Ford School Naming Ceremony: Panel Discussion. Includes comments from Gerald R. Ford, Lee Bollinger, Brent Scowcroft, James Lynn, Carla Hill, and James Cannon. September, 2000.
[ Applause ]
>> Gerald Ford: Well, thank all of you for joining us here at the Ford Library. I'm deeply grateful to see that you are interested in how the Ford Administration did its business, and we have excellent representation here that can tell you what went on behind the scenes. Most of the time the best work is done there, so I'm honored to have an opportunity to say a few words and stay for a few minutes while they're discussing how they did all the work and I got all the credit. [laughter] But, President Bollinger, it's wonderful to be here, and I thank you, again, for the honor of having my name associated with the School of Public Policy. As you all know, I'm deeply proud of this great University, and if I slip out this afternoon a little early, I didn't spend all my time in intellectual pursuits, I participated on the Grid Iron for three years, and I'm going to drop by and give a little pep talk for a big game they have this afternoon.
[ Applause ]
Thank you. Let me say without any reservation, we wouldn't be here, this Library wouldn't be in existence if there hadn't been some very constructive work done by two people -- Robben Fleming, who was then the President of the University -- where's Robben? Thank you, Robben, for ...
[ Applause ]
... and I should add he worked closely and they were a great team, Bob Warner -- Bob, where are you? Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
This Library is a repository of many, many documents, papers, et cetera. We just released on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, 25,000 newly declassified documents that were open to the public, involving that tragic era. And I am proud to say that the research being done on all of those papers has increased tremendously, so the story can get out of what was actually involved in those tragic last few days in Saigon and South Vietnam. Now I have the great privilege of introducing three, four I should say, of the Panel. First and foremost is Jim Lynn. Jim Lynn was the head, the Secretary of HUD under President Nixon, and when I became President he was still in that capacity. And we had an opening in the Office of Management and Budget, and I was tremendously impressed with Jim's presentation to me when I was in the Oval Office of the operation of HUD. But we needed somebody quickly that knew how the Government operated, so I asked Jim would he take the job of head of OMB? I knew that he would take a pay cut -- I've forgotten the amount, Jim?
>> Jim Lynn: $12,500. [laughter] And I lost all my options.
>> Gerald Ford: But, as a good sport and a dedicated member of the Ford Administration, Jim accepted the new responsibility, and if anybody knows anything about OMB it's not the most popular organization in the Federal Government. They have the responsibility of saying no to every department who wants more money, and Jim did a superb job, and for that I am most grateful.
>> Jim Lynn: Thank you.
>> Gerald Ford: When that happened we had an opening at HUD. Well, the housing industry, the real estate industry, all of those outside groups had their candidates, but I had become very impressed with the relatively young attorney over in the Department of Justice, and her name, of course, was Carla Hills. And we went through all these names and with Don Rumsfeld and Dick Chaney, trying to pick a good person, and I finally said I know Carla, I know she's a first class lawyer, I know she can learn whatever is necessary about the housing industry, so I think we ought to appoint Carla Hills as the head of HUD, and she turned out to be an outstanding member of the Cabinet and did a super job. Carla, thank you very much.
>> Carla Hills: Thank you, Mr. President.
>> Gerald Ford: It used to be interesting to see Carla, particularly, complain to Jim Lynn about being such an ogre, which he was. [laughter]
>> Carla Hills: It hasn't changed.
>> Jim Lynn: Mr. President, I never won one of those arguments.
>> Gerald Ford: Well, you're an attractive gentleman, but you can't compete with Carla. [laughter]
>> Jim Lynn: Absolutely.
>> Carla Hills: But we were right.
