Saturday, February 6, 2016

"Affluenza" and Park-Tudor

This Indianapolis Observer senses a lot of existential angst in affluent households on the northside of Indy and in Hamilton County as the Park-Tudor child pornography and predation scandal continues to grow.

It has all the hallmarks of a telenovela: bureaucrats claiming ignorance, lawyers withholding evidence, coaches soliciting sex from students, predators encouraging violence against their prey...and the mysterious suicide of the school's headmaster.

Seems that even a tuition north of $20,000 per year doesn't ensure that one's entitled offspring are safe while at school.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Here We Go Again: Hoosiers Against Equal Rights

In Gov. Michael Pence's "State of the State address earlier this month he said 'religious freedom' needed to be prioritized over LGBT rights and that 'no one should ever fear persecution because of their deeply held religious beliefs'."

(This snippet is from The Huffington Post, noting that Gov. Pence is at it again -- doubling down on legalizing discrimination.)

As the article points out, "business leaders have got to know that, ultimately, if Pence wins by promoting homophobic laws, it's a long-term loss for them. The majority of Indiana residents support LGBT rights."

This isn't trivial political posturing. Remember, folks, having a bigot as governor and passing laws that discriminate against LGBT Hoosiers has real-world consequences for our state.

"A new survey from Visit Indy to be released this week reveals Indiana lost at least $60 million due to the RFRA controversy last year. That number will likely pale in comparison if the state passes anti-gay laws this year, or even has a flashpoint around the issue in the national media. More businesses will stay away from Indiana, and the pressure will only build on businesses in the state."

Friday, January 15, 2016

Trash Slide for MLK Jr. Holiday

There will be NO residential trash, heavy trash or curbside recycling service Monday (18 January) in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

All routes will resume Tuesday (19 January), and will run one day behind for the entire week.

Yes: Monday routes will be serviced Tuesday, Tuesday routes will be serviced Wednesday, and so on, with next Friday's routes being serviced Saturday (23 January).

All routes will return to normal schedules Monday (26 January).

The next holiday observed by Solid Waste services will be Monday (30 May -- Memorial Day).

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Trash Collectors Wimp Out

Indianapolis's Department of Public Works is cancelling residential trash, heavy trash and curbside recycling collection today due to extreme cold.

This cancellation applies to all DPW trash routes and all trash routes serviced by contracted trash collectors.

Weather permitting, trash operations will operate on a slide schedule with Wednesday's routes being picked up tomorrow, Thursday's collected on Friday, and so on.

This Indianapolis Observer notes that the city waited until afternoon to announce this, although trash collection ostensibly starts at 7:30 a.m.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Best. Indianapolis Monthly. Ever.

If you're the parent of a fourth grader, or the teacher of a fourth grader or you've ever been a fourth grader, be sure to pick up a copy of this month's Indianapolis Monthly.

It is, hands down, the best primer for the Hoosier State's bicentennial year that this Indianapolis Observer has ever seen.

This issue is a keeper.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Where's Mitch Daniels?

The one Republican uniquely positioned to comment on admitting Syrian refugees to the United States (in general) and the State of Indiana (in particular) has been most uncharacteristically quiet.

As the grandson of a Syrian immigrant, his opinion would have unique weight in this debate.

The former Indiana Governor also has been honored by the Arab-American Institute with the 2011 Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Laffer Curve ... Really?

This Indianapolis Observer was startled to see a column in the latest Indianapolis Business Journal touting the Laffer Curve as the preferable guiding principle in taxation strategies: "The Laffer Curve teaches that trying to soak the rich through high tax rats can backfire...." Really?

Where have Cecil Bohanon and Bill Styring been since Reaganomics burst onto the scene?

Here's one contrary view: "So the Laffer curve says tax cuts for the rich? This isn't going to be funny": "Laffer was an associate of the Reagan administration, which had a staged cut in the marginal higher rate of personal income tax from 70% to 28%. The effect on the budget deficit was also striking. Reagan doubled it to $155 billion and tripled government debt to more than $2trillion."

"The Laffer curve relies on the twin assumptions that the rich create the output in an economy and that they need incentives to choose idleness over work. But there is little evidence to support these hypotheses."

And, a more recent example: "The Laffer Curve has Flatlined"" "Govs. Brownback [Kansas] and Walker [Wisconsin] killed [the Laffer Curve] simply by implementing the theory and proving its lack of success."

And, another view: "The New Laffer Curve Logic and the Lack of Evidence for it" "After being shown again and again that tax cuts don't increase revenues, those who make the Laffer curve argument stopped making the claim...."

Maybe it's time for the IBJ to hire some reality-based columnists!