There is a bit of an unexpected tussle going on right now in the statehouse. You see, the Republican supermajority did not expect to have any problem pulling more money away from public education and giving it to private education entities. It turns out that people are pushing back, and the …

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Perplexed by our state legislators

As anyone with children knows, no two kids need exactly the same thing. That’s as true in schools as in families.

In the coming months, the U.S. economy will appear as if it is returning to normal. That won’t really be the case, but the conversation about the economy will shift from stabilizing and relief to long-term growth. Midwesterners, particularly Hoosiers ought to be very nervous about the next d…

On March 12, President Biden signed into law another stimulus bill to address the enormous damage done to our economy through COVID-19. There are principled arguments for and against most details of the $1.9 trillion bill. I feel Congress could’ve passed a much smaller bill, maybe half the s…

17 Purdue Professors Lead the Way on Climate

With a minimum wage increase once again prominently featuring a policy debate, it seems wise to treat the issue a bit differently. Instead of outlining the positive and negative effects of a particular increase of the minimum wage, I’ll offer the best arguments for and against any minimum wa…

Great paper, great balance

Last week’s column on school funding in Indiana stirred a great deal of conversation around the state. I am glad it did, but cannot take credit for the interest. Most Hoosiers are keenly attentive to their local schools and concerned about the economic performance of their cities and towns. …

The Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission released their report in mid-December. All Hoosiers should be interested in what it did and did not say about teacher pay, along with recommendations they offered. I begin with some stark observations about education finance.

Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act

Indiana’s State Senators didn’t intend to galvanize Hoosiers to protect isolated wetlands, but their vote last month to repeal regulation of these important ecological features sure did the trick.

The Republican supermajority in the Indiana General Assembly is currently attempting to prioritize private education benefiting fewer than 10 percent of students, while underfunding its constitutional duty of providing a system of common school open and available to all. It is public schools…

One of the great things about living in the U.S. is that our city and county governments are required to keep their citizens informed about their actions. One of the ways they do this is through public notices – the informational notices that have been deemed to be of importance to local con…

I’ve spent several days over the past month providing economic forecasts on Zoom. In this pandemic year, I gave a forecast for the five states of the Great Lakes region and seven metro areas. This is a broad set of forecasts, but the pandemic makes the forecast easier to explain. The evidenc…

U.S. Chamber of Commerce's new climate policy stance

Pass the RPM Act

A common belief I hear repeated often is that too many young people go to college, and that more should go into the trades where they can avoid the wasteful debt of college and still earn a good living. The problem with this argument is that the few parts that are true are largely benign, an…

Once again our state legislators are endorsing laws that cater to corporations while ignoring the public’s best interest. It’s nothing new, but this time it could cause permanent damage.

Say 'No' to SB 389

On January 20th, President Joe Biden was inaugurated as our 46th President. He campaigned on a promise of unity; to lower the partisan rhetoric and work to heal the deep divisions that exist between the American people. This is a worthwhile effort that all elected leaders, including myself, …

Stop diverting public education funding

'Sedition Caucus' should resign

When the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes in January, it will be tasked with the essential duties of adopting a two-year state budget and redistricting legislative and congressional boundaries based on the 2020 decennial census. Recent news has buoyed optimism that the state has successfu…

Last Sunday night I sat in front of the TV a few extra minutes basking in the Colts victory. Much to my delight, the venerable 60 Minutes teaser announced they’d profile the civil anti-trust case of Sutter Health in Sacramento California. This reporting should be interesting to Hoosiers and …

A good friend of mine, now sainted, was a professor of theology at our local Lutheran seminary. He had a brilliant mind that was manifested in a pastoral heart. He was known for his pithy statements, expressing profound points in a handful of words. Recently I was reminded of one such. It is…

It is the season of giving; therefore, it must also be the season of receiving. It takes two to play this game. But truth be told, I am much more comfortable being on the giving team. I attribute this partly to the book of Acts in the New Testament. There in the 20th chapter the writer, Luke…

I’ve mentioned this in passing in a couple of columns, but I think it bears some elaboration: Hypocrisy is a very boring subject. It’s the cheapest sort of complaint to make against somebody, reflexive and shallow.

I start this column by admitting that I just don’t know what the right policy recommendation is for state leaders concerning this pandemic. That is a change from the early days of January through April, when we knew much less about the disease. Uncertainty is an input to decisions, and so ma…

The least we can do

The glorious leaves disappeared overnight and the fruitful garden is a memory of a time gone by. There really can be no doubt that winter is coming, a time made difficult by cold, wind, ice, and the necessity of having to rely on what has been “put by.” My grandmother would face this time wi…

Unspoken Reality

"A Republic if You Can Keep It"

Repent is one of those religious words that now struggle to be meaningful in our day. Some think it is confined to religious contexts and therefore irrelevant in the secular world. Others have an idea of what it means, but connect it with a set up for a punchline. You know, it’s the word on …

Putting a vice president into the Oval Office is like putting a new Supreme Court justice on the bench. You might think you know what you’re getting, but people who are given such power have an alarming tendency to do whatever they want to.

“… we passed / into the dark last week the even mark of day and night / and what we hoped would stay we yield to change.” (from “Equinox” by A.R. Ammons)

I am putting character first

Unbalanced editorial pages

Joe Mackey the person

My wife Peggy and I have a little game we like to play. It goes like this: Peggy makes a statement (or asks a question, either way, it doesn’t matter) and I respond, “What?” She then repeats what she just said, as do I, “What?” She then tells me I need my hearing checked. I give her a puzzle…

Take steps to prevent suicide

Why has there not been an arrest made?

In case there was any doubt that life is challenging … let’s put aside the niceties. Life is damn hard. Allow me to place into evidence 2020. It is hard on so many levels, and from so many perspectives that it is a spherical challenge (a challenge from any angle). I can barely begin to descr…

“Each one is a gift, no doubt,

We live in a fearful world. The pandemic rages, civil unrest continues, scientists revise virus theories and possible treatment as more data accumulates when all we want are definite answers now, political leaders base their response on ideology, and don’t even get us started on the problems…

Frankfort Main Street is essential to small business recovery

I have a happy place. It’s my garden, my back yard. This year I am unburdened by the goal of producing vegetables for the table. I leave that hard and anxious work to “my farmer” at Smith Farms where I have a share in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. My backyard freed from …

Too often we assume our life experience is the norm and therefore lose our appreciation for what our neighbors must live with. In truth, however, the trials we face are not others’ trials; ours are of a different nature, they may be harder or easier, or longer in duration or shorter than our…