Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

November 13, 2013

MORTON MARCUS: Now is not the time for Indiana to emphasize 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 The labor force is outdated.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,

• And 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 Indiana University, a coalition has been 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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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
     View Results