Economy

EYE ON THE PIE: Too much manufacturing is not Indiana's problemRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Morton Marcus
We know that, relative to the United States, Indiana is neither a rich state nor one growing with vigor. Two weeks ago in this space, I discussed our more recent employment experiences. A friend read the column and asked, "How much of our lack of job growth is due to the slump or collapse in manufacturing jobs?" Nationally, only three states (Nevada, and the Dakotas) had any gain in manufacturing jobs between May 2001 and May 2006. Alaska and Wyoming...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Education does matter in today's labor marketRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Here's an update from the American labor market: Paying attention in school really does matter. Getting good grades and going to college is a big deal. What you study and what you learn will affect the rest of your life. Parents have been telling their kids that for a long time, and some of us even listened. But the message above isn't from a speech or a lecture. It comes from evidence provided by the U.S. economy, in particular the...
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New fiscal year, no cuts for IU School of Medicine: But concern remains about funds for future growthRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Tom Murphy
No layoffs. No seven-figure budget cut to sweat through. IU School of Medicine Dean Dr. Craig Brater had many reasons to raise a toast this month, when a new fiscal year began and the school left behind an old one marked by the worst budget cuts in decades. Indeed, Brater said he is breathing a little easier as the school starts fiscal 2006-2007 with a budget of more than $815 million. An increase in clinical revenue and grant money helped...
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Investment firm taps local talent: Riderwood opens office, targets mid-size companiesRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Scott Olson
An East Coast investment-banking firm is opening an Indianapolis office and has recruited three high-profile professionals who bring a wealth of experience to manage operations. Towson, Md.-based The Riderwood Group Inc. wants to help midsize companies raise $5 million to $200 million in capital, a range largely ignored here by outside rivals, firm executives said. "There really is not a national mid-market investment bank [in Indianapolis]," company President Mitchell Fillet said. "This is a place where the big firms have...
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Indy Partnership helps spur job growth above Midwestern normRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
For the last half-decade, Indianapolis has shown greater job gains than any other large city in the Midwest. During the same period, the Indy Partnership has been responsible for the area's economic development.
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NOTIONS: Hailing the hare in the land of the tepid tortoiseRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
I was going to play smart aleck this week. I was going to write in hick dialect. I was going to lambaste us Hoosiers over our stubborn adherence to the status quo, our penchant to take things slow, our preference for partisanship, our pooh-poohing of progress and our bull-headed gumption to go it alone in a global economy. Then news broke that Indiana has the highest high school dropout rate in America. So I figured that for two reasons, I'd...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: A midsummer reflection on fireworksRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
What a great Independence Day weekend. Like many businesses, IBJ Corp. took both Monday and Tuesday off for a midsummer break. The four-day weekend squeezed our deadlines a bit, but we happily paid the price. After a strong first half of the year, we deserved the break, and I don't think we missed much by not being here. On Wednesday morning, it was as if all the July 4 fireworks blew the humidity out of the atmosphere. We woke up...
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Colts waiting list grows fast: Despite hot ticket sales, team makes big marketing push to ensure new stadium will be sold outRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Colts in early July will unleash its most aggressive marketing campaign ever-even though demand for tickets, club seats and corporate suites at its RCA Dome home exceeds supply. The push is all about the future. Billboards around the state will proclaim that those who want to see games in Lucas Oil Stadium when it opens in 2008 "better not wait until the dust settles," said Tom Zupancic, Colts senior vice president of sales and marketing. Some radio, television...
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Work still elusive for people with disabilities: Employment rates remain stagnant even though a wealth of programs are finding success placing workersRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Scott Olson
The lesson Amy Kurzekwa taught the folks at the downtown Gregory & Appel Insurance agency reaches far beyond what they learned about premiums and deductibles. Since 1992, she has taken the bus to her job there as a clerical assistant, performing such tasks as sorting and delivering the office mail and filling the copy machines. While most anyone can do that, Kurzekwa, 37, is irreplaceable to her co-workers. Her role in opening their eyes to the fact that people with...
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Honda poses pay dilemma: New auto plant's higher wages likely to force other employers to pay up or lose workersRestricted Content

July 3, 2006
Chris O\'malley
GREENSBURG-Companies from Cincinnati to Indianapolis hoping to drive home business from Honda Motor Co.'s 2,000-employee plant might want to watch for an economic pothole hiding up the road. Giant auto plants plopped onto the prairie, while buying hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services from companies in the state, also tend to swallow workers from established employers. That likely will force some Indiana employers to jack up wages and benefits to retain and attract workers pining to wear...
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BULLS & BEARS: Sure, market's slumping, but better times lie aheadRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Dave Gilreath
As I write this, the stock market has fallen off a ledge and given up, depending on the index, between 7 percent and 12 percent in a bit over a month. After that kind of fun, you might be ready to throw yourself off a ledge, or at least cash in what's left of your portfolio. Yes, the last few weeks have been trying, but being an investor in U.S. stocks since the beginning of this decade has been no...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Health care cost 'solutions' only worsen the problemsRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Patrick Barkey
As an economic forecaster, I am almost always optimistic. But that's not a personality trait. It's the nature of the business. The economy around us is doing amazingly well. We've had much longer economic expansions, steady job and income growth, and less frequent recessions for more than two decades now. So when you deliver an optimistic forecast these days, you stand a pretty good chance of being right. But if there's one area where my optimism vanishes, it is this-how...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Don't fear the young; e-mail themRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
You don't always see it or hear it, but it's there. The quiet panic that sets in after a theater company or a newspaper or any organization realizes it must begin appealing to a new breed of consumer if it wants to survive. Young consumers of news want it in bite-size portions delivered to their desktops. Young church-goers want dynamic worship services and activities to match, not tradition-bound church groups that require elections, officers, meetings and minutes. And young patrons...
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Giving lifted by disasters: Donors generous to victims of catastrophies but didn't forget usual causes, IU study findsRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
All told, individuals, corporations and foundations gave $260.3 billion to charity in 2005, 2.7 percent more than the year before even after adjusting for inflation, according to data compiled by researchers at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy for the annual "Giving USA" report. The report, set to be released June 19 by the Illinois-based Giving USA Foundation, answers a question that has been lingering for more than a year: Would the nation's outpouring of support for victims of an Asian...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Amid stock market's slide, a high-flier gets groundedRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
Greg Andrews
In late April, Brightpoint Inc. investors had every reason to feel giddy. Shares of the wireless phone wholesaler were up 85 percent for the year, after advancing 113 percent in 2005. Today, those heady days seem like a distant memory. Since reaching a high of $28.50 April 27, Brightpoint's shares have lost 50 percent of their value, lopping more than $700 million off the company's market value. "Clearly, wireless is out of favor on Wall Street and has been for...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: We want to count jobs, but what's the best way?Restricted Content

