Economic Analysis

Hicks: Who actually pays the taxes? Good questionRestricted Content

August 23, 2014
Mike Hicks
Among the most misunderstood concepts in public policy is the burden of taxes. One unfortunate result is a good bit of bitterness and calumny over who pays their fair share.
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Hicks: College success comes to those who persevereRestricted Content

August 16, 2014
Mike Hicks
About half of all young people try college, but only half of that group finish a degree. The difference between these groups is almost wholly due to old-fashioned hard work and perseverance.
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Let corporations influence laws governing themRestricted Content

August 9, 2014
Mike Hicks
Corporations are among our oldest institutions. Something like a joint stock company probably triggered the earliest formal written communication—the accounting ledger.
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Hicks: World still suffering from World War I falloutRestricted Content

August 2, 2014
Mike Hicks
World War I began a century ago this week, and its legacy continues to have economic, social and political effects.
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Hicks: Don't confuse inflation with supply and demandRestricted Content

July 26, 2014
Mike Hicks
Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.
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Hicks: Falling state income tax revenue is bad omenRestricted Content

July 19, 2014
Mike Hicks
Nationally, from July through September 2013, growth in state income tax collections slowed appreciably. Only a few states were spared, and here in Indiana they actually shrank slightly, as they did in five other states.
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Hicks: Indiana good, but not optimal, for small firmsRestricted Content

July 12, 2014
Mike Hicks
a recen studied of states' friendliness to small businesses gave Indiana poor grades for ease in finding workers, leveling blame on networking and training programs. This is interesting, but almost certainly not the actual problem.
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Hicks: Rulings limit state power, embrace freedomRestricted Content

July 2, 2014
Mike Hicks
This past couple of weeks has offered a rare series of court rulings that have implications for both households and businesses.
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Hicks: Loopholes help one class at expense of othersRestricted Content

June 28, 2014
Mike Hicks
Every loophole, deduction, exemption, abatement and carve-out is designed to benefit one class of citizens at the expense of others. These are neither fair nor simple. They are rarely effective.
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Hicks: Accountants derail irresponsible governmentsRestricted Content

June 21, 2014
Mike Hicks
New Government Accounting Standards Board rules require state and municipal governments to report their pensions in ways more like that of private sector pensions.
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Hicks: Subsidizing filmmaking is a losing proposition

June 14, 2014
Mike Hicks
Without even touching upon the fairness of Indiana taxpayers subsidizing Hollywood studios, film tax credits are of dubious value. The jobs they generate are transient, often low-paying and unlikely to meet the simplest benefit-cost calculus.
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Hicks: Technology might be suppressing robust growthRestricted Content

June 7, 2014
Mike Hicks
Quarter after quarter of booming growth, seen for several decades, might have slowed permanently. The 2000s saw only five rapid-growth quarters, and this decade has had two. It might mean that higher average growth rates are more difficult to achieve due to structural changes in the economy related to technology.
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Hicks: Income inequality tied to capital investmentsRestricted Content

May 31, 2014
Mike Hicks
French economist Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” is far and away one of the most important books on the economy in some time.
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HICKS: Promises to veterans too expansive to keepRestricted Content

May 24, 2014
Mike Hicks
A promise of nearly infinite health care to any large group of people has a nearly infinite cost.
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Hicks: Hoosiers voting to pay for better public servicesRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Mike Hicks
I have long argued that Hoosier taxpayers are willing to spend more in places where they can see results. The results of the recent election suggest I am right about that.
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Hicks: Many women sacrifice careers for their childrenRestricted Content

May 10, 2014
Mike Hicks
Mother’s Day is a splendid opportunity to think about the evolving economic effects of women as parents, how this influences their economic lives, and how women value motherhood in economic terms.
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Hicks: State, local government unbalanced in IndianaRestricted Content

