Is U.S. heading for another Depression?
Have you noticed the length of unemployment cycles is increasing?
In 1957, a major job loss of 4.4 percent recovered in only 24 months and the 1981 drop of 3.0 percent recovered in 27 months. Since then, a modest drop in employment of 1.5 percent in 1990 and in 2001 required 31 months and 45 months, respectively, before full employment returned. The current cycle started 63 months ago and only 2.3 percent of the 5.4 percent drop has been recovered.
One may speculate the longer unemployment cycles are caused by loss of our manufacturing base or a new willingness of the unemployed to remain unemployed; equally important reasons began after World War II.
World War II encouraged women to enter the work force and created a baby boom, surprisingly not mutually exclusive events. America’s economy has been feeding off these two events since.
In 1948, there were only 27 percent women in the workforce, but by 1990, 45 percent of our workers were women. Clearly, replacing one family worker with two boosted the economic growth rate. This economic “booster” ended in 1990 with little change in percentage of women in the workplace since.
The same may be said of baby boomers, perhaps the greatest bunch of consumers known to mankind. This economic growth “booster” is about to become a Social Security and Medicare “buster.”
The current economic growth rate, like 1933-1940, is so small that, without deficit spending, it would be negative.
Are unemployment cycles, loss of postwar stimuli and low economic growth suggesting a forthcoming return to the Depression?
— Ron Gore
Wowed by Cross Tabernacle’s hospitality
I was recently invited to Cross Tabernacle, by my son’s principal, to participate in the Single Parents Banquet. I wanted to publicly thank Cross Tabernacle and everyone involved with the banquet and the church.
I had no idea what to expect, and was more than wowed at the hospitality they showed my children and I. We were treated to a nice lunch, amusing singers, a wonderful speaker, and were treated like honored company in someone’s home.
They helped numerous, like a lot, of single parents be able to not only be able to have some things for their children for Christmas, but they also made the parents feel very important and pampered, and were given gifts and well wishes as well. It was a very nice event, almost overwhelmingly so, and my thanks can not be said enough. Thank you Cross Tabernacle and affiliates.
— Tisha Schnellenberger
Inmates with jobs would benefit all
In a recent paper (Thursday, Dec. 6, Page A6) The article titled “Inmates should pay own way” by Miss Vicki Rainbolt, I have to say that I support her opinion 100 percent.
Currently there are approximately 2.3 million people (2.4 percent of the U.S. population) incarcerated in federal, state or local prisons. Indiana incarcerates approximately 28,887 inmates (as of October 2012). With a state budget of $691.6 million the average cost of housing an inmate in prison is $54.28 per day. I agree that inmates should pay their own way, but what would be the best way? Here is my idea to make the DOC (at the federal, state, and local levels) self-sufficient.
First, make all inmates that are physically able to work have a job. These jobs are paid at the current minimum wage and subject to federal/state/local taxes as well as social security taxes (this would provide additional tax dollars for our government to spend by adding an additional 2.3 million to the tax roll paying their “fair share”). If the inmate is charged with a crime involving a victim, then a percentage is deducted which would go into a victims’ assistance fund and paid monthly to the victim. If the inmate has children then additional money should be deducted for child support, thus reducing the amount of state/federal assistance the family receives (if applicable).
Second, deduct the cost of being housed in prison (clothing, room/board, etc.) from the inmates wages as well as increase the inmates deductible for medical and dental visits (when I worked for the DOC it was a $5 co-pay per visit for the inmate).
Finally, return the prisons to providing for themselves, reducing the amount of materials that would need to be purchased. For example, Putnamville Correctional Facility is known as “the Farm” because it used to grow its own food. Each facility should begin growing their own foods, raising their own sources of meats (cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc.) this would serve multiple functions, provide foods that inmates could eat reducing food purchases, teach inmates work ethics, teach inmates new skills (agriculture, how to care for animals, vet tech “hands-on” experience, etc.) that would help them obtain a good job upon release, and mainly, reduce the overall costs of running the facilities.
In conclusion, these ideas would help reduce the costs of running the facilities, increase revenues of federal/state/local governments through additional tax dollars from inmate wages, and provide a means for inmates to learn skills that would allow them to re-enter society and be able to support themselves and their families.
— Ron Taylor
West Terre Haute
Business side of higher ed is a problem
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera usually aims his guns at the NCAA when criticizing out of control college sports. Finally he takes on the core of the many, many problems rotting away at the Big Buck college sports programs dominating higher education establishments (see NYT, Dec. 10, 2012, Show Me the Money). Big Buck programs are captured in a squirrel cage and they’re all dizzy in pursuit of what? Yes, it’s the money. Few schools or their presidents and trustees like to “Show” this side of their business decisions to the public.
