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BusINess » Ed Charbonneau

Posts Tagged ‘Ed Charbonneau’

Record number of retirees will be a ‘dose of reality’

A record number of Americans will be eligible to retire next year, putting an unprecedented amount of stress on our nation’s health care system and challenging many social service programs, businesses and units of government. Whether or not these “golden years” are tarnished by out-of-control health care costs and shortages in services depends greatly on our understanding of and preparation for what lies ahead.

Nearly 77 million Americans who were born between 1946 and 1964—referred to as baby boomers—will enter their retirement years starting in 2011 and are expected to live longer than previous generations. Baby boomers will be part of the fastest growing segment of the population for the next 30 years and will most likely need long-term health care service options after age 85.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2020 the number of people across the nation age 85 and older will increase by more than 40 percent. By 2050, estimates show another 118 percent increase in that age group. Read the rest of this entry »


Is there such a person as an ethical lobbyist?

Ed Charbonneau, Indiana State Senator District 5

Ed Charbonneau, Indiana State Senator District 5

It’s pop quiz time, and I want you to name the profession least respected for honesty and ethics in America according to a 2008 Gallup Poll. The biggest scalawags of all were (drum roll please) lobbyists! Not surprised? Lobbyists were No. 9 in a list of nine, the bottom of the barrel. I guess it’s also not surprising that politicians, telemarketers and used car salesmen were right up there (rather down there) with them.

While the term “lobbyist” has probably never evoked warm and fuzzy thoughts when mentioned, it seems that in recent years the perception of those who seek to influence legislation has sunk to new lows. Despite the fact that we’ve had a number of high profile accounts of lobbyists gone bad (Does the name Jack Abramoff ring a bell?) it is on the whole, an honorable profession that plays an extremely important function in the legislative process.

The periodic scandals lead to mistrust and downright disdain, but lobbying and the right to influence legislation have been around for a long time. As a matter of fact the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects this right stating: Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Read the rest of this entry »


Defining leadership through moral character

Ed Charbonneau, Indiana State Senator District 5

Ed Charbonneau, Indiana State Senator District 5

At first blush developing leadership doesn’t seem to be a complex subject to discuss. Leadership is, however, and in order to discuss how to develop leadership you must first discuss the kind of leader you desire. I am not sure I can define “leader” properly, but I do know we could sure use a lot more of them than we seem to have today.

What makes someone a leader? Does being appointed the head basketball coach at some school, for instance Indiana University or Valparaiso University make someone a leader? Let’s take Kelvin Samson and Homer Drew as examples. Are they leaders? Maybe they are, simply because of their position. Do they display the kind of leadership that we are looking to develop and promote in the next generation? The answer from my perspective is no in one case and yes in the other.

Both coaches have won extensively at the college level, but being a leader as a college basketball coach is more than winning games. It’s also about graduation rates, and character and integrity.
Read the rest of this entry »