>> Gerald Ford: Well, I thank you, Carla. And then further down the line there is a very dear and longtime friend of mine. When I became President he was Henry Kissinger's Assistant or Deputy at NSC, and I had spent as Vice President and as the Republican Leader in the House a great deal of time with Henry and with Brent. And then in 1975 we made a change in the Pentagon. I asked the then occupant to step aside, and that's when I decided to send Don Rumsfeld over to the Pentagon, and elevated Dick Chaney to become my Chief of Staff. But in the process I asked my dear friend, Henry Kissinger, to give up one of his responsibilities. I thought a Secretary of State should not also be the head of NSC, and let me tell you why. Back in 1947 when the Congress authorized the CIA, they had a separate provision to establish the NSC. And the purpose of the NSC was to give to the President and the White House some think tank people who could analyze for the benefit of the President propositions that came from state, that came from Treasury, that came from any one of the departments, so the President wouldn't be a captive of the agencies. So they established this independent group in the White House of great thinkers, et cetera. Well, to have a Secretary of State also the head of NSC was organizationally the wrong way to run it. So I asked Henry to step aside and give up the one hat, which he did, and we were smart enough to elevate Brent to be the head of NSC, and he did a super, super job, and as you all know he was the head of NSC under President Bush a few years later. Thank you, Brent, for a first class job. And then Jim Cannon came to the Ford Administration primarily along with Nelson Rockefeller, when Nelson became the Vice President. Jim had been associated with Nelson Rockefeller in Albany for a number of years when Nelson was Governor, and so when Nelson came and I made him the head of the Domestic Council, Jim became Nelson's Chief Deputy in that responsibility, and did a super job. He had a great background for Washington. He was the Washington representative for the Baltimore ...
>> Jim Cannon: Sun.
>> Gerald Ford: ... Sun, and Newsweek?
>> Jim Cannon: Newsweek and Times.
>> Gerald Ford: Newsweek and Times, so he was an invaluable member of our staff with a tremendous background in Washington affairs and as a responsible correspondent, and to have been there with the compliments of Nelson Rockefeller, Jim Cannon did a super job in our Domestic Council. So I thank Jim and Brent and Carla and Jim. We are most grateful, both Betty and myself, for doing all the work, and we got whatever credit, and it was a lot of good credit, so thank you very, very much.
[ Applause ]
And I'm going to sit here and listen and find out what they did. [laughter] They used to tell me a lot, but I thank them, and I'll be down here.
>> It'll be okay if you interrupt from time to time.
>> Lee Bollinger: Thank you very much, Mr. President. So this is an informal discussion, and we have a few minutes of presentation by each of the Panelists. We'll begin with Brent Scowcroft because he has to leave a little earlier. The President, as he said, will have to go about three-forty-five, so prepare your questions and comments because the whole point of this is really to have as good a discussion as we possibly can have with the audience. Brent?
>> Brent Scowcroft: Thank you, President Bollinger. Mr. President, generous as always. I thought I'd take just a couple of minutes comparing the policy framework, if you will. The time that President Ford came in office with that today because there's such a dramatic departure. I think that the difference in foreign policy over these 25 years can hardly be more dramatic. Thirty-five years ago we were in the depths of the Cold War, had to anticipate the possibility of a nuclear attack with only 30 minutes' warning, had to watch carefully to see that the Soviet Union did not come up with technological developments which would have obsoleted a good part of our forces and leave us impotent. Also, it was a time when Detente was, if you will, disintegrating to the point that President Ford in 1976 said he was no longer going to use the word Detente. Things were going sour with the Soviet Union. At the same time we were living through the aftermath of Watergate, which resulted in a serious erosion of the power of the Presidency, with Congress moving quickly to fill a vacuum. In addition to Watergate, was the end of the Vietnam War, and calls from Congress for a reordering of priorities, for a peace dividend, sharp cuts in the Defense budget, along with a Soviet Union, which was getting increasingly confident, indeed, was saying that the correlation of forces in the world were changing in favor of the Soviet Union. It was a very difficult time, and we were struggling to keep our heads above water. We knew what we had to do, but it was hard, hard to do it. In many ways, though, it was a simple world. The bad guys had black hats on, the good guys had white hats on, it was easy to tell the difference. We knew what our job was, it was just hard to -- just very hard to do. Rapid forward 25 years ago, or 25 years later, that world is disappearing. There is no threat of nuclear annihilation. The American people don't feel threatened, they don't feel threatened, so they don't care much about foreign policy because unlike the world of the Cold War, where we thought foreign policy every day, it doesn't affect the lives of the American people. The world released from the discipline of the Cold War -- Yugoslavia, for example, never could have happened in the Ford Administration, neither the United States nor the Soviet Union would have allowed it. All of this pent-up exuberance, if you will, has burst forward. It's a messy world, a complicated world. There aren't many white hats or black hats, they're all shades of gray, and a black hat one day may be a white hat the next day. In addition to that, we have foreign policy by press now, CNN, where the world knows frequently of a crisis as quickly as the President of the