French Lick/West Baden Resort an Indiana Marvel

Earlier this week, the French Lick Resort served as host for the Association of State Chamber Professionals (ASCP) annual meeting. I had the privilege of being asked to attend the conference and speak on social media, so, while I had been to the casino before, this was my first opportunity to stay at the hotel as a guest and truly explore it.

As a fan of history — especially Indiana history — I believe both the French Lick and West Baden facilities serve as living monuments and tributes to the very best of Hoosier history and lore. In fact, I invite you to learn more about both French Lick and West Baden Springs via the resort’s web site and learn some pretty remarkable facts. For example, how many people know this site played such a significant role in FDR launching his candidacy for President in 1931?

What’s more, it should be noted that ASCP generally targets some of America’s most scenic destinations, with the past two meetings landing at Bar Harbor, Maine and Greenbrier, West Virginia. So I pretty overtly asked most of the colleagues I interacted with what they thought of French Lick. I received nary a negative remark, with "amazing" being the most consistent adjective used.

If you live in Indiana or the region and have yet to experience this, take a day or two and indulge in one of the state’s most ornate, yet endearing gems — not to mention an amazing golf destination and concert venue.

10 Presidential Decisions that Changed the World

For those interested in public policy, The Huffington Post offers a quick list of 10 presidential decisions that changed history. See it here.

Many of these are expected, although it’s nice to see the unheralded, mutton chop rocking Chester Arthur receiving some propers, or "mad props" as they said in his day (I’m not the best student of history):

Arthur, an almost-forgotten president, deserves to be remembered for his efforts to sweep graft and corruption out of government service by instituting the first merit-based system for hiring public employees—a system which extends to all levels of government today.

Big Enough to Take It Away

The National Center for Policy Analysis recently dissected a Human Events column from Terence P. Jeffrey about America’s need for smaller government. You can read the entire piece here, but here’s the NCPA’s synopsis:

Up until the 1930s, the United States maintained a small federal government that mostly focused on the limited number of things the Constitution authorized it to do.  Americans were responsible for their own food, clothing and shelter, and believed in earning wealth.  What changed?  Well, in the 1930s, we didn’t have a welfare state, says Terence Jeffrey, editor of Human Events.

According to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in 1930:

  • The federal government spent only 3.4 percent of gross domestic product, federal tax receipts equaled 4.2 percent of GDP and there was a federal budget surplus of 0.8 percent of GDP.

  • By 1940, with the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his modern American welfare state, federal spending was 9.8 percent of GDP, federal tax receipts were 6.8 percent and the Treasury borrowed 3 percent of GDP to make up the difference.

  • The "human resources" part of the federal budget consumed 4.3 percent of GDP; in 2009, it will consume 13 percent. Continue reading