Editorial summary: Mississippi | Miami Herald
Commonwealth of Greenwood. October 8, 2021.
Editorial: Higher education boosts the economy
It’s no surprise that a large university reports a significant economic impact from its services. But because it’s easy to ignore the topic, the numbers from a recent University of Southern Mississippi study are worth noting.
A study by USM’s Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, the results of which have been verified by an independent economics firm, found that the university’s economic impact is now $ 663 million per year . That’s a 10% increase from the last study five years ago.
The new study looked at USM’s activity from 2017 to 2019. It reported that the university generated $ 34 million per year in tax revenue, while the annual output from student and employee spending was 565. millions of dollars.
A USM press release contained plenty of positive information about the school: it creates and supports 7,437 jobs in the state. The track and field program had an impact of $ 41 million, up from $ 31 million in the latest study. And its Gulf Coast operations are growing rapidly, adding three buildings, representing an investment of $ 36 million, in the past five years alone.
Another element of the report deserves special attention.
Many USM students stick around. The report estimates that 60% of college graduates stay in Mississippi. For a state whose census figures indicate a problem keeping young residents educated here rather than in Houston, Dallas and Atlanta, that’s a positive sign.
The USM report naturally does not include similar research from other Mississippi universities. But they have their own success stories. Other schools the size of USM – the University of Mississippi, State of Mississippi, and State of Jackson – of course have the greatest financial impact. But even the smallest universities, such as the State of Mississippi Valley, have an oversized effect on the communities in which they are located.
The USM study is a good reminder that substantial state investment in higher education is extremely profitable not only for students but also for local economies.
Tupelo Daily Journal. October 6, 2021.
Editorial: Biden’s proposal to monitor bank accounts of at least $ 600 is a terrible idea
The Biden administration is looking for ways to close an estimated tax gap of $ 160 billion – the amount of money that is owed by various taxpayers but has not been collected. It is an admirable goal that highlights a specific problem that must be dealt with responsibly.
Unfortunately, one of the administration’s main proposals is not this.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen proposed to Congress that banks be required to report the total annual inflows and outflows of any account containing at least $ 600 or a total of $ 600 of transactions during the year. Virtually all bank accounts in America would fall below such a low threshold.
Mitch Waycaster, President and CEO of Renasant Bank, best summed up the obvious problems of such a proposal: on financial confidentiality and overloading the banking system with massive responsibilities for data collection… ”
What local and state leaders say about Biden’s proposal
Supporters are defending themselves against the invasion charges by pointing out that such a report would simply add two lines to existing 1099 tax forms. Both lines would show the total deposits and total deductions from each account for the year, but would not provide any transaction details.
There are, however, no answers to the additional risk of data breaches and the additional expense – too onerous for small banks – that would result from the new requirements.
As for the low threshold of $ 600, Yellen and others say it’s to prevent wealthier Americans from being able to play with the system. If the threshold is too high, they argue, middleweight tax evaders can still afford the additional accounting hassle of dividing their money and spreading out their transactions.
The logic is not lost on us, even if $ 600 still seems way too low. However, this is yet another case of violating the civil liberties and personal freedoms of many to catch the wrongdoing of a comparable small number. This is not the way we should operate in America. Legal freedoms and freedoms must be protected first and foremost to the extent possible. Certainly, in this example, it is possible.
Yellen also points out that part of the problem is that the IRS is not funded to the level necessary to hire enough auditors and investigators to tackle tax evaders. She asked for $ 80 billion in additional funding over 10 years, which House Democrats included in their $ 3.5 trillion spending bill.
So before the federal government starts snooping into every American’s bank accounts, perhaps Congress should provide more funds to IRS auditors and investigators. Yellen estimates that this alone could generate $ 200 billion over 10 years in additional tax revenue. It seems like a good start.
And while they are at it, with more manpower, the IRS should be able to better correct audit practices that appear to unfairly and disproportionately target the poorest and often minority taxpayers, by especially in the southern United States.
But, we move away.
Ultimately, there are better ways to close the tax gap, like simplifying the tax code. The banking supervision proposal – especially with a threshold of $ 600 – is a terrible idea. Leading Democrats and Republicans in Congress oppose the plan, and we hope they will stand firm even as Biden, Yellen and other supporters continue to push for its passage.
The Dispatch (Columbus). October 8, 2021.
Editorial: A Treasure of Nostalgia
In the summer of 1972, Sears management decided to bury a time capsule at the location of their new store as part of their grand opening celebration. Citizens were asked to add moments to the time capsule before it was dropped into the ground in the parking lot outside the Sears store at Leigh Mall to be unearthed during Columbus’ bicentennial in 2021.
But 50 years was pretty much a lifetime, and what was then a diversion on a summer day was quickly forgotten. The bicentennial passed before any real attention was paid to the time capsule.
On Wednesday, the time capsule was finally removed, its soggy contents displayed on a folding table in a short ceremony.
Much, indeed, had changed in the meantime.
Leigh Mall, once the crown of the city’s retail firmament, has long lost its luster, but the arrival of new owner, Georgia retail developer Jim Hull, promises a much-needed rebirth of the property.
The contents of the time capsule did not produce the hoped-for ooh-and-aahs that sometimes come with uncovering a long-forgotten story. It wasn’t King Tut’s tomb, after all.
But not all treasures are measured by their commercial value or their unique qualities.
Much of what had been stored for posterity was in disrepair, soaked in rain as it was. Perhaps this was at least in part the result of the historic flooding that occurred about six months after the time capsule’s burial.
Columbus historian Rufus Ward, who helped recover the items on Wednesday, said only a dozen of the 40 to 50 photos that were placed in the capsule are recognizable images.
Besides the photos, there were yearbooks from MUW and the town’s two high schools at the time – Lee and Caldwell, neither of which are open yet – a town phone book, a Bible, and a copy of the today’s edition of The Commercial Dispatch. There might still be a few other items to display – Ron Cox, who was 14 at the time, remembered bringing his POW / MIA bracelet – but for the most part, the content was mundane, at the time. except those whose memories have been stirred by them. .
A dozen people – people who approach or have achieved senior status – were at the scene when the capsule was buried and was found to see it exhumed. They were children and young adults at the first ceremony, their lives in front of them.
For them especially, Wednesday’s event was rich in nostalgia.
The purpose of time capsules is to capture a snapshot of people and places and preserve it for future generations. They tell our story, and not surprisingly, the stories they tell are simple, familiar. These are stories of normal people living normal lives, pursuing normal dreams, suffering from normal disappointments, celebrating normal milestones and achievements.
When retrieved many years later, their value lies primarily in what can be learned from their lives and what memories can retain.
Hull has said he would like to bury another time capsule, possibly when the first new tenants return to Leigh Mall.
If people are allowed to participate, it will be interesting to see what they choose to contribute, what they think is important enough to be remembered, the story of who we were at that time in the wide range of history.
Writer Ann Lamott, warning people not to take yourself too seriously, put it this way: “Every 100 years, there are new people.
This will be at least half true when the next capsule is unearthed in 2072 or so.
We may not be here then, but maybe our memory will be.