job market.

KENNEDY: Indianapolis needs a commuter tax

August 9, 2014
No matter how nostalgically we think of Indiana as a patchwork of small, quaint towns and family farms, those days are gone. Indiana’s workforce and population are increasingly metropolitan, and our growth will continue to be in our urban centers.

KENNEDY: Buggy whips, rotary phones and coal

July 26, 2014
he history of business success has been the history of innovation—the triumph of visionary entrepreneurs who saw where the wind was blowing and left their more stubbornly traditional compatriots in the dust.

KENNEDY: We need to connect the civic dots

July 12, 2014
It isn’t only democratic institutions and behaviors that are affected by profound ignorance of our history and government.

KENNEDY: Maybe it’s a systems failure

June 28, 2014
Next weekend is the Fourth of July. Along with the barbecues, parades and neighborhood get-togethers, we’ll hear speeches about Truth, Justice and the American Way. We might raise a toast to the Founders, and count ourselves fortunate to live in a (mostly still) democratic country.

KENNEDY: Constitutional convention is idea whose time is not now

June 14, 2014
Periodically, lawmakers impatient to change government policies of which they disapprove will call for a constitutional convention.

KENNEDY: The luck of the (economic) draw

May 17, 2014
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recently testified before a Senate committee on the issue of America’s growing inequality. His observations were sobering.

KENNEDY: The tax-cutters are too clever by half

May 3, 2014
Tax cuts have consequences as predictable as the sunrise. The politicians who cut taxes boast about their concern for taxpayers and their superior efficiency; they assure us that our low taxes will lure new business, then they run for higher office or otherwise head for greener pastures where the accuracy of those claims is unlikely to be tested. The politicians who have been left to operate with less money engage in equally predictable behaviors.

KENNEDY: First, eat the spinach

April 19, 2014
There is probably not a parent on the planet who hasn’t delivered the time-honored dinner lecture, “No dessert unless you eat your vegetables.” We want our children to understand that first things come first—that consuming healthy food has to come before sugary treats, no matter how tempting.

KENNEDY: Hobby Lobby’s unintended consequences

April 5, 2014
All eyes are on the Hobby Lobby lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court. Most of the commentary revolves around whether a for-profit corporation should be able to disregard a law of general application if that law offends its shareholder/owners’ “sincerely held” religious beliefs.

KENNEDY: My very own litmus test for lawmakers

March 22, 2014
I’ve been casting about for a shortcut, a vote on an issue that will give me an insight into individual lawmakers. Is he/she irresponsible? Despicable? Crazy?

KENNEDY: We’re getting what we deserve

March 8, 2014
Anyone who has ever written a book, mounted a PR campaign or started a new business has confronted a threshold question: Who’s your audience? Who will read your book, be persuaded by your campaign, or buy your widget?

KENNEDY: The costs of rejecting science

February 22, 2014
Count me among the many Hoosiers increasingly dismayed by the assault on science from people who seem threatened by the notion that empirical evidence might conflict with their worldviews.

KENNEDY: Thinking outside the bank

February 8, 2014
Let me begin with a caveat: I’m no expert on financial services or the economics of banking. Like most middle-class Americans, my interactions with banking are all decidedly “retail”—checking and savings accounts, mortgages and car loans.

KENNEDY: No single religious definition of marriage

January 25, 2014
Here in Indiana, we’re used to religious warfare. We aren’t called the buckle of the Bible Belt for nothing.

KENNEDY: Not healthy, wealthy or wise

January 11, 2014
Many of us have just wished our friends and loved ones a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. In Indiana, those are going to be elusive goals.

KENNEDY: Goodbye and good riddance

December 28, 2013
State and local corruption flourishes as coverage evaporates; nationally, bought-and-paid-for Congressmen and Senators pass legislation benefitting their donors and patrons at the expense of other Americans.

KENNEDY: A troubling response

December 14, 2013
Semester end is hectic for college professors. Research papers and final examinations must be graded, last-minute pleas from students who realize they haven’t performed or who feel entitled to special accommodations must be moderated, committees that haven’t completed their assigned tasks during the preceding months must meet—and of course there’s the added stress of the holidays.

KENNEDY: So many reasons to be thankful

November 30, 2013
Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite holiday, not just because it is the one time of the year when all the far-flung relatives assemble, but also because it is an opportunity to consider how incredibly fortunate we are.

KENNEDY: Coats' religion is no defense

November 16, 2013
Americans have been using religion to argue for and against laws since the country was founded. Proponents and opponents of slavery both pointed to Bible verses justifying their positions. Opponents of equal rights for women claimed suffrage violated God’s law.

KENNEDY: Money doesn’t buy happiness

November 2, 2013
When my mother told me money can’t buy happiness, she was evidently onto something. Recently, the World Happiness Report recognized Denmark—a cold country with one of those high-tax “socialist, nanny-state” governments—as the happiest nation on Earth.

KENNEDY: ‘Makers’ take their share

October 19, 2013
The “makers and takers” narrative—promoted most prominently by Paul Ryan and eagerly adopted by Tea Party activists—is just the most recent manifestation of a persistent American fable that encourages people who believe they “stand on their own two feet” to aim moral indignation and opprobrium at those they believe are “sucking at the public you-know-what.”

KENNEDY: Thank Elbridge for our political extremes

October 5, 2013
Politicians have been gerrymandering districts since the time of Elbridge Gerry, for whom the tactic was named—and he signed the Declaration of Independence.

KENNEDY: We need to learn to fight fair

September 21, 2013
In Florence, Italy, in one of that city’s many museums, there is a famous marble statue of Hercules and Diomedes wrestling. One of them—presumably Hercules—has his hands around the testicles of the other, and ever since we first saw it, my husband has referred to it as the “fight fair, dammit” statue.

KENNEDY: Revenue enhancement, anyone?

September 7, 2013
Public finance these days reminds me of those fellows we used to encounter at the county fairs—the ones who twisted balloons into fantastic shapes, making horses or dogs from oblong balloons they blew up. Push the balloon here and watch a shape emerge there, and wonder if it would pop.

KENNEDY: More reasons why I left the GOP

August 24, 2013
I know it will come as something of a shock to younger readers of IBJ, but I spent 35-plus years as an active Republican.
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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.