Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

February 5, 2014

MORTON MARCUS: Hoosier wage gap is widening

(Continued)

Still, we don’t have the full story of the past few years. A worker’s take-home pay depends on the hourly rate times the number of hours worked. In the U.S., there was a decline in the average number of hours worked per week from 35 to 34.8 — that’s 12 minutes a week. In Indiana, we went from 35.7 hours per week to 34.9, a 48 minute reduction in average weekly working hours. More part-time jobs? Less overtime? I don’t know.

Whatever the cause of this decline in hours, the result was a significant increase in the gap between the average weekly earnings of a Hoosier worker and that of the average American worker.

In Dec.’07 that gap was $20.74; by Dec.’13 the gap between Indiana and the nation grew to $58.99 per week. Is this the economic progress our elected legislative and executive leaders travel the world to advance? Is this consistent with those boastful press releases we read about how well Indiana is doing because of our low business taxes and slack regulation?

Morton Marcus is an economist, writer, and speaker who may be reached at mortonjmarcus@yahoo.com.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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