United States does, and immediately is pressured -- well, what are you going to do about it, at a time when we haven't yet even figured out what it is that's happening. It puts an enormous burden on policy making, and it is error inducing if one succumbs to it. There are two forces in the world. One is the force of globalization, which incidentally most of the world outside the United States equates that with U.S. imperialism. But it is the forces of communications, environment, capital flows, all those things that are eroding national boundaries and making it ever more difficult for a President to control vital aspects of the country's life. That is going on apace, and it leads to cooperation because you can't deal with problems in the environment unilaterally. But on the other side there is a political fractionation of entities into ever smaller and more intolerant groups based on ethnic, religious, racial, all different kinds of things, insisting on total autonomy for their own sake. So you have economically and in every other sense a drawing together of the world and in a political sense and atomization. It's a very difficult world to deal with. And just one other point, also, the issue of intervention, and intervention based on our national interests or intervention based on our values has become a very important issue. It began really with Woodrow Wilson, but during the Cold War it was suppressed and we had allies with people who did not have housekeeping seal of approval for their regimes. That now is gone, and we have a national debate about do we intervene on behalf of the violation of values in other states or do we intervene based on our national interests? Policy today is much, much harder to figure out, to divine, but it's much easier in terms of the world and the threats to U.S. survival.
>> Lee Bollinger: Thank you very much, Brent. Jim, do you want to go next?
>> Jim Lynn: Yes, but I have to pick-up on something the President said. The way I got asked to become Budget Director was rather interesting. I had taken the first vacation that my wife and I had taken in quite awhile, and he found me on an island down in the Caribbean. And I came in and there was only one telephone on the whole island, and they'd put on a bookmark in pencil, the President of the United States, Mr. Ford, called at so and so, would like you to call back. And the fellow that delivered it he said, was that really the President of the United States? And I said, yes. And I got him on the phone, he said I've been trying to get a hold of you for five days. And I said, boy, you've got a hell of a telephone system, I've been here for the last five days. And he'd been up in Helsinki, and tried to reach me there, and on his way back he had also called. And he told me about the OMB job, and I said, well, Mr. President, I said it certainly is a challenging job and an important job, I think it's absolutely essential that there be a very good relationship between the OMB Director and the President, you've got to have pretty much the same ideas, I'd like to think about it a little bit, I'm going to be back in town day after tomorrow, and I'd like to come and talk to you about it. That would be fine, Jim, that'll be absolutely fine. So the next day I get in the car after we get back to Washington, D.C., kind of late at night, and my driver, I was at HUD at the time, takes the Washington Post and hands it back to me. Front page, front page, center column -- Highest sources in the White House report that Jim Lynn is going to be the Budget Director. [laughter] So I want you to know we had a wonderful conversation as to whether I should take this job or not. And I went like this when I walked in the room, when I walked in the room. I think I'm struck by both the change and the lack of change in Washington. There's some things that are very much the same as they were before. There's still an analysis of really a first rate analyses of programs of the U.S. Government, that just continues. It was true when we were there, it had been true before we got there, it continues to be true now, the responsibility for analyzing, in very different places. One of the reasons is we never have a law long enough to find out how it did work because, literally, it'll be changed in important ways after two years, three years, or five years so the data that you collected in the first part is no good later on. Secondly, it -- whenever you do a good case analysis of something or a good analysis of a program somebody is going to be very angry, very angry because they may lose a program that they make their bread and butter on or they honestly believe is the best thing since cream of wheat. And, therefore, why stir up the animals, why not just add money for other programs, don't get rid or change the problems you have. That's still a problem today. Cost benefit is still something that's talked about more than it's done in Washington, D.C., that's the same. It's always been a place where the relationships are difficult. Between a President there's tension in the Congress and sometimes by the third branch of Government, too. But I think that tension has gotten worse as time has gone by. It's a very difficult sign. I tried to explain once to a bunch of businessmen why the President's job is one they ought to have some pity for, in part, because it's a very tough thing being where he is. I said picture yourself, you have big companies, suppose you had two Boards of Directors and two different Board rooms, 435 in one Board room and 100 in the other Board room. You didn't appoint any of them, you didn't help with the shareholders to get them elected. You have as an ultimate bottom line the freedom and the good things for America, but beyond that they've got a very different set of agendas, each one of them, from what you have. And you want to do business with that kind of a Board of Directors? So that at best our forefathers did that, they wanted to have tension between the three parts, but I've got to tell you it's gotten worse and worse and worse. One of the worst