In a column right before the end of the year, Brian Howey shared statistics about Indiana. They’re revealing.
Hoosiers rank 39th in per capita income, with residents making 87.2 percent of U.S. income at $38,119, and 33rd in household income at $46,974, down from $47,399 in 2011 (32nd). In 2002, we ranked 24th at $53,482. That is a 13.6 percent decline in the last decade, ranking us 48th.
The Indiana General Assembly passed and then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed right-to-work legislation in February 2011. Union membership declined from 11.3 percent of the workforce in 2011 (302,000 workers, or 15th in the nation) to 9.1 percent in 2012 (246,000 workers). Only 10 percent of the workforce is represented by a union, ranking us 15th, down 2.4 percent from 2011.
Indiana ranks 10th in bankruptcies over time in 2012, and sixth in the rate per 1,000 people.
Apparently, the folks who opposed Right to Work were right when they characterized the measure as “Right to Work for Less.”
Howey’s long list also included these interesting numbers: Indiana ranks 17th in college enrollments–we are educating lots of students in our colleges and Universities. But we rank 42d in the percentage of Hoosiers holding Bachelor’s degrees, and 44th in the percentage of Hoosiers with any sort of degree.
We educate them and they leave.
Maybe our intrepid legislators should ask why it is that educated folks don’t stay in our state. Could it be that those low taxes translate into poor public services and a low quality of life?
Today is the start of a shiny new year. Wouldn’t it be nice if those we elect to office would decide to work together this year to improve Indiana’s dismal numbers, and the quality of life in the Hoosier State?