Report: Indianapolis Star Newspaper Subscriptions Are Still Tanking 

Two years ago this month I posted on the slow financial death of the Indianapolis Star newspaper. I decided to dive back into financial reports Continue reading →

Indianapolis Star holds a gun debate & no one knew about it

This past Thursday, the Indianapolis Star newspaper finally held their much-anticipated “debate” they wanted on guns. Only problem is they didn’t promote it. That’s because they didn’t want gun owners there. Continue reading →

Angie’s List Inc. is Perfect Example of Crony Capitalists

Angie’s List Inc.recently announced they put their Indianapolis project on hold due to the new RFRA law signed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. This company has been bleeding money for quite some time and just went to the state begging for $18.5 million in public assistance. Here is snapshot I took this morning of how bad the stock has dropped in one year:
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Overall Angie’s List announcement on this matter is more desperation than practical. Crony capitalist companies like Angie’s List use tactics like this to hedge their bets in order to get more money out lawmakers then standing up for some social issue.

Indianapolis Star Newspaper Circulation is Tanking

The Indianapolis Star newspaper is struggling with circulation. The numbers I found were up to date as best I could research. Newspapers overall are struggling and losing revenue. I blogged about this before here from the revenue side. I also wrote about the insanity in rationale their writers use in correlating things.

My first stop in finding circulation numbers for the Star was its owners financial report for 2013. Gannett owns the paper. Here is what they reported for the Star’s circulation:

Average 2013 Circulation – Print and Digital Replica and Non-Replica

Morning
145,930

Sunday
280,428

Now compare this number with two other sources with the first one being from 2005:
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My second source comes from Wikipedia in 2008.

Wikipedia had a 2008 source that listed the Star’s circulation standing at 335,303 Daily and 366,349 Sunday. The only problem with this source cited, the link is now defunct.

Even with these numbers being all over the place from 2005 and 2008, it is still safe to draw a firm conclusion from the company’s own CPA certified financial report the Star’s circulation has dwindled substantially.

Indianapolis Star: Gas stations bring crime and unhealthy food

Sunday addition of Indy Star brought about some reveleations that even stunned me. Not so much of its trueness but of its complete idiocy of accusations. According to Indy Star writer Erika Smith, Gas stations bring crime. The plot of the article is some neighbors in the area on the West side are not liking the growing number of gas stations popping up.

For the past five years, these businesses have been moving into this urban core neighborhood and others at an alarming rate: 10 stations within a two-mile radius along the high-traffic corridors of West Washington, West Michigan and West 10th streets

So what are the main reasons to not like gas stations now?

The problem isn’t so much with the gas that the stations sell, but with the crime they attract and the convenience stores that come with them. Full of cheap, unhealthy food and paraphernalia that people use for illegal drugs, the businesses are easy money makers in neighborhoods bereft of grocery stores and wracked by poverty.

She goes on to state as an example Rural/New York Street where there is a gas station. It had 900 calls over 10 years Smith states. I looked at that area for the month of May/June. Closest crime listed there through Spot Crime is three blocks east and IMPD labeled that as “Other”. Smith also goes on to state that those gas stations builders are following those pesky zoning laws:

The hangup is a mix of outdated zoning laws, neighborhoods that for years have been empty of vocal stakeholders, and the profitable business model of opening gas stations and convenience stores in poor urban areas.

Read the rest of the article if you want to see Academy award winning emotions for “Social Justice”. My job on this blog is to use Austrian thinking to rip apart crap published like this. Overall Smith’s biggest problem is the profit side of these gas stations. I can’t explain why she doesn’t like them, she just doesn’t. She will go to great lengths to demonize them to her audience. What Erika Smith doesn’t address from an economic standpoint is the amount of investment from investors or banks that go into building, remodeling or stocking a gas station. It takes great preparation of studying the area to see what needs are to be met. If it’s a poor area, countless economic writers have written about grocery stores leaving those areas because it’s 1) Too Risky & 2) Not profitable. What Erika Smith needs to do is kiss the feet of gas stations that open up in poor areas. Because without them, those in the X number of square block area wouldn’t have access to supplies the gas station has in stock.

