Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

February 5, 2013

MARCUS: Credit, art and music

In the past week a suggestion has come forward that Hoosier school children should be educated in financial matters. Specific mention was given to loans, mortgages and credit cards.

Although the idea has merit, it is ironic coming from the Indiana General Assembly, that body of superior knowledge when it comes to finances. A basic course in economics, incorporating elements of personal and public finance, would be my recommendation.

We want our children, our citizens, to be able to manage their affairs well. That’s why legislators make these enlightened proposals. Yet, balancing a checkbook with a bank statement is nothing more than simple addition and subtraction. What is more complex is the civic purpose of alternative financing methods; government is not a business.

What services should be provided by government? Which level of government: federal, state, or local? At the same time we have to decide whether “provided” means operated and financed by government. Our statewide debate over school finance is a good example of confusion about what we expect from our schools and how we think they should be financed and operated. Public financing and private operation is the voucher model, based on the belief that private operation is always more efficient and effective than public operation.

These are the issues that a course in economics should cover along with the concepts of borrowing that were not appreciated by the timid souls who put together our current state constitution. Thus, we live in Indiana where the state government may not go into debt, but its cities, towns, counties, schools, etc. may and must borrow to be viable.

Equally important as teaching young people about credit card debt is teaching them about music and art. In truth, music and art education may be more important than teaching personal finance.

Desire and necessity, the emotional counterparts of demand and supply, will teach what one needs to know about credit cards. But music and art involve perceptions that must be cultivated.

Credit cards are just contemporary instruments of commerce. In less than a generation they may be discovered by children in attics as today they find rationing coupons.

Side-by-side with the efforts to strengthen Indiana’s economy, we need to recognize the imperative of improving our cultural stimulation. For too long, we have been satisfied with pockets of elegance in coarse country clothing.

A grand symphony orchestra should not be struggling in Indianapolis. The sounds of great music should be heard throughout the state. This is a matter for the legislature to address through its education powers as well as its purse strings. Just as we have a college credit on the income tax, valid cultural organizations should be granted similar positive treatment.

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
Opinion
  • THEIR VIEW: Data confirms our obsession with sports Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 30, 2014

  • RAMPBELL: Keeping the sick at home Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.The Big Apple, you see, is joining a handful of other trailblazing cities such as Washington, San Francisco

    July 30, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Patacsil was no ordinary Joe Somebody forgot to tell Joe Patacsil that if he wanted to wrestle at a Big Ten university with black and gold as its school colors ... well, most people who know anything about college wrestling today might have said he picked the wrong one -- Purdue

    July 30, 2014

  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Are businesses missing out on interns? Are businesses missingout on interns?Admittedly we’re a little biased, but the Indiana INTERNnet and Indiana Chamber teams believe your company is not operating at full capacity if you aren’t hosting an internship program. Missing out on increased pr

    July 29, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the reunion “Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 29, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Indiana's right-to-work law unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 29, 2014

  • COATS: What to do next with Putin, Ukraine The tragic death of 298 people on board Malaysian Airlines flight 17 in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine marks a moment when words of disapproval and expressions of grief are not enough. This is a moment when action must follow the outrage and rhetor

    July 28, 2014

  • LYONS: The most powerful men in the world? Search the phrase “the most powerful man in the world” and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weightlifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It’s a cant term TV news anchors use to

    July 28, 2014

  • CEPEDA: What are students to eat now Remember last year’s hysteria over school lunches? Administrators, cafeteria workers, students and parents across the country freaked out when — gasp! — school lunches were made healthier.News reports throughout the 2012-13 school year — when lunch s

    July 27, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
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.