Eye on the Pie

MARCUS: Tax expenditures are back door to spending

August 7, 2010
Morton Marcus
People are divided on what they want, skeptical about the ability of government to provide services, and resentful about paying for those services they do not perceive as benefiting themselves.
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MARCUS: Economy as diverse as pierogi in Whiting

July 31, 2010
Morton Marcus
The simple fact is that we are having a recession on top of the continuing restructuring of the economy that has been going on since the 1980s.
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MARCUS: Is suburbia the root of all evil?

July 24, 2010
Morton Marcus
Once upon a time, school transportation eased the journey of farm kids going to school. Today, it’s a massive subsidy for suburban kids whose parents have chosen to live far from a school in a place without sidewalks.
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MARCUS: Indiana jobs situation is improving

July 17, 2010
Morton Marcus
The bleeding seems to have stopped where job loss is concerned, but it's not time to pat ourselves on the back.
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MARCUS: Kokomo works to advance economy

July 10, 2010
Morton Marcus
What do you do when you have little discretionary money and enormous challenges? You might follow the example being set by Mayor Greg Goodnight in Kokomo.
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MARCUS: Let's focus on keeping retirees in Indiana

July 3, 2010
Morton Marcus
It is counterproductive to have Hoosier children stay in Indiana as young adults. Let them come back when they have something to offer.
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MARCUS: Fed programs get credit for improvements

June 26, 2010
Morton Marcus
The federal government pumped $6.3 billion into the Indiana economy through higher unemployment compensation and increased Social Security and Medicare payments.
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MARCUS: There is no 'rural revival' in Indiana

June 19, 2010
Morton Marcus
The now famous housing bubble has been blamed for many of our nation’s problems. In truth, it is the opposite. The massive private debt, including mortgage debt, was made possible by lax lending practices.
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MARCUS: English skills lead to economic success

June 12, 2010
Morton Marcus
Unless you have extraordinary assets, your communication skills will go a long way to determining your social and economic standing.
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MARCUS: How much do workers want to earn?

June 5, 2010
Morton Marcus
Regular readers know I’m a numbers guy. Give me a set of data and I can be happily occupied for hours. A simple visit to Hoosiers by the Numbers on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development website is a data junkie’s joy.
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MARCUS: Health care bill opens doors to change

May 29, 2010
Morton Marcus
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a major step forward. It widens the door to health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, for employees of small businesses and others currently not covered.
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MARCUS: Knowledge economy is not new

May 22, 2010
Morton Marcus
Few matters in life are clear and definitive. Sadly, we grow up learning that all can or should be reduced (or elevated) to mathematical modeling. We have no courses or TV channels specializing in ambiguity, no college major in uncertainty.
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MARCUS: The economy is better, but pain persists

May 15, 2010
Morton Marcus
Unemployment numbers come out monthly and the news media cover them as diligently as violations of selected commandments.
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MARCUS: Use creativity to lure crowds to cities

May 8, 2010
Morton Marcus
The experience of the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale proved again that American businesses can be successful if they offer products consumers want.
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MARCUS: 90 counties show income improvement

May 1, 2010
Morton Marcus
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has released personal-income data for each county in the nation. The Indianapolis area did not fare well.
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MARCUS: Privatization not the only answer

April 24, 2010
Morton Marcus
Privatization is a popular political parlor game. Instead of providing thoughtful reasoning for consideration by an informed electorate, officials try to meet public needs through artfulness.
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MARCUS: How much is too much when it comes to compensation?

April 17, 2010
Morton Marcus
This month, as you watched the gallant Butler University basketball team uphold the honor of the Hoosier state, did you wonder about the compensation of college coaches and their future NBA stars?
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MARCUS: Not all business owners are entrepreneurs

April 10, 2010
Morton Marcus
A serial entrepreneur often thrives on getting a business going, making it a success, then selling it off by taking the firm public, or selling it to private investors or to another firm. The business owner, by contrast, often remains in the same place, doing the same thing year after year.
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MARCUS: Small gains do not deserve a celebration

April 3, 2010
Morton Marcus
Both the Indiana and U.S. income growth rates are extremely small and each rounds off to a measly 0.6 percent. To be somewhat healthier than your sickly neighbors does not mean that you are well.
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MARCUS: Set sights on education, not graduation

March 27, 2010
Morton Marcus
The dimmer wits in the Indiana General Assembly want to compensate colleges and universities according to their graduation rates. This is another example of shallow reasoning by our elected representatives reflecting erroneous thought that has permeated our society.
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MARCUS: Lower business taxes don't stimulate hiring

March 20, 2010
Morton Marcus
A job is the foundation of self-esteem, the linchpin for connecting to the community, the instrument by and through which the individual connects with the greater international marketplace and derives the income that provides security for the family.
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MARCUS: It's not too late for a high-speed stimulus

March 13, 2010
Morton Marcus
“Too little, too late” is the standard objection to the economic stimulus program now in effect. That criticism is based on opinion, not fact. It will take several years to know whether the stimulus (or stimuli, because there was more than a single stimulus) worked.
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MARCUS: Hoosiers hear gospel of gambling

March 6, 2010
Morton Marcus
Gamblers wagered nearly $30 billion in 13 Indiana casinos last year. Now, fellow taxpayers, if I understand these numbers, 91 percent of these dollars were returned as winnings and an additional $876 million (3 percent) went to our state and local governments for our benefit.
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MARCUS: The recovery has taken root

February 27, 2010
Morton Marcus
rom Madison to Merrillville and Elkhart to Evansville, the talk among businesspeople is positive. Customers are showing more interest, orders are picking up. The data may not be there to support the good cheer, but economic data are always delayed.
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MARCUS: Most Hoosiers don't want mass transit

February 20, 2010
Morton Marcus
Mass transit plans are doomed to be ignored because no local government, and certainly not the Indiana General Assembly, is interested in transportation.
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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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