Pharos-Tribune

Columns

November 12, 2013

MARCUS: Not the time to emphasize our negatives

What is the number one complaint of Hoosier employers? The labor force is outdated. We do not have enough workers with the training and experience to compete with other states and nations. Some employers would supplement that concern with the high percentage of applicants who cannot pass drug tests.

Our schools, by virtually every measure, are inadequate. They have produced a generation of ill-equipped, under-educated adult workers.

There is an epidemic of obsolescence in our towns and cities that is easily seen in downtown areas, roads, bridges, civic and governmental organizations. It is as though we are still in the 20th century fighting to retain the conditions of the 19th century.

When we have a chance to join with progressive movements, we resist. Instead, we embrace regressive initiatives. Examples:

• replacement of property tax revenues by an increased sales tax that helps the wealthy,

• a repressive voter registration law and rejection of improved voter access methods,

• antiquated child care oversight and child protection services,

• rejection of expanded Medicaid for approximately 300,000 Hoosiers,

• acceptance of a “right-to-work” law.

Now a group of companies and institutions have the courage to come forth and say: “Enough is enough!” Led by Lilly, Cummins, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and IU, a coalition formed to block legislative passage of a resolution to put a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2016.

Indiana already has a law that bans same-sex marriage. Proponents of that measure want to make it harder to repeal the law by placing the ban in the state’s constitution. Worldly-wise companies and institutions have said, “No!” They know how Indiana is viewed from elsewhere already. Why make things worse?

From outside the Hoosier Holyland, we look like a retrograde southern state. We were late to integrate our schools. We opposed (and still do) federal aid for a long list of infrastructure and social projects. We celebrate an agricultural heritage that has been in relative decline for 100 years.

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Columns
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  • MARCUS: Illinois brings joy to Indiana From the email this week, I sensed a profound need by Hoosiers to find joy in the problems of Illinois. Our neighbors to the west are fighting their way through a mess of their own making. They have forced themselves to raise taxes and cut services t

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  • KNISELY: Adventures in cat spaying If you're a regular reader of this column, you know I have a cat. I got the cat to deal with the mice. Even if you only pop in on this column from time to time, you still likely know I have mice and that I hate them. I complain about it quite regular

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  • GUTWEIN: Strengthening Indiana for Hoosier veterans America's legacy was built on the foundation created by our brave service men and women. Whether they defended our nation's borders overseas or assisted Hoosiers during the harsh winter months, we need to do everything we can to make Indiana the best

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  • CEPEDA: Baseball's sacred temple Call it a character defect, but I don't like baseball. And I especially don't like the Chicago Cubs -- losers I never found lovable. I grew up less than a mile west of Wrigley Field and games there represented summer-long inconveniences such as midda

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