Good news on a Friday

May 9, 2008
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Manufacturing seems to churn out about as many lay-off headlines as cars these days, but plenty of good news about the sector is buried in a recent Ball State University study.

Indiana manufacturing workers are accomplishing far more work than peers in neighboring states, says the report, which was prepared for the new manufacturing and logistics booster group Conexus.

The average worker here adds $154,000 in value to steel, cars and other products in a year of toil. In Ohio, the closest challenger, the figure is $149,000. In Michigan, itâ??s $132,000.

Indiana must be a sweat shop, right? Not necessarily, says the studyâ??s author, Michael Hicks, also an IBJ columnist.

Hicks suspects Hoosiers are more productive because the state isnâ??t as dominated by labor unions as Michigan or even Ohio. Non-union plants generally have fewer unnecessary employees, he says.

Donâ??t think companies overlook productivity when they plan expansions, Hicks advises. Indiana is probably landing projects because of its non-union environment, though few companies would admit that.

â??More productive firms are going to go places where they have that greater productivity,â?? he says.

Indiana could ruin the advantage by allowing local governments to continue spending wildly or continuing to accept low educational levels, he warns.

For now, though, he says we should be glad that not only is Indiana highly productive, but also that the productivity has been growing faster than in neighboring states for a decade or more.

What do you think?
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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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