I really don’t debate the “unhealthy food” scapegoat anymore. In this day and age, if you haven’t picked up the difference of bad or good food, then there isn’t much hope for you. Smith has stated in other articles throughout the years that some sort of organization through government needs to teach people on how to cook. She basically went full communist mode at that point.  

Farm Bill & Indiana Schools Facing Obamacare “Uncertainty”

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Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly was recently on the floor of the Senate pleading for the passage of the new ten year farm bill currently up for debate. He did the basic verbal judo political speak in saying the bill would help “Hoosier Farmers”. Senator Donnelly is very much celebrated as a moderate thinker by the political writers at the Indianapolis Star. I personally have challenged a few of their writers in what direction he would choose once in the Senate and get the usual “Bipartisanship” line and that is about it. I am not seeing anything as of right now from the Indianapolis Star on this issue but if they write about his statements on the proposed farm bill, it will be very nuanced without much substance.

The current Farm Bill of 2013 will most likely pass the Senate and head to the House. The farm bill is anything but a farm bill. Here is small paragraph from RedState.com

Today, the Senate will invoke cloture on the 5-year farm bill, S. 954.  The 1150-page Senate bill costs $955 billion over 10 years and creates a new shallow loss program covering up to 90% of a farmer’s income – on the taxpayer dime.  Roughly 80% of the cost is related to food stamps.  For good measure, this bill contains sugar subsidies, biofuels subsidies, and conservation programs.  This mega-bill was rushed through the committee process and has only been subject to four amendments on the floor. 

Farm bills of this magnitude need to be stopped and absolutely broken down for separate votes. On top of that, when a Senator like Joe Donnelly steps to the microphone to express support for this bill, just be honest and say what the bill is.  Here is the link to his floor speech and it says nothing about what the bill really is intended to support.

One more piece to “Farm Bills”, they hardly ever help a bunch of farmers. Face the Facts USA has an excellent breakdown of the most previous data of the last farm bill. They added a nice slideshow for their data breakdown. Here is the link for their article but will post one small piece:

The most recent Farm Bill shows the bulk of its $96.2 billion cost went elsewhere. $77.6 billion in 2011 went to the food stamp program known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Just $13.44 billion went to programs for farmers.

Switching topics, more and more financial decisions are not only being made by businesses in how to adopt the coming Obamacare guidelines but local municipalities are as well. The new unspoken effects are hitting public schools. Just recently, my high school I attended released a statement saying part of the cuts they needed to make was from uncertainty with costs pertaining to the healthcare law. Now more news is coming out from other Indiana schools with what they have to do to be able to afford the law. This comes from Hancock County, Indiana:

Part-time employees could see their hours cut or changed under new federal regulations related to the Affordable Care Act. Though portions of the Affordable Care Act have been phasing in since its adoption in 2010, the new legislation grows teeth Jan. 1 and Hancock County governments, businesses and school districts are taking notice. Large employers who have part-time staff working between 30 and 40 hours a week, for example, will be required to provide health insurance. Failure to provide the coverage for 95 percent of the employer’s workforce could result in significant monetary penalties from the federal government.

 

Even the lawyers hired to help sort out the coming law are uncertain:

And while the law was designed to provide more Americans with affordable health care, there’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the new regulations. “There’s mass uncertainty,” said Jim Matthews, attorney with Bose McKinney and Evans in Indianapolis who has been advising clients on the act. “There are so many surprises in this law, and they just keep coming and coming.”

The Eastern Hancock School Board had to cut non-contract employee hours from 30-40 to 29 hours. Not only is it the school district but the county itself:

The Hancock County Commissioners budgeted for a 20 percent increase in health insurance costs for 2014, still not knowing the full impact of the Affordable Care Act. Details of the 2014 budget will be worked out in the next few months, and one discussion point will be whether to cut the hours of some part-time employees or make them full-time. 

“Normally, you would benefit from two part-time positions rather than a full-time position,” Commissioner Brad Armstrong said. “But if your part-time position is going to get over 30 hours, then it incurs the cost in benefits, there’s really no savings in doing that.”

Many of the county’s part-time employees are in the community corrections department, said Mary Bowmer, payroll administrator. Adding health insurance for a single employee will come at a cost of more than $6,600 for the county.

The full article is in this link. This is just a microcosm of what is too come for the entire nation. Municipalities are struggling massively from tight budgets, this will only confuse the budget makers a few more years as this law plays out.