Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Indiana is this Great Economic Success Story – Well Maybe Not

Setting the Record Straight in the Hoosier State

The Dismal Political Economist commented on another post about how Indiana Republicans want to claim credit for all the good things that happened in the state, while blaming the problem areas of Democrats.  Well the New York Times has learned that even the good things are maybe not all that good.  The Republican Governor and almost Presidential candidate Mitch Daniels says

“Look, people think fiscal solvency, they think Indiana,” he says. “People think great business climate, Indiana comes to mind. People think infrastructure, we’re exactly who they think of.”

But there are problems, and plenty of them.

Hundreds of thousands of Indiana residents are unemployed and underemployed. Although the state’s unemployment rate is slightly better than that of its neighboring states, a striking number of people here — a significantly greater percentage than in Illinois or Ohio — have simply left the work force altogether since the dawn of the recession.
For the second year in a row, Hoosiers ranked fifth nationally in personal bankruptcies, at 7.1 people per 1,000 residents. (Illinois came in 11th.) Indiana’s median family income is just 86 percent of that of the rest of the country.

Oh, and how did Indiana manage is fiscal matters.  It sold its toll road for $3.8 billion.  Selling infrastructure looks great in the year you sell it, and the funds can mask all sorts of economic and fiscal problems.  But what do you do next year?

And how about the people

One in three Hoosiers qualifies as low-income now, compared with one in four a decade earlier. And 58 percent of unemployed Indianans have burned through their benefits.


Workers here have done a backward slip-slide for more than a decade. Median income is falling — by 15 percent in the last decade. The so-called real unemployment rate, which includes those too discouraged to look for work, stood at 17.4 percent last year. And the percentage of Indianans who participate in the work force has dropped in the past two years, much faster than in Illinois and Ohio to the east.

So, bottom line you have less government, less taxes and  less economic growth and less employment.  And no more

Indiana Toll Road
to sell to help with those lower taxes.

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