I wasn’t there, but I hear, and that’s good enough to pass as truth these days, the Indiana Place Name Change Commission (IPNCC) met last week and submitted its recommendations to the General Assembly.
The IPNCC wants the Sage Solons to change the names or eliminate the places now called La Porte, Pulaski, Versailles, Rome City, Mexico, Chili, Montezuma, Peru, Brazil, Lafayette and too many others to mention here.
At the same time, a jolly group wants to bring the joys of gaming to High Ground (currently known as Terre Haute). The State Commission on Emotional Health (SCEH) reports gaming already has people grinning with limitless glee in Hammond, East Chicago, Gary, Michigan City, Evansville, Elizabeth and Lawrenceburg.
Less ecstasy is to be found in Anderson and Shelbyville where gaming at racinos is temporarily more restricted than in the aforementioned places. Not morose, but quaking with anticipation are folks where name changes will rid them of the stigma of alien association (French Lick and Florence).
That leaves only Rising Sun in need of therapy at this time. The partisans of High Ground propose relocating about half of their magical wealth redistribution mechanisms from the banks of the Ohio River to the banks of the Wabash. This move, they explain, would not expand gaming in the state, since it is not the number of locations, but the number of machines which we should consider. An alternative logic suited to our times.
In addition, a gaming venue in High Ground, close to Indiana State University, would assist in the teaching of statistics, studies of addiction and the exploitation of the poor. A further benefit for the High Ground site is the ability to draw from the vast population of ignorant people in Illinois who would cross into Indiana for the opportunity to lose their paychecks and deplete their savings, thereby restricting their opportunities and the prospects of their children.
Legislators must approve this innovative means of increasing the Hoosier tax base. With the exception of our Orange County location (I will not use the more familiar name again; it should be changed to Salt Lick or Deer Lick), all of our casinos (not to be confused with our racinos) are located to maximize attendance from our neighboring states.
Which raises the question: Why not ring our state with taxable resources of this sort? Angola, Fort Wayne, Portland, Richmond, Princeton, Tell City … They all deserve the opportunity to host alien contributors to making Indiana greater still.
These decisions should not depend on the paternalism of the General Assembly. The good souls of Logansport, Morgantown, Jasper and Crothersville should have the right to allow benign private sector investments in their communities without state intervention.
If things continue the way they have, there will be state regulation of bowling alleys and pool parlors. Will Prof. Harold Hill return to restore our morals?
Morton Marcus is an economist, writer and speaker who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.