parts about it is there's no place that you can go to make, quote, a deal, unquote. In the old days it's true, we had patronage, the parties were very strong, and if you were the head of an important committee on the Hill and the ranking minority on the Hill, a President could go up there and he could make it, he could dicker it out with the people that are on the Hill and, by God, they could deliver the majority votes that you needed to pass the law. There's nobody you can go to on the Hill today and make a transaction, there really isn't. There is, to say you've got a deal and it's going to go that way, that can happen when it gets to the very end and you're down to one or two issues sometimes, you know where all the votes are on the issue, but it's just not possible anymore. Frankly, there are times when I wish we had patronage back. If I had ever said that to myself 20 years ago I would have said put me in the cuckoo bin because -- but I really mean it, the parties have ceased to be that important. They really aren't that important anymore, unfortunately. They still have an importance, but it isn't what it was. Patronage made them important. The raising of money made them important because that was an essential place you went, particularly if you weren't an incumbent in the office, to get money to support your running. Today everybody up there is after their own money. They do get some money from the Party, but they really depend a lot more on the soft money and various other sources of it. I think this is something that has happened up there, that it's just a higher degree than it was before. The business of campaign finance I think has made this a very, very unseemly kind of a thing in many issues that we have. You mentioned the division of all of the groups we have today. We have so many splinter groups of every kind for every little issue you can think that you have in this regard, and every one of them has their own war chest that they're going to give to somebody or another in connection with a hope that it'll be helpful to them because that person sees their way, and perhaps that person will see their way a little bit more if you help them with their financing. That doesn't mean people up there are going to do things that they know are clearly wrong time after time after time, but it does affect to some extent a lot of the votes on a lot of the issues that may not be their particular issue. And the more you can give, the better off you are in that connection, and I don't like what I see. Then when I say that, somebody says, well, what'd you do about it, Jim? I got to tell you, I haven't got the slightest idea as to what would be a good program to take care of it. There must be some way, Warren Buffett came up the other day with a way, I think it comes from a bad source with him, he said, Jim, what we ought to -- he didn't say Jim, it was in the paper -- he said I think the only people that should be able to give money to campaigns are people, people not organizations. Nonprofit or profit should be able to give no money into the campaigns, whatsoever. And I thought, yes, he could give a billion dollars to somebody, one candidate or another. [laughter] But he might have something there. But it really is, it's extremely difficult, and the Hill, the relationships even within the Hill I think are not as much of a camaraderie, a brother and sisterhood as they were even back in the days when we there. It had gotten a little less kind, too. Imagine being in a position of being in the Executive Branch right after Watergate and right after one President has left, it's not exactly -- and when a President who had not been elected by the people of the country, on any job, and trying to get something done, but he got more done in this regard than I've ever seen in my life. We did do some innovations with regard to policy matters, but one of the -- I think let me get to my most important point and that's this, I think that the void between the knowledge of the American people on various important issues, basic things that the American people should know when a debate begins, before people start throwing smart one liners around, so you have a defensive armor against the guy that's the smart aleck or the one that has the cute remark or whatever it might be. The void between their knowledge and what the facts are, they ought to have a grass bump, it's getting bigger and bigger. And it is coming at a time when there's very -- there's less and less opportunity for them to learn more because if you look at a television, quote, news broadcast in the evening the amount of time that's spent on any of the important issues of this kind has kept going down and down and down. And the reason is they're fighting for their lives because they've got 150 competitors now or 200 instead of two other television stations to watch and, therefore, that's making it more difficult than we've ever had. So they get less and less information of what they want to see. One of the biggest problems that has to be resolved in our country, I think, in the years immediately ahead is the problem of how do we get people to learn more in a world where they work hard, they don't want to be lectured, they don't want to turn to something besides the sport page and the funnies at night, and if there's a scandal somewhere, by, golly, that's juicy and I want to watch that. How are we going to bring it to where they can get really interested in those issues? I think that is one of the critical things that we have to work on. One thing about this President you probably don't know, he's the only President I know of that ever had a budget of the United States that had all the off budget matters in it. It had all the off budget matters in the budget documents. What I figured out was that if we put it in a different type, if we made all the off budget things in italics and made all the budget items that are in the budget in Roman that that would satisfy the statutes, and I got a ruling from the Justice Department that I wouldn't be impeached if we did this for