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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

No. 2 and climbing

Not a good milestone to reach:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - For the first time since before the Civil War and perhaps ever, more people in Indiana work in government than in all the factories in the state.

Rocked by layoffs, imports and automation, workers in Indiana plants numbered 430,800 in January, while government at all levels, including schools and publicly owned hospitals, employed 442,800 workers.

[. . .]

In the last decade, factories have shed about 240,000 jobs-a third of the industrial base, including 40,000 lost in the last year, according to labor market data in a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During those same years, government added about 40,000 jobs, partly due to the increase in schools and city services related to the state's 4.9 percent rise in population in the last decade.

These sort of go hand in hand, don't they? Reducing the size and reach of government is one way to encourage the growth of the private sector. In the General Assembly session just ended, our brilliant legislators put off an increased unemployment tax that will cost businesses about $400 million more a year -- for a whole year. And they approved tax credits that would mean a pittance for companies hiring new employees. In the same session, lawmakers declined to reduce government by merging the administrations of two state pension funds.

Government is just our No. 2 employer, by the way, behind retailing.  It's not a good sign that we have more people selling stuff than we have people making stuff. But that's not just an Indiana problem. Manufacturing is now only 9.25 percent of the U.S. economy.


Bob G.
Mon, 03/15/2010 - 10:24am

...And people keep saying the way to bring back prosperity in America (or even Indiana) is through MANUFACTURING...?!?
(guess the unions will have something to say about that)

Wasn't it a lot of UNIONS that began pricing America OUT of the manufacturing market in the first place as far back as the early 1970s?

I'm just sayin'...

tim zank
Mon, 03/15/2010 - 12:56pm

That's kind of the ultimate goal isn't it, that we all become "wards of the state"?