Pharos-Tribune

Columns

September 10, 2013

MARCUS: Being the worst isn't good enough

Are Hoo-siers satisfied to be the best of the worst? Is medio-crity our highest level of aspiration? I like to believe the answer to those questions is NO, but I have my doubts.

This round of questions is brought up by the latest estimates of per capita gross domestic product for the individual states by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

State gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all goods and services produced within the boundaries of the state over a given period of time. The latest data are for 2012. Private firms, public agencies and not-for-profit organizations are all included. It is the states’ counterpart to the more familiar national GDP figures.

Per capita GDP indicates the total an economy is producing relative to the population of the nation or state. That population includes all persons — the very young and the very old, the infirm and the incarcerated. Per capita GDP will vary with the composition of the population. As such it is a poor measure of worker productivity.

However, the number does give us a measure of output compared to the population — the consumption units — in a nation or state. It approximates the potential for the well-being of a population.

What do the data tell us about Indiana? In 1997, the Hoosier state ranked 31st among the 50 states in per capita GDP. In 2012, we again ranked 31st. No change.

You can praise our leaders for the relative stability of the Indiana economy. Or you can condemn them for not doing enough to improve our relative standing.

In 1997, we saw Indiana with a per capita GDP 7.9 percent below the national figure, while in 2012 we stood 8.7 percent below the nation. That is not a catastrophic decline, but it is a movement in the wrong direction.

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
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.