him or that he wouldn't get impeached, it was his budget. And it was the only, one and only budget that ever had all the off items on it. Another thing, which was his doing really, although I kind of coaxed him into doing it, I planted the seed, he was the first and only President since Harry Truman that briefed on his own budget. Now if you can visualize, well, that's right, I mean here he is with all these hawks out here, all of these press people, and I remember he said to me, he says do you think I can do this? I said sure you can do this. He says, well, what should my preparation be? I said, Mr. President, you're as well prepared as you're ever going to be. And we went up there in the State Department, at the State Department Auditorium, and what I did was we arranged a little table in front of each of the Cabinet Officers behind him in a crescent. We also had the [inaudible] charts of all these terrible programs up there, and they made Newsweek and Times, which was good stuff. But he stood there, and we were standing back of him, so if he needed some help we'd be there. He talked for, what was it -- you were on better than an hour, an hour-and-a-quarter, I think, in this press conference, and he turned back four or five times. He'd look at me and say is there anything more anybody would like to add? Not a soul, it was an absolute tour de force, it really was. So those were kind of the fun things that happened, but if I were to ask the number one thing that I would change in America today it would be increasing the knowledge of the American people on what's going on. Secondly, I'd try to do something for campaign financing that I can't figure out what it is yet, but I'd sure like to see good minds working on it.
>> Lee Bollinger: Thank you, Jim. Carla?
>> Carla Hills: Thank you. Mr. President, this is really a wonderful day, and there's so much nostalgia by all of us just being with you here. I've been spending a lot more time on trade and economic issues lately than housing, but there is a theme here with respect to economics, both foreign and domestic, as I look back over 25 years, which is what I think President Bollinger was suggesting. And in my mind the Ford Presidency marks a moment in our history when confidence in big Government began to recede. The President's appreciation of the power of the market and his distrust of Washington's intervention in business decisions I think drove that fundamental change in our economic and policy outlook. I know we all think of the era of big Government as having commenced in the time of the New Deal, certainly blossomed during the Great Society programs of the '60s, but I don't mean to suggest that the Washington knows best thesis or big Government was the exclusive province of the Democrats. You may recall that President Nixon, when faced with a contracting economy and spiked inflation, imposed wage and price controls. Now in sharp contrast President Ford went about it in a steady way to launch the effort to move power out of Washington, back to states and localities, and to introduce market forces and economic decisions. And let me quickly just tick off four examples. One, and the gentleman sitting to my left deserves enormous credit for getting this Bill through the Congress, but was the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, which granted to localities no strings attached, block grant, community development block grant program. Heretofore, we had had categorical grants, where Washington felt one size fits all, and created programs that too often missed the mark because Houston is quite different from Seattle, and New Orleans isn't quite like New York, and it is inevitably true that the locals do a better job in fashioning and addressing their top priorities. Secondly, that same Bill provided for housing vouchers that permitted low income citizens to rent housing. Heretofore, the predominant amount of housing funds subsidized the building of new housing, and so when communities in the market had vacancies we ignored it and often led to boarded up neighborhoods, the older neighborhoods, leading to urban crisis. And it was President Ford who launched the effort to deregulate the services sector, important services that have so much to do with our competitiveness across the board in the industrial sector, like telecommunications, transport, and financial services, and competition has so infused those sectors that today they're the envy of the world. And, finally, my favorite is the Trade Act of 1974, which the President signed and put in place fast track procedures. Fast track procedures are a compact between the President and the Congress. The President seeks permission from Congress to go forward in negotiating a trade agreement. The Congress can refuse, but if it agrees to the negotiation it must vote up or down, the agreement when it is presented by the President, and not amended. And this President understood full well that with our separation of the Legislative from the Executive Branch powers we could not conclude a trade agreement if 535 Congressman could add a single amendment. And we have used this authority for 20 years since the Ford Administration to create open global markets that have greatly added to the competition in the world economy so that we have had a tremendous growth in trade, in the standard of living worldwide, and the standard of living here in the United States. And this is so remarkable for an appointed President with a minority Party, in the troubled time of Watergate to be able to have a lasting impact upon policy with only 29 months in office, but remarkably this President not only had an affect on public policy making, he put an indelible mark upon our Government. And today there is an absolute consensus that the policies of competition and market forces that President Ford put in place are the right policies and the scholarly community now agree. And what we need to do and the difference today is to reinforce those policies because they are tried and true and would really serve our nation very, very well.
