Author Archive | Special

Commentary: Trade and the division of labor

A turbulent week in the economy is a very good time to write about fundamentals. Trade, its origins, and its benefits are a timely topic. I must warn readers that these ideas aren’t very hard, but rather shockingly simple. They will challenge what you’ve heard in the media and on the campaign trail. The elemental […]

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Opinion: The trade war is slowing our economy

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets this week to consider whether to ease the money supply. The most obvious mechanism for doing this is by reducing the interest rates they charge member banks. This change will filter quickly to bank loans on cars, on homes and eventually on credit cards. More money leads to […]

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Opinion: Erasing college debt is an astonishingly bad idea

Every presidential campaign contains a share of pandering drivel. One idea that currently fits that bill is the idea of cancelling the roughly $1.6 trillion of outstanding college debt. I will explain why this is a bad idea, and outline some of the real problems underlying college costs. However, I must begin by noting that […]

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Opinion: My talk to school superintendents

I gave a talk to the Indiana Superintendent’s Summit this week, and thought the issues I discussed might be of interest to Hoosiers as we think about our state’s economy. I began by sharing what the state’s Constitution says about education: “Knowledge and learning, general diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of […]

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Opinion: Recession looking more likely

With the mid-year point rapidly approaching, I like to review my 2019 forecast and evaluate what I got wrong and what I got really wrong. Of course, all forecasts are wrong, but some are more useful than others. So far, it looks like I have been off just a little through 2019. My forecast was […]

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Hicks: Our new immigration study

The research center where I work just released a study on immigration in Indiana. Sociologist Emily Wornell was the lead author of a work that most Hoosiers will find interesting. Part of the study reported surprising data, but there was also some analysis that should clarify many misunderstandings about the issue. Let me explain. So […]

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Letter: Zeus retires but the Jasper Band marches on

Although it was not a surprise it still had its effect. The leader of our beloved high school marching band was retiring.  An email from the sainted one himself, Mr. James Goodhue, so stated it. He had hinted at it before. But now there was the reality.  I had asked him to stay on, at […]

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Hicks: Seriously consider this Socialist critique

Socialism seems to be garnering renewed interest in media and political circles. A millionaire socialist currently leads in some polling for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020, and the most outspoken new members of Congress unabashedly proclaim themselves democratic socialists. Most readers will chuckle at the rise in popularity of a form of government that […]

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Indiana’s proposed budget boosts education spending. But does it go far enough on teacher salaries?

Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Stephanie Wang on April 23, 2019 Indiana lawmakers unveiled a revised budget Tuesday afternoon that would pump $539 million more into K-12 schools, increase teacher bonuses, reduce funding for virtual schools, and expand the state’s school voucher program. The plan would also cushion potential funding cuts to high-poverty schools, proposing […]

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Immigration was a bright spot in the 2018 Indiana population gains

The United States Census Bureau released their annual estimates of population change last week. The data told a familiar tale for Indiana. Indiana very clearly struggles with population growth, and what growth we do experience is concentrated in just a few places. However, the data is not without bright spots.  Indiana enjoyed population growth of […]

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State Police performing special ‘Move Over’ patrols

We’ve all heard about it before; the Move Over Law.  In 1999 Indiana was the first state in the nation to pass such a law requiring motorists to move to an adjacent traffic lane, or reduce speed by 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit if unable to change lanes safely when driving […]

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A frank column on education, subsidies and pay

Job quality, especially with respect to wages and benefits, will be a central part of the next national election. With job creation strong but wage growth lagging, we should expect tough questions about a variety of labor market policies. This will be especially true in the few states that have experienced mostly low-wage job growth […]

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