It’s All in the Timing: Kristol, Chicago Fed President on Tap for Econ Club

The Economic Club of Indiana has a who’s who of community volunteers who take their role and the fortunes of the Club most seriously. We can be thankful that’s the case.

While the history of the Club is intriguing, this season’s lineup of speakers is a blockbuster. There were early signs that Eli Lilly chief John Lechleiter was going to use his opening address to tackle a large topic — the company’s future. He did. WFYI has the archived speech.

Coming up: political commentator William Kristol (agree or not with his philosophies, he is an equal-opportunity criticizer) on October 27 (that’s eight days before the election) and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President and CEO Charles Evans on November 21. Do you think he’ll have anything to talk about?

Sounds like a good way to spend 90 minutes at lunch time.

Lilly’s Future: Not a Bad Economic Club Start

If you weren’t paying attention to John Lechleiter’s Economic Club of Indiana speech on Wednesday about the future of Eli Lilly and Company, you appear to have been one of the few.

More than 800 people attended the season-opening event at the Indiana Convention Center. Media coverage was far and wide, especially when it was anticipated that Lechleiter would deliver a hard-hitting commentary on the company’s future direction. He delivered.

Industry innovation, the company’s staggering stock price and the negative pharmaceutical image are the "800-pound gorillas" awaiting action. Lilly, like it has during its long history, has a plan and is implementing it. Will it mean fewer jobs in the future? Likely. Will the company remain a local, state, national and international powerhouse? We hope so.

Michael Snyder, principal of The MEK Group, writes an informative weekly column for Check out his summary for a good review of what Lechleiter had to say.

Next up for the Economic Club: William Kristol on October 27, eight days before the election. Sounds like another great one.

Economic Club Speaker Advocates Individual Liberty

"For the past half-century, free enterprise and what it stands for has been under constant attack,” asserted Walter Williams at the last Economic Club of Indiana luncheon of the season Friday.

Williams, a well-known political pundit, columnist, professor and occasional guest host of the “Rush Limbaugh Show,” presented his strong views on economic and tax policy in America today.

Williams employed obvious and often humorous comparisons to illustrate his message – at one point equivocating the federal government’s wealth redistribution programs to armed robbery with a benevolent motive. 

“We must ask ourselves, is there ever a moral reason for taking what belongs to one person and giving it to another?” Williams asked, reminding the audience that, “government has no money of its very own.”

As a promoter of individual liberty over intrusive government, Williams believes that charitable contributions and other financial transactions are most effective when people are free to participate in voluntary exchange.

Mandating what Americans save for retirement and enforcing it through Social Security taxes is just one of the ways Williams feels government is interfering with voluntary exchange.  He also asserted that the federal government has no Constitutional authority to collect taxes for three-fourths of the things it currently collects.

The next Economic Club luncheon season will begin with Eli Lilly president/CEO John Lechleiter on Sept. 24. He will be followed by editor of the The Weekly Standard (and New York Times columnist) William Kristol on Oct. 27, who will offer his political insights just before the 2008 election. Here is the current schedule, and new speakers are still being added.