>> Lee Bollinger: Thank you, Carla. Jim Cannon?
>> Jim Cannon: Mr. President, it's an honor to be in your Library again. Thank you for being here and for having this Library. In thinking about White House policy making and how it is made and how it is changed, I think the first thing to understand is that it always reflects the nature and the character and the personality of the President, himself. I think that the best way I can convey this to you is to tell you this brief account of the first policy making decision I was involved in in the White House. I came in in February of 1975, and one of the first things handed to me was a proposal that was not earthshaking in importance it seems, but it was, nevertheless, significant. The proposal was whether there should be a science advisor to the President. This had been something that they'd kicked around, and a lot of Congressmen and members of the House and Senate wanted it, and the scientific community was desperate to have it. There had been a science advisor to the President earlier, since Eisenhower, but for a variety of reasons, which I'll mention, it lapsed. So the question was should there be a science advisor to the President? And President Ford had asked Vice President Rockefeller to make a recommendation, which he did, and then presented it to the President. And it got to the Chief of Staff, Don Rumsfeld, who said, well, this has to be staffed out. And the -- staffed out means you have to subject it to the whole range of opinion in the White House and the Cabinet Secretary, who may be related to this. The idea, of course, is to let everybody have and express his point of view. Well, this was a little sticky situation for me at the outset because I had to go back to my former boss and say your former subordinate am now vetting whether you, something you had recommended. So he grumped a little bit, but said he understood. So, at any rate, I sent a preliminary report to all the other staff members of the White House, and they came back with their various opinions. OMB naturally didn't want to spend the money and didn't think it's a good organization and so on. So this was my first experience, and I had written for large audiences, but I had never written before for an audience of one, the President of the United States. So I thought, well, what to do? So I just went to the President and I said, Mr. President, what would you want to know before you made this decision? And he thought for a minute, and he said, two things, one, I want you to talk to each of the previous science advisors and find out what they thought they accomplished, and then I want you to find some really good, knowledgeable person about science and have him give you a paper on what each one of them actually accomplished. So this seemed like a fair thing to do. It was a very interesting experience, when you work in the White House you can get anybody on the phone. So I called up Dr. James Killian, I guess he was still at Harvard, and had been Eisenhower's Science Advisor. And he was very professorial and instructive, and he said he really believed that he had helped the President, President Eisenhower allay the national concerns about Sputnik. He had helped show the public that we could do it, too. And, furthermore, he helped President Eisenhower put a new emphasis on the science and technology education. Well, that was good. So I talked to Dr. Jerry Wiesner, who had been President Kennedy's Science Advisor, and he had been involved in some very important decisions, the space program and so on, but he added one little thing. He said the most interesting thing about his relations with President Kennedy was that every time he would go into see him on a very serious matter that when they finished their serious conversation Kennedy would sit back and say, now, Jerry, tell me how radio waves really work? [laughter] So I talked to the Advisor for President Johnson, who really didn't last very long. He got cross wise with President Johnson on the Vietnam War, and Johnson, he was for graduate education. And Johnson accused him of promoting graduate education so there could be draft dodgers away from the Vietnam War. And Nixon had even a less good relationship with his Science Advisor. I don't think he gave him any access, at all. So I brought this back to President Ford and with all the opinions, pro and con, of the whole staff. And there were four major options, and he picked the