If you’re paying attention, you know about the University of Tennessee. You are a Peyton Manning idolater, right? So you know about his alma mater. Since 2008 the state has cut the U. of Tennessee budget 21 percent. This during a time when buyouts of U of T athletic coaches reached $9 million and the athletic department found it, well, prudent, to renege on a $6 million payment to the academic wing of the school. I love it that U. of T’s motto is “Veritatem cognoscentis et veritas te liberabit,” meaning “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” And their mascot is a bluetick coonhound named Smokey.
But why pick on the Vols and the smoke they send up. Closer to home, check out Indiana U. and Purdue on their buyout of athletic debts.
Does any of this have anything to do with little old ISU, a small- to medium-sized school with a relatively modest Big Buck athletic program? Of course it does.
ISU swims in the expensive sewage the system pumps into every college in America. Program costs escalate, coaches pay soars, student fees and taxes pay off yearly athletic program deficits, grotesque dreams of new stadiums abound, relentless tapping of donors for programs that have zilch to do with education and research accelerate. All of this washes up on the banks of the Wabash.
Current, misguided, thinking takes the view that institutions of higher education should be run along “business model” lines. So be it. Here’s a real time “business model” application for President Bradley and the ISU trustees to work on: ISU is searching for a new head football coach. Only two facts should be pertinent in regard to who the CEOs at ISU hire: the new coach’s salary and the buyout clause in his contract. Buy low and no refunds for work not performed. That’s the business ticket that makes sense.
Wins, losses, “building character in young men and women,” traditions? Fluff and stuff. Unfortunately, it’s far more comfortable and easily predictable that ISU will choose to just follow the money down Big Buck sport’s drains. Look for a new coach at ISU with a salary tied to a balloon and a golden parachute at the ready. Is this any way to run a business?
— Gary Daily
Today’s world demands a broad view, awareness
In his numerous “letters to the editor” over the past several months, Mr. Abhyankar has polarized his venomous diatribes as anti-Obama ramblings.
He suggested recently that President Obama was anti-colonial. Wow, welcome to the 21st century where colonialism — the occupation and enslaving of land and people — is viewed as a historical “blackmark” on humanity. Please show factual documentation of the President’s “pro-Islamic” policies. Many of us see his administration view of a peaceful world, one in which open communication and continuous dialogue is maintained with all willing nations.
You suggested in your 12/12/12 letter that President Obama apologizes at every opportunity for Western colonialism. First, you offer no factual support; second, we do have a history of domination and arrogance that could use some compassionate contrition to ennoble our reputation in the 21st century world. To paraphrase an Oldsmobile commercial from the early 1990s, this ain’t your daddy’s global perspective and interpretation.
As for maintaining silence about mistreatment of women and denial of innate human rights, of course there is no outward condemnation for the world’s “news peddlers” to consume. However, with what little influence a nation can have with another’s culture and traditions, the U.S. (and President Obama) do work diligently for human equality and fairness wherever the United States has influence.
The freedoms and security of our America are not being jeopardized by our silence about the Islamic beliefs of “internal struggle” and “the inalienable words of God.” No individual, group, micro-culture, or society wants to be lectured about the perceived shortcomings of their values and beliefs. Differences must be discussed and solutions found, and that can only be accomplished in “quiet, respectful meetings,” not by blasting vitriol in the rapacious “world news media.” You, and unenlightened others, assume one view and beat it to its ultimate demise. In America, we encourage and respect open, critical, and reasoned dissent; and, in the 21st century, we have evolved to understand the difference between compassionate disagreement and passionate prejudice. Your letters reveal well-thought and concretely based beliefs and values. Now, if you could just find a pair of glasses without one white lens and one black lens. Today’s world is a “beautiful mess,” demanding a broader view and diversity awareness.
— Jim Camp
Is U.S. heading for another Depression?
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts on cool days (Part I of III)
Something good’s brewing
Y we can’t take it for granted
FLASHPOINT: Where Congress falls short, and where it doesn’t
At a public gathering the other day, someone asked me how I’d sum up my views on Congress. It was a good question because it forced me to step back from worrying about the current politics of Capitol Hill and take a longer view.
Readers’ Forum: March 10, 2014
Our government’s heart and soul
A plea for more give and take
Reaching the Wabash: New public-access point begins quest to create more spots to experience river
Fairness holds no power over the Wabash River.
