How To Become A Mail Order Millionaire

special price for you

$29.95 & FREE USA Shipping

Become A Mail Order Millionaire - Paypal Buy Now

Favorite Distractions
Join the Conversation
 Follow us on Twitter Become our Facebook Fan
Get a Free Chapter

Archive for the ‘Good Old Days’ Category

IKE’S Warning Revisited

He cautioned against the undue influence of the military-industrial complex. His advice resonates today.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dwight D Eisenhower’s farewell address, a Presidential speech considered one of the most noteworthy-and prophetic ever given. Often compared with John F Kennedy’s historic inaugural three days later.

This week’s blog is condensed from an article written by Ike’s grandson, David and ran in the September 5-11 issue of Bloomberg Business Week. Like Kennedy, Ike spoke about the responsibilities and challenges confronting popular government including his famous call to “guard against the unwarranted acquisition of influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex”.

We tend to remember the Fifties nostalgically as peaceful and prosperous. Ike’s words conveyed a more complicated reality. Fear was a powerful current in national politics—fear of war, of Communism, The A-bomb and of a second great depression.

As the Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, he witnessed what can happen when a totalitarian movement succeeds in reducing citizenship to spectatorship. Eisenhower believed active and effective citizens were the best antidote to fear. Taking office a mere eight years after the war and at the height of the Cold War, he worked tirelessly to defuse international tensions and to restore normalcy in national affairs, believing that prosperity and freedom could not survive a state of perpetual crisis. Among other things this meant downsizing the military establishment, without relaxing the guard against the Soviets.

He succeeded in cutting government spending, especially defense spending. Budgets were balanced and the share of economic output consumed by the defense industry fell from more than 40 percent of gross domestic product in 1945 to roughly 10 percent in 1961, even though defense issues—and scares—predominated in his second term. He likened the defense industry to other pressure groups in Washington as a “complex” serving a vital role but positioned to corrupt national policy by capitalizing on public anxiety and credulity. This warning coming from a conservative military man authenticated the earnestness of his words.

Ike prized hard work and self reliance. To friends and family his advice always stressed education, dedication to job and lively interest in public affairs. His farewell message conveyed his deeply held values, his dedication to America’s “adventure” in free government and our “charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment” In the years to come Eisenhower’s specific warnings were often cited and sometimes even heeded. Over the years defense spending fell, then rose, according to need, but never again approached levels reached during World War 11. Yet today Pentagon budgets remain large, and the U.S. military operates globally in a way not remotely foreseen 50 years ago.

While the military-industrial complex today lacks the power to control American thinking and politics, it retains significant influence, and defense issues are complicated by the arcane nature of high-tech warfare. Because of burgeoning deficits and the estimated trillion dollars spent annually on all aspects of national security, Eisenhower’s warnings about prudence and economy resonate today. His general reflections on the challenges facing democracy will pertain as long as Americans value democratic self-government.

Were he leaving office today, Ike might well speak of globalization and the social, political and, and economic implications of the trillions of dollars managed by four or five New York financial institutions, a concentration of power as potentially dangerous as the military-industrial complex of his day.

He was not the first to identify that complex, nor the first to warn of the self-interested and self-perpetuating nature of large corporate-public “complexes.” But he memorably spoke of these things as a President while freshly affirming a basic truth valid then and valid today: that America’s freedoms and our quality of life ultimately depend on tens of millions of active citizens, a sense of confidence in the future, and mutual respect.

David Eisenhower, grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is director of the Institute for Public Service at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Worthwhile Books