one who had said in effect there should be a science advisor, it was a very small staff and a budget of $1 million, $1.5 million a year, which is something OMB would accept, I guess. And but then he checked off the option. He said, now, I want to do this, I want this to be a matter of legislation, I want this to be done by Congress, because up to that time it had been simply an Executive appointment, I believe, and he felt that it was very important that the Congress be involved in the creation of this office, that the future Presidents would pay more attention to it, and that Congress would also pay more attention to it if they had had a hand in executing. Well, it took us awhile to do this, and the story, it took us awhile to do this, it took us almost a year to actually get a Bill done that would satisfy everybody, get it passed through Congress, and get the President -- to get it to the President for signature. But it was a good decision, it was a sound decision, but it was a decision that was considered very carefully, very circumspectly, but the important thing about President Ford's policy making apparatus was that everybody had a chance to be heard, everybody's opinion was there to see. And more often than not at the end of the process, after the position paper had been done, the option paper had been done, more often than not he calls a meeting so that all the members of the Cabinet and their staff that would be concerned had a chance to face him directly. President Ford, in my judgment, liked to read it, but he also liked to look at it, look at the people, look in the faces of the people, hear their own personal and professional points of view, and then make his decision. And, to me, I think this was the way White House policy did work in the President Ford Administration and this is the way I think it ought to work.
>> Lee Bollinger: Thank you very much.
>> Gerald Ford: Excuse me, it's time to do a nonacademic endeavor. [laughter]
[ Applause ]
>> Lee Bollinger: Okay, so thank you very much. And let me ask the first question, and then whatever questions, but you have to be brief here because we want to make sure everybody has a chance to say. One of the themes that's come up and one that you hear about a lot is the increase in communications and the speed of communications. And one thing that's been said in the Panel is that people, the proposition people are actually less informed today than they were 25 years ago. I wonder whether you think that's true? I mean there's also -- it's not self-evident that that should be the case, I mean there's more and more ways of getting information that's available to people, more and more outlets for this. So that's one question, are people really less informed? The second piece, a part of this is -- has to do with the rapidity with which events or viewpoints or happenings are communicated so that there's less time for reflection, that's a frequent point, you know, you can add to those. Say something more about the impact of the changes in communication on public policy making in Government? Brent, do you want to start?
>> Brent Scowcroft: Yes, in the field of foreign policy I think it's almost certainly true that the American people are less informed, partly because they're less interested, and as the networks poll people they find less interest so they cut down the extent of the news devoted to foreign policy, and it gets to be a circular argument. I think it is undoubtedly true in foreign policy. In a way, the American people are drowning in information, that's part of the problem. And there's so many different ways to get it that I think they tend to just sort of shut it all out because it is too confusing and undifferentiated. I have already talked about the impact on policy. It shouldn't make any difference, but it does because when you have the press screaming at you for atrocities taking place in X, Y, and Z, it inevitably puts a pressure on the decision making. I think the press even has an impact on what crisis, what crises an Administration focuses on. If the press isn't there reporting it it's as if it didn't happen. The press is there in Yugoslavia, they're there in certain places. They're not there in Angola, they're not there in Sudan, they're not there in Nagorno-Karabakh so nothing is happening. And that is a serious distortion of policy to the extent, again, the pressure that it puts on a President.
>> Lee Bollinger: Jim, Carla?
