Pharos-Tribune

Columns

April 16, 2013

MORTON: Anger on varied values

The rancor and moral outrage of the left and right over various current issues eats at the very core of civilized discussion. Whether the topic is abortion or gun control, immigration, taxes or government subsidies of the private sector, the emotions of those who disagree dominate the discourse which has become mean spirited.

There are those in my family and among my friends who would roundup and deport all illegal immigrants. Others within my family or among my friends would provide full government services and speedy citizenship for such “illegals.” The two sides see each other as deficient in judgment, to be polite about calling another person crazy.

Extremists, regardless of label, are unwilling to grant the validity of the other side’s set of values. Naturally, they question each other’s facts since satisfying statistics or impressive opinions support both sides.

Let’s look at improved transit for the Indianapolis metro area. “Too costly relative to the benefits” is the argument of the foes, while the pros envision a progressive community realigning itself with necessary changes.

The pros see the foes putting roadblocks in the path to settling the issue. The foes, however, feel the entire question is being rushed to judgment before enough is known about the proposal and its outcomes. These are standard arguments based on the scenarios of those with differing beliefs and preferences.

Those who want guns in schools to protect our children imagine a world in which good triumphs over evil at the point of conflict. Those opposed to guns in schools imagine a world in which new horrors are likely with the increased level of force available to too many people with quick trigger fingers.

Gambling and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) are less emotional issues, but advocates for all sides often leave the rails of moderation and charge off demonizing their opponents. Nonetheless, the questions about gambling and the IMS are rooted in common soil.

Is either gambling or the IMS a business that deserves protection by the state? In both cases we find private entities with difficulties meeting their competition. New gambling venues in other states impact our domestic gaming sites and the state’s revenues. The IMS has neglected to update its facilities and now seeks a subsidy from Indiana to regain a preeminent position in auto racing. Opinions on gambling and business subsidies are strongly held in the Hoosier State.    

Medicare and social security are topics that can raise the temperature in any room. Medicaid and welfare, with or without drug testing, are guaranteed to start a vigorous debate where people with different value systems meet.

School vouchers are another area of intense disagreement. Advocates insist that vouchers are necessary for freedom of choice, while critics see vouchers as instruments that will destroy the public schools and their mission of equal opportunity for all.

These are not economic questions alone, if at all, but philosophical issues before the Legislature. Sadly, the Indiana General Assembly has few philosophers to sort out the questions and to look ahead for answers.

Morton J. Marcus is an economist, writer and speaker formerly with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He can be reached at mortonjmarcus@yahoo.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The sheer dumbness of an enormous dome There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 22, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on T

    July 21, 2014

  • LYONS: When academic committees play 'police' If one believes even a significant fraction of the horror stories in the national news media, beastly male behavior has become almost epidemic on American college campuses. Tales of drunken sexual assaults and worse multiply from sea to shining sea.E

    July 21, 2014

  • CEPEDA: Hispanic women flock to the movies My family attended the first morning screening of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which won last weekend’s box office with a $73 million debut.According to Lucas Shaw’s recent article “Hispanic Women Are This Summer’s Most Avid Moviegoers” on the e

    July 20, 2014

  • thelma CONRAD: A true Lincoln original The Cass County Historical Society has had in its possession for many decades several documents containing the signature of President Abraham Lincoln. The society never doubted the authenticity of the signature, given the fact that most of the first

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • KNISELY: A day in the sun Every year I have my two nieces over for Misty and Me Birthday Slumber Party. The activities are always different, but the end result is always the same. It always ends with me being exhausted. Being single with no kids, my life is quiet. My life is

    July 20, 2014

  • HOWEY: A comeback saga for ‘LeBron Bayh’? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapolis, reason

    July 20, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
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.