Opinion: Inflation will make the legislature’s job difficult this year

One of the more challenging aspects for any state legislature next year will be how it deals with the effects of inflation. This is one area where an economic model can help; in this case, the simpler the model, the better. Suppose your state is a wholly self-contained island economy with a fixed amount of…

Opinion: The badness of National Conservatism Ideology

Conservatism is in the midst of profound change. At least, what passes for conservative intellectualism and its application to public policy is in the midst of change. As a man who embraced most of Reagan-era conservatism, I watch this with considerable interest and worry. It is early enough to think through some of the developing…

Opinion: Partisan effect of disinformation on COVID deaths

Last week three Yale professors published a study of COVID-related deaths in the United States. The data they used matched COVID deaths, voter registration by party and age in two states—Florida and Ohio. One goal of the study was to test whether anti-vaccine or anti-mask campaigns contributed to differences in death rates by political affiliation….

Opinion: A recession is time to think about the long term

The United States and much of the world appears to be headed for an economic downturn. For those of us in Indiana, evidence about the depth of a downturn is mixed. We have a high share of manufacturing, which will be heavily affected by higher interest rates. This makes it more likely our recession will…

Opinion: Aging Boomers driving employment/population issues

Dubois County and our surrounding area have a population problem. Ever since the original Dubois County “brain drain” meeting I went to in 2011, I have been following and researching population trends. The big thing I learned is that we don’t have a brain drain issue. What I have been learning is within the last…

Letter: The Fed caused inflation and now wants more unemployment

Andrew Horning, the 2022 Libertarian Party candidate for Indiana’s 8th district US House, is not the only one who has for decades warned of the dangers of ungoverned government in general, and specifically, a malignant, corrupt central bank that funds it all. The original design of The Federal Reserve System, while unconstitutional, wasn’t so bad when…

Opinion: Quality of life spending is a conservative policy

Over the past year, I’ve had a friendly disagreement with a couple of colleagues. Together we’ve authored several studies about economic development. Our work focuses on the role quality of life plays in population and job growth. This work uses statistical models to tease out how families and businesses rank every county in the U.S….

Opinion: Tax debate should be about value of government services, not price

It seems likely the Indiana General Assembly will discuss major tax changes this year. This discussion is warranted for many reasons. First, this is a non-budget session, and these matters take time. So, beginning homework on our taxes is prudent, even if change takes several years. Second, we have some growing structural problems with our…