News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 27, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 27, 2012


---- — Protecting marriage

gets the business

The battle over the future of marriage in Indiana has boiled over from the political and cultural battlefields into the business boardrooms. One fallacy, Chick-Fil-A’s record setting sales day notwithstanding, is that preserving the importance of having both a husband and wife in marriage is bad for business. It is an opinion that came from a book by Richard Florida called “The Creative Class.” When the Wall Street Journal reviewed Florida’s theory, they dismissed it as “economic snake oil.”

Marriage has a great number of business benefits. Married men have stronger employment status than cohabiting men. Men’s productivity increases by 27 percent as a result of marrying. Women in intact marriages have a higher income-to-needs ratio than women in any other family structure. Dr. Jennifer Morse of the Ruth Institute notes, “The family is absolutely necessary for the market to function. The substitutes to the family are expensive and ineffective, and taxpayers end up paying the price.”

As to the claim that the 31 state marriage protection amendments create bad business environments, there are numerous job studies that debunk this lie:

• The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked states for per capita personal income growth from 1999-2009. Eight of the top 10 states for best personal income growth have passed Marriage Protection Amendments. None have same-sex marriage or civil unions.

• CEO Magazine surveyed 543 Chief Executive Officers asking them to rank the best and worst states for business and job growth. All of the top five have marriage protection amendments. The worst five business environment states were California, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts, the first state to allow the unraveling of marriage.

• In February, Kiplinger Financial Magazine named the top 10 states for predicted job growth in 2012. Every one of the top five states have marriage protection amendments.    

• This fall, CNBC profiled “America’s Top States for Doing Business” using input from the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. Nine of the top 10 business-friendly states have marriage protection amendments. None has same-sex marriage. Those states with same sex marriage landed toward the bottom of their business performance data.

In spite of this easily obtainable data, the myth that respecting marriage is bad for business continues to be repeated.

If the Indiana legislature allows Hoosiers to vote on the importance of marriage including husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, I will bet you a Chick Fil-A sandwich that this lie will still be a scare-tactic used against it.

— Micah Clark

Executive director

American Family

Association of Indiana

Volunteers give

much to museum

We’re wrapping up another fantastic year at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, one that could not be completed without the help of our volunteers.

The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) once published a report stating there was an average of $43 in overhead costs associated with each guest. Those costs can range from maintenance, utilities and staffing to exhibits, education and programming. Our museum, like most, tries to keep the cost low; our admission is $7.

How do we make up the difference? The answer is a vast, eclectic, and unique group of talented, caring volunteers. We’ve had more than 100 volunteers in the past year and they come from nearly all walks of life, including students, areas of workforce development and retirees. They’re the frontline of the museum and help engage families in our exhibits as well as keep the museum safe, all while wearing a big grin.

Additionally, we’d like to express our thanks to several volunteers who have gone above and beyond this year and accrued hundreds of hours of service.

• 100–200 hours — Lou Barbin, Pam Dowell, Sandee Frey, Rita Ghosh, Jeanne LaVanne, Anne Lima, Ian Lytle, Richard Navicky and Helen Ruhl.

• 200–300 hours — Jane Morse, Scott Taylor and James Wood.

• 300-plus hours — Sally Bower, Susan Kane and Chris Sheldon.

We thank our volunteers for their continued support of the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.

— Jamie McDowell

Membership & Volunteer Coordinator

Terre Haute

Children’s Museum

Smoking ban not

ridiculous idea

On Dec. 14, William Fields declared that a “smoking ban outdoors is a ridiculous idea.” Mr. Fields was referring to the proposed smoking ban in all Vigo County parks. One can only assume he does not frequent the parks.

My family and I utilize the parks on a daily basis for exercise and recreation. Most days I choose to ignore the number of cigar and cigarette smokers inside Deming Park. The smoke itself is a nuisance which I can ignore while I run through the park, but contrary to Mr. Fields’ belief, there are a number of cigarette butts and other smoking paraphernalia that can be found littering the park roads on any given day.

Mr. Fields also states that “children don’t notice people smoking.” Children are much smarter than Mr. Fields gives them credit. My child does, in fact, notice all the smokers inside the toddler playground area and on several occasions has asked to leave the playground to get away from the smoke.

As an adult, I can tolerate cigarette and cigar smoke occasionally, but young children shouldn’t have to, especially inside the playground area at a public park. While a smoking ban in Vigo County parks may seem like a ridiculous idea to Mr. Fields, it doesn’t seem so ridiculous to a 3-year-old child who wants to play outdoors in the fresh air.

— Somer Nourse

Terre Haute

Many questions

to contemplate

School shooting, why? Lack of gun control, maybe. What about taking God out of the schools? What about violent video games and horrendous movies? What about mom and dad staying together and raising the kids they can afford and teaching them right from wrong?

What about overcoverage and giving the shooter cult status and giving rise to a copy-cat mentality?

This shooting happened in one of the strongest gun control areas in the nation. This could change overnight, but states with concealed gun carry laws have not had this problem. It is one thing to shoot at unprotected victims, and it is quite another to face a half a dozen people more than willing to shoot back.

— Sam Wallace

Casey Ill.

Voters get what

they deserve

In the November elections, 22 incumbent U.S. senators were re-elected. Three hundred fifty-three incumbent U.S. representatives were also re-elected. This means the American people have re-elected 94 percent of the incumbents who were running for re-election to an institution that has an approval rating presently of about 9 percent.

This means we’re now stuck with the useless, dysfunctional government we deserve.

— Jerry Arnold

Terre Haute