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Indiana’s economic future will be primarily determined by the share of Hoosier adults who graduated from college. If that share remains low, our economy will languish, our incomes will continue to fall further behind the national average and our best-educated residents will relocate elsewhere.

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When he was just a young teenage schoolboy, George Washington sat down and copied out 110 “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior.” Many of these had to do with simple manners. “Cleanse not your teeth with the tablecloth, napkin, fork or knife,” reads Rule 100. Good advice at any time.

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For the past several decades, the only significant wage growth in the United States has accrued to college graduates. Indeed, since I entered high school in the late 1970s, the college wage premium doubled from 40% to 80%. By comparison the wage premium for college attendees who didn’t gradu…

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Indiana legislators aren't supposed to be able to move straight out of lawmaking and into lobbying. The law spelling that out, though, needs another look.

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Tucked into an education bill in this year’s session of the Indiana legislature is a provision that ignores the self-evident, the obvious.

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I am writing in regards to the Jan. 19 article, "Health Dept. records reveal a time that could return." In it, Dr. Alan Stewart is quoted as saying, “Historically, many of (the records) were stored at the Daughters of the American Revolution," and the article continues, "Though it’s unclear …

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Facing a ticking clock for changing how Indiana draws its congressional and legislative districts, activists recently turned out at the Statehouse to advocate for redistricting reform.

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Important issues tend to be difficult, with deeply entrenched opinions and interests. They also attract the attention of media, political leaders, citizens and especially lobbyists. Recently, while explaining the results of two very contentious studies, I was asked who paid for them. That is…

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The outcome of a six-year-old case regarding lethal injections drugs in Indiana could jeopardize the public’s access to information.

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As the new year begins, the one enduring bright spot of the domestic economy is consumer spending. Over the past decade, consumer spending accounted for between 67 and 69% of our total economy or gross domestic product (GDP). Consumers are a large and stable share of total demand for goods a…

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I released my 2020 economist forecast last week, projecting the U.S. economy to slow significantly next year. The model I use projects that annualized growth rates will slip from 1.9 % in the first quarter of 2020 down to 1.7% by the year’s end. Here in Indiana, my forecasting model has grow…

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Not long ago, I was in a meeting to talk about a public policy issue. It was a little complex, and as we considered the various angles I began to think about what it would take to translate talk into change on the ground. I wasn’t analyzing the politics of it — I was focused on the types of …

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Legislative leaders are always reluctant to make promises for a short session of the Indiana General Assembly. That's true for the upcoming term, which House Speaker Brian Bosma said Wednesday will wrap up by March 11 — before the NCAA men's basketball Midwest regional tips off in Indianapolis.

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Let’s review where we have come as an economy since the end of the Great Recession. The news is far more dismal than I prefer, but it is wise to know where we are coming from before discussing our future.

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The year 1971 was important for economic development in Indiana. For in that year, the actual number of jobs created in firms attracted directly by government policies declined.

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To me, it was a thunderclap. Years ago, when I was in Congress, we were in the midst of a tense, contentious debate. Members had gotten irritated, levying charges back and forth, and tempers were rising. It was starting to look like we might just go off the rails. Then one member stood up, a…

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Out for an afternoon stroll with friends on a path next to a river, you're startled by a woman's cries for help and you see her flailing arms in the water.

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Over the dozen or so years I’ve penned this column, I’ve allocated considerable space to education issues. That is natural for an economics and business column. Nothing better predicts the income of a region as does the average educational attainment of its residents. And nothing better pred…

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I first discovered the reality of symbols as “emotional shorthand” when I raised a Nazi flag over my family home in Hope in 1954. I was 9 years old and was leading American forces against Germany at the time.

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The attention today at the Statehouse in Indianapolis will be on Indiana's teachers as they rally for more education funding and higher pay.

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"Lee HamiltonRepresentative democracy is based on a simple premise. It’s that ordinary citizens can make satisfactory judgments on complex public policy and political issues — or at least grasp them well enough to decide who should be dealing with them.

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Earlier this month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took the latest step in the undoing of pollution controls many industries find inconvenient, proposing weakening the rules on disposal of vast amounts of coal ash generated by power plants.

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Influential and strategically located, Iran has long presented a challenge for U.S. foreign policy. We have struggled for decades to get this important bilateral relationship right, and we aren’t there yet.

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I recently attended my first college reunion. It was a charming event, attended by well over half of the living graduates of my class at a small military college in Virginia. The weekend was even more special because my oldest son is undergoing the rigors of freshman year at the same school.…

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Amid all the other kerfuffle last week, Congress held hearings on growing evidence of monopsony power in labor markets. For those lucky few who didn’t take a labor economics course, monopsony is simply the ability of a few large local employers to control local labor markets. The worry is th…

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One of the not-so-small gifts of living in a representative democracy is that you can’t accomplish things alone. Whether you’re trying to get a stop sign put up on a dangerous corner or to change US policy on greenhouse gas emissions, you have to reach out to others. And learning how to pers…

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When an American citizen walks into the voting booth and casts his or her ballot, it is a sacred duty. We live in a country that is envied around the world for its peaceful transition of power and its free and open elections. Voting is the most patriotic act a person can undertake.

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I am a person who believes the election of President Donald J. Trump is a tragic blow to American moral leadership around the world, and a serious threat to the future of our representative democracy.

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“I ask how and why this decision was reached,” Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said in the Senate recently. He was calling for an investigation into President Trump’s decision to pull US forces out of Syria. “Was there no chance for diplomacy? Are we so weak and so inept diplomatically that Turkey for…

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The debate on trade and automation was on prime display during the recent Democratic party presidential debate this week. There is a lot packed into this discussion, from trade policy and taxation of capital to the role of place-based economic development efforts and the design of pre-K, hig…

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This weekend has me heading to a conference of economic research centers. As always, the big topic is new research, though given the current economic slowdown, there will be many a forecast. In a time when so much research is available on the internet, I’m surprised how useful it is to meet …

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There they go again. A year after northeast Indiana students graduated from college in 2012-13, just over 30% of them were no longer in the region. Three years after graduation, the number was just over 47%. And five years after graduation, almost 57% of northeast Indiana college graduates w…

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When news first came out more than 1,100 ballots from the 2018 general election were discovered in late January of this year inside a courthouse storage cabinet, it certainly raised a lot of concerns.

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I was talking with a friend the other day about immigration. It’s one of the most divisive issues of our time, and we, too, found ourselves divided. “Our country is full,” he quoted President Trump, who said this back in April. Let’s improve the country with the people we already have, my fr…

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Many of our national trials and tribulations — along with our Grand-Canyon-size political divide — could be resolved, if someone could just find “the average American.”

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The U.S. House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is unlikely to sway voters’ positions, according to Indiana University professor of political science Marjorie Hershey.

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