June 19, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Americans like to keep score on things. And in the realm of economics, there are plenty of things to keep score on. But the economy is a huge, often unwieldy beast, and the data we use to track it are often quite a bit fuzzier than the rows of hardlooking numbers in the graphs and statistical reports we digest would make it seem. In fact, as the old joke goes, we economists like to present growth rates out to two...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Motor-vehicle jobs: a path to the future?Restricted Content

June 12, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Would landing a new Honda plant be a plus for the Indiana economy? You bet it would. In fact, it's hard to think of any similar-size investment that holds the same immediate potential for supporting additional jobs beyond those inside the plant walls. The project scores well on just about every objective measure you can come up with to assess its attractiveness. It draws on skills and occupations Indiana already has. Its activities hold great promise for new business for...
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Regional partnerships called key to making it: Purdue urges state manufacturers to join supply chainRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Growing global competition is bringing local manufacturers together. And the definition of local is changing from around the corner to within 500 miles. Officials from Purdue University have conducted a series of manufacturing summits encouraging Indiana plants to tear down their separatist walls and become an integrated part of regional supply chains. "Supplier-based manufacturing is based on long-term relationships in a 500-mile radius, so we need to think about Indiana manufacturing regionally," said John Sullivan, director of Purdue's Center for...
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Geographic restrictions could backfire for PERF: $105 million fund carries lots of potential, risksRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
By restricting the new $105 million Indiana Investment Fund I to deals within state lines, Gov. Mitch Daniels hopes to simultaneously spur economic development and earn a spectacular return for Indiana's retired public employees. But venture-capital experts warn it's nearly impossible to have it both ways. "You need to be very, very clear what your objectives are when you invest [pension] money. Is it for economic development or to help the pensioners earn better pensions?" said John Taylor, vice president...
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Proposed resource center targets science, tech, math: BioCrossroads wants to help build strong foundation Pulling things togetherRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
Only 64 percent of Indiana's fifthgraders passed the latest ISTEP+ test in science. A little better-76 percent-passed the math component. Unfortunately, as children advance in grades, their ISTEP+ math scores worsen. By eighth grade, only 64 percent passed the math portion of the test. Yet, economic development officials in Indiana-and much of the country-want young students to choose to study in college areas of advanced manufacturing, life sciences, informatics, agribusiness and an array of disciplines that require a strong foundation...
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NOTIONS: Fighting mountains, oceans with human connectionsRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
During the 1992 presidential campaign, H. Ross Perot used the phrase "that giant sucking sound" to describe what he feared would be a rush of American jobs into Mexico should the U.S. approve the North American Free Trade Agreement. In Indiana's 2006 economy, "that giant sucking sound" describes the rush of Indiana talent across the state line to anywhere but here. In a phenomenon known as the "brain drain," Indiana exports more young talent than it imports. But suppose we...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Want a larger slice? Get a bigger pieRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Morton Marcus
How much should an executive be paid? More or less than a professional athlete? How much medical care is a person entitled to receive? Does that depend on his or her age or the genetic code that she or he carries? We love to agonize over these questions. To the pure of spirit, all people are worth the same. To the pure of thought, all are worth the value they contribute to satisfy the wants of others. Since few of...
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DANIELS' DEAL CLOSERS: IEDC generating jobs, but economy shares part of creditRestricted Content

June 5, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
It would have been big. Just last month, a team of officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and The Indy Partnership, its local equivalent, were furiously negotiating with South Carolinabased fire-engine maker American LaFrance. Intrigued by a mix of economic incentives and Indiana's central location, American LaFrance considered moving its operations to Marion County. In formal negotiations, the company dangled promises of 653 jobs and a capital investment of $18.5 million. State records don't reveal what incentives Indiana offered...
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VIEWPOINT: To be a logistics leader, state needs a planRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Bob Palmer
Indiana is poised to become the country's logistics center. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion on that topic. Now is the time for business, government and education to come together and make it happen. SupplyNet 2006-the recent statewide conference that brought together not only transportation, distribution and logistics industries, but also representatives from manufacturing, retail, information technology, government and academia-detailed the broader picture of supplychain management. As a cutting-edge business strategy, supply-chain management integrates internal and external logistics...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Wanted: a broader view on public-policy issuesRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Patrick Barkey
There's nothing wrong with self-interest in politics. We elect representatives to look out for our interests, after all. So when legislation and policies affect things that matter to us-especially if it's a matter of financial interest-many of us squawk, scream or otherwise throw a fit. And we hope to get noticed. But in policy debates in Indiana in recent years, we've been getting lazy. It's easy enough to defend your interests, of course, but it's much harder to convince those...
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