Economic Analysis

HICKS: Clunkers popularity went beyond consumers

August 29, 2009
Mike Hicks
The Cash for Clunkers program has seriously challenged my high-mindedness. It is time for a bit of soul searching.
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HICKS: As classes begin, students have fresh opportunity

August 24, 2009
Mike Hicks
Classes start this week at Ball State University, and other colleges and universities across the country. For many, it is a bittersweet moment, as parents say goodbye to their now young adults, handing them over to professors and scarily youthful resident hall assistants for safekeeping.
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HICKS: Health care experts make poor economists

August 17, 2009
Mike Hicks
In almost every place that two or more Americans gather, health care is debated. Because the bills before Congress are inaccessible, the debate has shifted instead to principles such as the role of government and individual freedoms. I think this a healthy thing.
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HICKS: Indiana State Fair offers fun kind of economic stimulus

August 10, 2009
Mike Hicks
The Indiana State Fair is a great treat, but there’s a lot more to it than the food and fun. In 2008, more than 859,000 folks visited the fair. According to our estimates, spending at the fair last year led to more than $63 million in total economic activity.
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HICKS: Structural unemployment not always a burden

August 3, 2009
Mike Hicks
A few weeks ago, a couple of my economist colleagues took issue with the phrasing in one of my columns. In a rare turn of events, they are right, and I was wrong.
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HICKS: What happened in California could happen hereRestricted Content

July 27, 2009
Mike Hicks
California can no longer sustain its government. This is the lesson for Indiana.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Stimulus plan must work now ... or it never willRestricted Content

July 20, 2009
Mike Hicks
The postmortem and dissection of the federal economic stimulus plan have begun in earnest. The president has added to his woes by saying the stimulus will take years, not months, to work, and his chief economist managed to squeak out the headline or two that the worst is ahead of us.
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HICKS: Muncie's status quo is high taxes, poor service

July 13, 2009
Mike Hicks
Property-tax caps, as well as a dwindling population and commercial base, have left Muncie in the uncomfortable situation of cutting budgets. Since the bulk of costs are related to fire and police salaries, few options are available. The city has turned to the short length of rope the Legislature offered amid the debate on property tax caps—the Local Option Income Tax.
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HICKS: The gift of John Fisher went beyond businessRestricted Content

July 6, 2009
Mike Hicks
It would be artless this week to write an article on economics and business in Indiana without remarking upon the passing of John Fisher. Much has been written about his legacy over this past week, so I will make do with an anecdote and a lesson I have learned from him.
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HICKS: Certain unemployment causes worse than othersRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Mike Hicks
Unemployment often is a necessary and natural part of a healthy economy. But job losses that come when workers or even entire industries become redundant are especially painful.
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HICKS: Recessions end, with or without government helpRestricted Content

June 22, 2009
Mike Hicks
The worst is likely behind us, but difficult times lie ahead, especially for the unemployed.
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HICKS: Muncie's budget woes point to a troubled systemRestricted Content

June 15, 2009
Mike Hicks
Yhe budget concerns that Muncie and other local governments face are really a circular problem. Taxes got out of hand largely because of an 18th century system of local government. That same system cannot fix the problem--for it is the problem.
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HICKS: Management's complicity with union doomed GMRestricted Content

June 8, 2009
Mike Hicks
General Motors Corp.'s bankruptcy marked the second-largest commercial failure in modern history. It is an opportunity for deep reflection.
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HICKS: Administration demonized 'investors' in Chrysler dealRestricted Content

June 1, 2009
Mike Hicks
Almost one-third of Chrysler's investors are schoolteachers, college administrators, firefighters and police officers. These "vultures" of Wall Street finance have seen the value of their hard work severely hampered by the Chrysler bankrutcy plan.
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Holiday a reminder of the value of public serviceRestricted Content

May 25, 2009
Mike Hicks
Many lament the loss of what might be called timeless values. I place these into two categories; both are exemplified and sustained by military service.
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State tourism advertising poses tough questionRestricted Content

May 18, 2009
Mike Hicks
If Indiana is to be marketed as a region, government will be the one to do it.
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EPA policies cannot force economic choicesRestricted Content

May 11, 2009
Mike Hicks
We are at a critical moment in environmental policy. We suffer a dearth of frankness on the matter that imperils the quality of our decision-making.
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Build your economy by assessing communityRestricted Content

May 4, 2009
Mike Hicks
Hard times present a fitting opportunity for communities to engage in useful self-reflection. In this case, deep thinking on the regional economy could best be served by focusing on the fundamentals first, not the outcomes.
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'Buy local' offers no protection for bad businessesRestricted Content

April 27, 2009
Mike Hicks
These days, the "buy local" crowd seems to have a stronger voice. I am gleeful about this for a variety of reasons, but it is helpful to view some of their claims with a bit of skepticism. At least that is what economists should do.
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Cap and trade could be double-edged swordRestricted Content

April 20, 2009
Mike Hicks
Cap and trade could lead us to a much cleaner, more prosperous future or it could devastate our economy.
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The tax system has fluctuated throughout the agesRestricted Content

April 13, 2009
Mike Hicks
Let's reflect on the origins of the current income tax system to help understand it better.
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Youth program may promote sense of purposeRestricted Content

April 6, 2009
Mike HicksMore

Clawback provisions won't hurt biz attractionRestricted Content

March 30, 2009
Mike Hicks
House Bill 1338 introduces a change to many (but not all) of our state's tax incentives, adding what is known as a "clawback" provision, offering a reasonable and fair adjustment to our current tax incentives.
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Bonus outrage poor excuse for good public policy

March 23, 2009
Mike Hicks
The wages paid by a company to its employees are a distinctly private matter.
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Improving livability is economic developmentRestricted Content

March 16, 2009
Mike Hicks
I am often asked the seemingly simple question, "Just what is economic development?"
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