Eye on the Pie

MARCUS: Indiana says, 'If it's broken, throw it out'

January 29, 2011
Morton Marcus
Indiana’s new policy is, “If it is broken, throw it out.” We applied that policy to township assessors and now we are applying it to township government. Soon we may do the same to urban school districts.
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MARCUS: A good bill benefits dinosaur buildings

January 22, 2011
Morton Marcus
Building owners or developers use the Indiana Industrial Recovery Income Tax Credit to reduce their costs in restoring or rehabilitating dinosaur industrial structures.
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MARCUS: Daniels ignores deficit of neglect

January 15, 2011
Morton Marcus
In the long run, a city or state will attract households and businesses through the services it offers, not the taxes it does not collect. Our political leadership knows this, but ignores it.
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MARCUS: Our economic development is endangered

January 8, 2011
Morton Marcus
Thus far, the saddest bill proposed in the General Assembly allows Hoosier local governments to seek bankruptcy and management by a state-appointed agent. This bill is a back-door confession that the state’s 30-year war on local governments has succeeded.
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MARCUS: State moves forward, with long way to go

January 1, 2011
Morton Marcus
Congratulations to Gov. Mitch Daniels and his administration on their development and implementation of the Indiana Transparency Portal. It’s a grand start to detailed information about state and local government activities.
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MARCUS: Tax cuts are not efficient as a job stimulus

December 25, 2010
Morton Marcus
Many of the best minds in the nation are endorsing the latest stimulus package, which retains the Bush tax cuts and reduces workers’ Social Security contributions nearly one-third.
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MARCUS: Redistricting key to economic policy

December 18, 2010
Morton Marcus
The key factor determining the change in a county’s representation in the Legislature is the change in its share of the state’s population.
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MARCUS: Elves to vote on unionization at the North Pole

December 11, 2010
Morton Marcus
Hard times make for hard work. The elves feel that Santa has not given them sufficient credit for the work they have done these past few years, when goodness and kindness were hard to find.
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MARCUS: Higher aspirations built on high-speed rail

December 4, 2010
Morton Marcus
Hoosiers should discard the cloak of indifference that too many wear with pride.
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MARCUS: Show us the progress, not the promises

November 27, 2010
Morton Marcus
Why doesn’t Indiana’s economy keep pace with the nation? Why, when we hear so much about new jobs, about Indiana’s beating out this state or that in some national ranking, do the data most often tell a different story? The answers are always the same. It’s hard to turn around a big ship.
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MARCUS: If the brain drain stays open, what's left?

November 20, 2010
Morton Marcus
The issue may not be a lack of jobs, but a lack of interest by young people to live in Indiana. It may be a nice place to visit as a post-secondary student, but not a place where one wants to live.
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MARCUS: Best Hoosier jobs are out-of-state

November 13, 2010
Morton Marcus
In 30 years, the percentage of income derived by Hoosiers from work outside Indiana has doubled.
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MARCUS: 'Self-employment gap' endangers state

November 6, 2010
Morton Marcus
The average earnings of a Hoosier worker was about $44,100 two years ago, compared to the U.S. average of $50,300.
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MARCUS: Only tell the good news; why excite people?

October 30, 2010
Morton Marcus
You have to love them—the professional spinners, public and private. These are not the public relations people who work for large companies and government agencies. No. These are the corporate leaders and the public officials who listen to the PR people.
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MARCUS: A penny is not worth a cent anymore

October 23, 2010
Morton Marcus
Ordinary saving by the ordinary citizen became a self-destructive activity in the 1970s and has shown only little improvement since then.
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MARCUS: Just ignore ill-conceived rankings

October 16, 2010
Morton Marcus
The 24/7 Wall St. website asks the question, “How well-run are America’s 50 states?” To answer this complex question, “we chose what we considered to be the 10 most important ranking [sic] of financial and overall government management.”
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MARCUS: Dirty toilets signal mismanagement

October 9, 2010
Morton Marcus
Most people take toilets seriously. A dirty toilet is an affront to people who care about themselves, their families and their fellow citizens. Management can always blame the users of the toilets for persistent filth and disarray, but ultimately it’s management’s responsibility.
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MARCUS: Some data are too exciting for bedtime

October 2, 2010
Morton Marcus
he U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis,” I began, “has just released quarterly personal-income data through the second quarter of 2010. They show Indiana in third place among the 50 states—third from the bottom—for income growth during April, May and June.
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MARCUS: Does economy depend on manufacturing?

September 25, 2010
Morton Marcus
Bloomington, in 2009, had the state's strongest private-sector earnings growth. But that was only a pathetic 0.1 percent.
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MARCUS: Airport conversations reveal concerns

September 18, 2010
Morton Marcus
There’s no reason to use the valuable land at the airport for new hotels that will drive out existing facilities nearby.
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MARCUS: Gutless government avoids political risk

September 11, 2010
Morton Marcus
When a government entity does not want to assume the political risk of managing its resources, it finds a private firm that, for a price, will do the job.
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MARCUS: The highs and lows of unemployment

September 4, 2010
Morton Marcus
Indiana’s unemployment rate in July was 10.1 percent—the 12th-highest of the 50 states. Nevada was running at 14.3 percent to lead the nation, while the lowest rate was 3.6 percent, in North Dakota. We’re much closer to the worst than we are to the best.
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MARCUS: Long-term plans require long-term promises

August 28, 2010
Morton Marcus
Economic development is a long-term proposition with uncertain benefits at a distant date. It is not just opening a plant or expanding an existing one.
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MARCUS: Metrics no substitute for management

August 21, 2010
Morton Marcus
Most companies select from a work force that has a mixed quality of education. Instead of using this diversity as an asset, management today tries to impose ‘behavioral metrics’ on its workers independent of their individual strengths.
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MARCUS: Unemployment is a waste of our resources

August 14, 2010
Morton Marcus
People have to be hired to do valuable things with the money the government pumps into the economy. That money can’t be given to people or to businesses with the hope that they will use it. It has to be spent on activities that increase employment.
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