Author Archive | Special

Marriott customers should change credit card numbers, be alert for identity theft

With a recent announcement of a security breach through the extensive Marriott International hotel network, a Ball State University professor is recommending that people change their credit card numbers and be on alert for identify theft. Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain, announced earlier today that a breach of its Starwood reservation database may […]

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Study: Go big on the bird: Turkey prices at 10-year low

Consumers heading to grocery stores this Thanksgiving will find many reasons to give thanks. Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and department head of Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, said estimated turkey prices will ring in at a 10-year low around $1.45 per pound. The price of Thanksgiving staples will be on par with, if not lower than, […]

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Opinion: Some real lessons of Veteran’s Day

This Veteran’s Day is a bit more significant as it is the centenary of the end of World War I. That is meaningful to me because my grandfather, Sgt. Harrison Hicks, was serving in Company K, 307th Infantry of the 77th Division as the war ended. Like many men in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, he was […]

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Opinion: The causes and effects of this growing trade war

Over the summer, Indiana’s economy showed clear signs of weakening. This same story played out across the manufacturing and farming-intensive states of the Midwest. To be sure, it is still easy to paint a rosy picture of our economy. Jobs are plentiful, pay has finally begun to rise and tax coffers are full. We are […]

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Opinion: Amazon and some harsh facts About Pay and labor shortages

Amazon announced last week that it would be raising its entry wage to $15 an hour and would lobby for a higher minimum wage at federal, state and municipal governments. Other companies have announced this in recent months, including Walmart, who bumped their starting wages to $10 an hour. These are interesting developments that merit […]

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Perspective: Some advice for high school graduates

A recent column of mine offered advice to young college students. So, it only seems reasonable to offer similar economic advice to the 45 percent of high school grads who aren’t headed to college. To be honest, much of the practical advice will be the same, but for young folks who’ve decided not to attend […]

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Opinion: The NAFTA deal is pure baloney

Last Monday’s announcement of a revision of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was met with real skepticism. That’s a wholly appropriate response, as is the inevitable political fallout over the growing trade war. Let me explain. There has long been some skepticism over NAFTA in Canada, Mexico and the United States. This […]

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Perspective: It is time to end the war on drugs

The United States is close to 40 years into the ‘War on Drugs.’ What began as a campaign of good intentions has become among the most costly policy failures of the last 150 years. We seem unwilling or unable to grapple with the immense consequences, or indeed even fully appreciate the depth, of the problem. […]

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Opinion: Worsening effect of tariffs

One of the joyful indulgences of my profession comes in chatting with people about the economics of their jobs. The very best folks to chat with are those who deal with prices and wages. Men and women in the trades are maybe the most informed about the immediate vagaries of the economy. Local bankers, insurance […]

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Opinion: Donnelly’s Automation Adjustment Act should be enacted

The US economy is a job creation miracle, adding more than 70 million new jobs since the late 1970s. Still, over the same time we’ve lost some 7 million manufacturing jobs. For every factory job we’ve lost, we gained another ten jobs in other occupations. These new occupations require different skills and are frequently located […]

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Ball State economist: Trump’s tariffs could cost Indiana’s economy dearly, could lead to recession

A trade war brewing as a result of tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump could significantly hurt Indiana’s economy, particularly the steel, aluminum, soybean and corn sectors, according to Ball State economist Michael Hicks. In the policy statement, “Selected Tariff Effects on Indiana” (included at the end of this article), he estimates initial job losses […]

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