Editorial: Get your austerity here!
Ads on the sides of school buses do not constitute a sign of the apocalypse. Western civilization will survive.
Flashpoint: President should stop Medicare Advantage cuts
Virtually all elected officials — Republicans and Democrats — share the goal of increasing access to affordable health insurance and helping families receive the best coverage to meet their specific needs.
Readers’ Forum: March 9, 2014
Mardi Gras great event for Swope
EPA regs will cause energy bills to soar
Please pray for Ukraine innocents
Sinful thinking on road to hell
Liberty — or licentiousness
People will not always agree
Botched chance at leadership
RONN MOTT: Radio now a long lost love
I fell in love with radio when I was 16, just a few short weeks before my 17th birthday. The man who did the deed and hired me was Adlai Ferguson.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
Welcome to girls teams, fans
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
EDITORIAL: What do Sony cutbacks mean?
It is easy to understand why shivers run down local people’s spines whenever rumors hit the streets about Sony DADC’s plant on Terre Haute’s east side. With more than 1,400 people currently employed in Sony’s production and distribution facilities, the community has grown somewhat dependent on the economic stability Sony provides.
- Readers’ Forum: March 7, 2014
RONN MOTT: Knicks
The big noise in the NBA is whether Carmelo Anthony will stay with the New York Knicks or go elsewhere.
If my memory serves, and it doesn’t always, Carmelo left the Denver Nuggets, the team that drafted him, to play in the bright lights of the Big Apple. It was loudly proclaimed at the time that Carmelo wanted to play for a championship team. The Knicks’ ownership bought a bunch of players and spent a whole bunch of money to aid Carmelo in helping the Knicks to get to a championship.
EDITORIAL: More ill will against gays
If you’re a feral cat wandering freely through a trailer park in Indiana, the General Assembly has taken action to make your life better.
Readers’ Forum: March 6, 2014
Utilities do need tighter regulation
Great work by TV sports staff
Editorial: A good place for persistence
The topic of Gov. Mike Pence’s effectiveness as the state’s top governmental leader during this year’s General Assembly will be hashed and rehashed after the session closes down in the next couple of weeks. At best, the first-term governor will get mixed marks.
- Readers’ Forum: March 5, 2014
RONN MOTT: Abraham Lincoln and George Washington
I remember when by edict the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were lumped into a single celebration called “Presidents Day.” I thought it was stupid then, and I still do.
LIZ CIANCONE: Antiques show better than any modern programs
I’m not a big fan of television.
Readers’ Forum: March 4, 2014
Lunatic ravings of the far right
Let IRS take the bullying pledge
EDITORIAL: New attention on sex assaults
Youth sexual assault in Indiana is a troubling issue that has not received the attention it deserves.
KELLY HAWES: It’s time to take politics out of redistricting
A bill to form a bipartisan redistricting commission apparently died in the Indiana Senate last week.
Readers’ Forum: March 3, 2014
Social workers honor profession
FLASHPOINT: Restoring trust, respect in schools rests in fundamentals
A recent Harris poll of 2,250 adults reveals a troubling educational trend.
EDITORIAL: Voters don’t have to stand for entrenched partisanship
Realistic Hoosiers understand members of Congress will typically follow their political party line.
MARK BENNETT: People spaces
Demolition machinery chipped away at the buildings on the 500 block of Wabash Avenue. I stood and watched awhile, last week. By July 2015, a new $18.7-million structure will replace those relics.
THOMAS L. STEIGER: Creativity requires freedom from the risks of failure
Last week I wrote about the themes that emerged from the panel discussion by five Wabash Valley members of the “creative class.”
Flashpoint: Everyone would benefit from responsibly expanding health coverage for Hoosiers
A medical epidemic is one of the worst scenarios a hospital can face — when a significant portion of the population is suddenly struck with a life-threatening illness.
Readers’ Forum: March 2, 2014
Candle still burns at St. Ann’s Clinic
Thanks to all at Sarah Scott
How should we define marriage?
An argument of science and law
Chance to expand your knowledge
Excellent service from paper carrier
Central time zone makes more sense
Summer adult baseball league for all ages
Recognizing that all people matter
More selfish opposition to Common Core
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
Cheers, Jeers and Tears
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
RONN MOTT: Independent thinking in a rapidly changing world
I am a rather independent person. Oh, I don’t belong to any radical, political organization.
- More Opinion Headlines
- EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts on cool days (Part I of III)