Pharos-Tribune

Columns

July 2, 2013

MARCUS: Mixed messages of income data

“So, like how are we doin’?” Eva LaFever asks. “We’re makin’ progress? We’re slippin’ back, maybe?

“Truthfully,” I say, as if I were accustomed to lying, “we’re making progress, albeit slowly and unevenly.”

“How’d ya know? What with all the ups and the downs on the stock market, how’s a person to figure out what’s goin’ on?” Eva says.

“Well,” I say, pausing to give authority and authenticity to my comments, “every three months the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the U.S. Department of Commerce puts out quarterly reports on the economy of each state.”

“Ya don’t say,” she says.

“And the latest report,” I continue, “indicates Indiana is doing better than the nation mainly because we did not do as well in the previous quarter.”

“Are ya tryin’ to confuse me or does it just come natural-like?” Eva asks.

“Let me try to explain,” I offer. “In the last quarter of 2012 everyone correctly anticipated that payroll taxes would go up at the start of this year. So employers who were going to give out bonuses made sure they gave them out before 2012 ended, thereby avoiding having to pay those higher tax rates.

“Nationwide, personal income grew at an annual rate of 2.7 percent. In Indiana, however, where bonuses are not as frequently given or are less generous, the increase was just 1.8 percent. That put us in 40th place in the growth rate for personal income in the 4th quarter.”

“Why don’t Hoosiers get the same kind of bonus as them other folks?” Eva says with some indignation.

“Seems,” I reply, “we aren’t big in financial services and corporate offices where the big bonuses are given.”

“But ya said we wus doin’ better than the nation?” Eva complains.

“We did do better than the nation in the first quarter of 2013,” I answer. “Because the payroll taxes did go up and because the big bonuses were not being paid, personal income actually fell by 1.2 percent nationally, but was only minus 0.9 percent in Indiana. We came out of the first quarter in 11th place nationally.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • WOLFSIE: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 18, 2014

  • PETERS: Grizzly bear may help human medicine I've gained 5 pounds since last summer. My body mass index (BMI) is still fine, but I need to stop gaining to keep it that way. Grizzly bears put my weight gain to shame. In the late summer, they eat some 50,000 calories per day and gain more than 1

    April 18, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid! That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I'd characterize myself as a daisy. You know,

    April 17, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

  • Brian Bosma BOSMA: House Republicans achieve legislative priorities When the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker I pledged a session driven by five main issues: increased road funding, enhanced job training, early childhood education, fair business taxation and cutting government red tape. With

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LYONS: Taking pity on the Plutocrats "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that belie

    April 14, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.