IBJOpinion

MARCUS: Let's focus on keeping retirees in Indiana

Morton Marcus
July 3, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Morton Marcus

“The edict came down just yesterday,” Sorethroat said. “From now on, all Indiana state government agencies are enrolled in the CARP program, the Campaign to Attract and Retain People. But I know the truth.”

That’s how it is with Sorethroat. He does know the truth. As one of the senior civil servants in state government, he has worked in many departments under all sorts of administrations and administrators. He has the necessary contacts and is the institutional memory of the Statehouse. Most of all, he remembers when he could smoke on the job.

“The truth,” he continued, “is that we’re not as interested in the people as we are in their money. Do you have any idea how much money Indiana loses each year because retired people move away from here?”

“No,” I admitted.

“Don’t worry about it,” Sorethroat said. “Nobody knows. But we have an indication from data published by the Internal Revenue Service. That wonderful agency reports annually on the migration of federal income taxpayers. We learn how many filers move from county to county and state to state and the amount of income they report.”

“That sounds like a gold mine of data,” I said.

“Yes and no,” he equivocated. “But listen to this: Between 2007 and 2008, taxpayers reporting more than $396 million moved from Indiana to Florida.”

“Do we know if these were retired Hoosiers?” I asked.

“No,” he said, “but who else with money moves to Florida? The telling figure is the net amount of money moving. Indiana had deficits (more money leaving the state than entering) with 36 states. Indiana’s greatest deficits were with Florida and eight other states known to draw retirees. Together, these retirement magnets accounted for 83 percent of our deficits.”

“Interesting,” I said. “Yet you said we had deficits with 36 states. What about the other 13 states? We must be gaining from them.”

“Right,” Sorethroat rasped. “Our neighbors (Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan) are our biggest surplus states. More money moves from these states to Indiana than leaves the state. There, the question remains how to retain Hoosiers who are moving across the Indiana borders while not discouraging people from those states to move to Indiana.

“In 2008,” he continued, “we lost a total of $2.9 billion as taxpaying Hoosiers left the state for life elsewhere. One-third of that sum went to our four adjacent states. These folks weren’t going to exotic locales like Arizona or Alabama.”

“You aren’t saying that our state government is going to interfere with the traditional American right of free movement across state lines?” I asked in mock horror.

“Of course not!” Sorethroat asserted.

“Then why don’t we do what is necessary to attract and retain people just as we try to attract and retain jobs?” I asked.

“That’s what CARP is all about,” he said. “After years of silliness trying to keep young people from leaving Indiana, we’re now going to make the effort to keep people who have incomes here.”

“That’s real progress,” I said. “We want young people to go elsewhere, to learn about other places and other ways. It is ultimately counterproductive to have Hoosier children stay in Indiana as young adults. Let them come back when they have something to offer the state, something like their income and our grandchildren.”

“Yes, but, how do we attract and retain people?” Sorethroat asked. “It’s hard enough to do it with jobs.”

“The answer,” I said, “is to make our communities good places to live. Maybe with CARP we’ll find that state government is committed to real community development, to improving the quality of Hoosier life.”

But maybe that’s as unlikely as a real CARP program.•

__________

Marcus taught economics for more than 30 years at Indiana University and is the former director of IU’s Business Research Center. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at mmarcus@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Here are a few candidates for this new group, "ripped from the headlines." First up, that bizzaro State Senator Brent Waltz; secondly, the unethical Todd Huston, and his contractual arrangements scheme; Finally, but not least of all, the dishonorable Eric Turner. What sayeth you Greg Zoeller?

  2. Good day. I can't hide this great testimony that take place in my life I will love everyone to know it and be partaker that is why I always place it on answer, I am Mrs,Natalie Cuttaia by name, I live in Texas, United State Of America, I want to thank (Mr.Bruce Brandon) for his kindness upon my family life. I never knew that there is still nice lender like this on internet and earth here. Just some Months Back, I was in search for a loan of $100,000,00 as I was running out of money for feeding and rent. I was scammed $6,800 Dollars and I decided not to involve my self in such business again but a Friend of my introduced me to a loan firm due to my appearance and doings. And I told him that I am not interested of any loan deal anymore but he told me that there is still a nice lender who he will recommend me to, and I made a trial and I am most grateful lucky am I today, I was given a loan amount of $100,000.00usd, by this great Company (Bruce Brandon Loan Company) managed by (Mr.Bruce Brandon) If you are in need of a genuine or legit loan or financial assistance and you can be reliable and trusted of capable of paying back at the due time of the funds I will advice you to, contact him via: ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com ) And you will be free from scams in the internet. All thanks to Mr.Bruce Brandon You are the one who remove me and my family out of poverty. The reason why i am doing this is that, i promise Mr.Bruce Brandon that if i truly got my loan, i will advertize his company and bring customers to his company. Contact him via ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com )for the Loan you have been looking for..

  3. Hello, We are firm Organization formed to help people in needs of helps,such as financial help. So if you are going through financial difficulty or you are in any financial mess,and you need funds to start up your own business,or you need loan to settle your debt or pay off your bills,start a nice business, or you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks,contact us today via email mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com So do not let these opportunity pass you by because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Please these is for serious minded and God fearing People. Your Name: Loan Amount: Loan Duration: Valid Cell Phone Number: Thanks for your understanding to your contact as we Await Regards Management Email:mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com

  4. The question is, where could they build a new stadium? It seems in the past year, all the prime spots have been spoken for with potential projects. Maybe in the industrial wasteland area a block past Lucas Oil? I think it needs to be close to the core, if a new stadium is built.

  5. Aldi is generally a great shopping experience. Still, I'm sure YOU wouldn't want to shop there, which I consider a positive.

ADVERTISEMENT