Arnold Kling  

I Like Ike

Mentioning IQ and race... Kindle-nomics...

Fortune Magazine reports on Al Gore joining the venture capital firm Kleiner-Perkins:

"What we are going to have to put in place is a combination of the Manhattan Project, the Apollo project, and the Marshall Plan, and scale it globally," Gore continues. "It'd be promising too much to say we can do it on our own, but we intend to do our part."

Well, I guess you would not expect him to suggest that what we need is a combination of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor, a $600 toilet seat, and the mohair subsidy.

When people ask me who I want for President, I say "Dwight Eisenhower." Here was a guy who had real administrative experience before he took office. He oversaw D-Day, one of the most complex operations in history. And yet he had the least hubris of just about any President. He is not known for any significant legislation, any major treaties, or for starting any wars.

Eisenhower was chosen by Republican Party leaders, back in the days of the proverbial smoke-filled room. Either party would have been willing to have him as their standard-bearer.

Not today. Under a primary system, Eisenhower would have had difficulty capturing the nomination, and it is doubtful that he would have run. Nowadays we select for partisan hubris.

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COMMENTS (13 to date)
caveat bettor writes:

Kleiner Perkins has a bunch of environmental startups in their funding pipeline, and what do you think the odds are that some of the core business models make assumptions about hefty government subsidies?

Punditus Maximus writes:

Yeah, because Colin Powell was so clearly unelectable, and Bill Clinton wasn't a moderate technocrat.

Punditus Maximus writes:

Also, this post wasn't created on a descendant of ARPAnet.

Unit writes:

But what about this mass deportation episode?

spencer writes:

I tend to agree we would be better off with smoke filled rooms.

But on the other hand, doesn't the primary system function more like a free market?

Greg Ransom writes:

Note that on issue after issue Ike is to the limited government right of National Review and the modern conservative movement -- the magazine and the movement that were explicitly created to oppose him.

"Conservatives" aren't what they used to be.

Greg Ransom writes:

"on the other hand, doesn't the primary system function more like a free market?"

Meaning the super rich get to buy a much bigger chunk of the political process than the rest of us?

Rimfax writes:

It was my understanding that it was Ike's arrogance that kept him from heeding Navy advice on the pre-invasion bombardment, and that the abysmal bombardment costs thousands of dead and wounded. Yes, poor weather conditions kept him from using the air support that he was counting on, but artillery knows no weather and the Navy had already figured out the hard way how to prepare for a landing.

General Specific writes:

This post is really confusing me. Is it a rant (yet again) against Al Gore? A desire for a particular type of presidential election process? A desire for a particular type of presidential candidate and president? Or a desire for another national highway system in the guise of national defense?

Or is it just the need to post something, anything, to meet some sort of quota?

The Dirty Mac writes:

Also, this post wasn't created on a descendant of ARPAnet.

...which was created by the US Department of Defense.

Rimfax writes:

To flog a dead thread,....

ARPAnet was funded by DARPA (part of the DoD). That is a far cry from saying that they created it and a much farther cry from saying that they perfected and popularized it.

There were private competitors (Tymnet, for one), but they were closed proprietary networks that were focused on subscription fees.

The Internet's birth was financed by Uncle Sam, but it was an ugly duckling that was groomed into a swan by thousands of techies at universities and companies. They found an open network to be far more profitable, in every sense of the word. The Internet may have been born in the Pentagon, but it was raised in the same town as Linux.

The Dirty Mac writes:

Thanks Rimfax.

Punditus Maximus writes:


...which are not funded by the government as part of an overall program of fostering innovation.

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