May 3, 2014
Mike Hicks
Having lived and worked in three states over the past decade, I have watched how state policy influences local government.
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Hicks: Obama pitches gender pay gap to the gullibleRestricted Content

April 26, 2014
Mike Hicks
If we separate people into two groups by age, education, gender, race, occupation or almost any other factor, their average wages differ in some way. But this sort of comparison doesn’t tell us much. If we use statistical methods that account for multiple characteristics, wage differences for most factors disappear.
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Hicks: Tax rates only half the story of governmentRestricted Content

April 17, 2014
Mike Hicks
With the passing of April 15 and the annual ritual of tax filings, news pages are filled with discussion about the size of federal, state and local tax burdens.
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Hicks: Measuring the immeasurable is huge challengeRestricted Content

April 12, 2014
Mike Hicks
One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent.
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Hicks: Economics lessons for today are simple, hardRestricted Content

April 5, 2014
Mike Hicks
Far too much worry is placed in the short-run ups and downs of the economy, but I am not worried about business where errors are ultimately punished. The real worry is that public policy will extend its embrace of short-run fixes, which are chimerical.
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Hicks: Medical firms are largest perpetrators of fraudRestricted Content

March 29, 2014
Mike Hicks
Medicaid and Medicare fraud is where the real money lies, costing taxpayers some $100 billion a year, or 10 percent of total costs. This is many times more than the highest estimate of fraud in all other assistance programs combined. Nearly all of this fraud is perpetrated by health care providers.
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Hicks: Inflation could precede real economic recoveryRestricted Content

March 22, 2014
Mike Hicks
The new Keynesian model suggests that a government stimulus might work to temporarily boost consumption or investment just like the old Keynesian model does. But the new model requires businesses and households to adjust their buying because of fears of expected inflation.
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Hicks: Local government should track job growth, tooRestricted Content

March 15, 2014
Mike Hicks
Before we get down to evaluating economic development incentives, we ought to understand just what it means to “create a job” and how we can honestly evaluate tax incentive policies.
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Hicks: Choke Russian ambitions with a Fed strategy

March 8, 2014
Mike Hicks
The Soviet, er ... Russian, invasion of Ukraine offers a nice reminder of JFK’s old dictum that domestic policy can defeat us, but foreign policy can get us killed. As we pay higher gasoline prices, we ought to think about the world as it is and our options.
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  1. I'm a CPA who works with a wide range of companies (through my firm K.B.Parrish & Co.); however, we work with quite a few car dealerships, so I'm fairly interested in Fatwin (mentioned in the article). Does anyone have much information on that, or a link to such information? Thanks.

  2. Historically high long-term unemployment, unprecedented labor market slack and the loss of human capital should not be accepted as "the economy at work [and] what is supposed to happen" and is certainly not raising wages in Indiana. See Chicago Fed Reserve: goo.gl/IJ4JhQ Also, here's our research on Work Sharing and our support testimony at yesterday's hearing: goo.gl/NhC9W4

  3. I am always curious why teachers don't believe in accountability. It's the only profession in the world that things they are better than everyone else. It's really a shame.

  4. It's not often in Indiana that people from both major political parties and from both labor and business groups come together to endorse a proposal. I really think this is going to help create a more flexible labor force, which is what businesses claim to need, while also reducing outright layoffs, and mitigating the impact of salary/wage reductions, both of which have been highlighted as important issues affecting Hoosier workers. Like many other public policies, I'm sure that this one will, over time, be tweaked and changed as needed to meet Indiana's needs. But when you have such broad agreement, why not give this a try?

  5. I could not agree more with Ben's statement. Every time I look at my unemployment insurance rate, "irritated" hardly describes my sentiment. We are talking about a surplus of funds, and possibly refunding that, why, so we can say we did it and get a notch in our political belt? This is real money, to real companies, large and small. The impact is felt across the board; in the spending of the company, the hiring (or lack thereof due to higher insurance costs), as well as in the personal spending of the owners of a smaller company.

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