>> Jim Lynn: Well, I touched a little on whether I thought -- I think that it isn't on the same facts. I think the knowledge of the American people on the issues that there were in their time, 25 years ago, whatever it may be, they were closer to reality and knew more about them than on the issues of our time that people are familiar with them. To take Social Security, really people believe, there are still a lot of people out there that believe there's a fund. There's no fund, there really isn't, and if you want to talk to me later about it, there is no money. No, it's a little like a family that wants to save for retirement, and what happens is in the course of time when they're putting money into the fund that they find that there's something else they want to do, like educate their children, or perhaps they want to take a trip somewhere, they want to buy a boat, whatever it might be. Well, the fund is there, but let's, all we'll do is we'll write a promissory note, and we'll put the promissory note in there. We'll loan the fund, we're going to loan the money, we're going to put the fund in there. We're going to take the money out and spend it. And every year when there's a surplus in the quote, Social Security fund, more money comes in than goes out that year, at least up till now, what you do with the money you spend it on other programs, whether it's Defense or whether it's Welfare, or whatever it may be. And, oh, by the way, we've got to put the promissory notes in there. And that's all there is. It isn't like an insurance company that buys stocks, bonds, or state government obligations. People don't know that. People, there are so many things that it's just kind of scary as to what they don't know. Now I do think, too, we've got devices that have occurred that offer great promise if we have the right kind of program content to have that taken care of. Internet is an incredibly useful tool. The problem with the internet today is Wild West time. You can get in a chat group and, my, gosh, the things that are stated as fact are something that drive you absolutely crazy. How do you get a handle on something that's the most free form of expression the world has ever known? That's a very exciting challenge, but it does offer opportunities, as does the plethora of stations to do things. It isn't that we aren't capable as a country to come up with interesting ways, entertaining ways of educating. I think one of the big hoaxes was when they did it on public television, I think it was, the Civil War in five parts, and it was a bunch of slides and a guy talking and music over in the background. And here's another picture taken of this. And the audience share went up in that thing for five times. We have no classes in schools, we have no people trying to make a career on how do you take important issues and make them fascinating. And I believe you can do it, it's possible.
>> Lee Bollinger: So there's really no fund there? [laughter] It's an interesting idea. You know, that's the way we run the University, too. [laughter] We have all these little stick-ems, promissory notes, you know? Carla?
>> Carla Hills: You may want to draw a distinction between the domestic and international because I agree that the American public is getting suffocated with information and has a hard time sorting out fact from speculation and fiction. But I think it probably does help policy makers know with a click of a mouse what's going on in the furthest reaches of the world. And what's going on in the furthest reaches of the world and economic parlance [assumed spelling] means that there is a greater discipline. Foreign investment is absolutely vital to most of the nations, not only our trading partners, but the developing nations that would like to be our trading partners. And when we can find out what the public policy is in those areas, we, as citizens, we, as investors, it makes a difference. When the Ford Administration was in place official aid greatly exceeded foreign direct investment and portfolio investment. Today the private sector, a trillion-and-a-half dollars moves around this globe every single day, and believe me that is made possible not only by superior communications, but where it goes, why it goes to South Korea and not to the Philippines, why it goes in a given day to Brazil, but not to Venezuela. Those are issues that are affected by instant communication.
>> Lee Bollinger: Jim?
>> Jim Cannon: I think there is so much information out there that there's probably less understanding among the general, in the general public about what is going on. I think it's and I would suggest that the speed of communication and the ease of communication has helped people who depend on it in their business and their professional lives, but I think for the average public the decline of newspapers, the decline in numbers and the quality of newspapers and the emphasis in television of entertainment has altered the process so much that it's very hard, except for a handful of newspapers it's very hard to find newspapers that really are serious about what is happening in the Government and the world.
>> Lee Bollinger: It's interesting, just a week ago we had Boslov Havel [assumed spelling] here for an Honorary Degree in the afternoon, and he put together assets to have a little Panel. And one of his thesis was that the world is actually becoming, the metaphor used was coated in information, and he wanted to draw a distinction between information and truth, which he then defined to be very much along the lines of what you're suggesting. And an abundance really of communication and yet not a sense that this is being processed in the society around the world in ways that generate an interaction with policy making that's as desirable as it was.
>> Jim Cannon: And the contentious nature of that public.
>> Lee Bollinger: That's another theme, I think, yes.
>> Jim Cannon: It is one thing, I think, that keeps people away from the polls.
>> Lee Bollinger: Yes, well, there's so many things, I mean I could -- so I want to turn this over, and maybe we could talk a theme of are we more isolationists today, do you sense that that's happening? The globalization and the power of governments and policy makers actually to affect that and countless themes? But I'm going to turn this over to the audience, anybody ask anything you would like. Yes?
>> For General Scowcroft and Secretary Hills, tell me what you think China and the Soviet Union really look like five and 10 years down the road? And are we going to be [inaudible] bipolar, omnipolar world, and obviously it's a very old [inaudible] for you, which is the real engine of foreign policy today [inaudible] military perspective of those countries [inaudible]?
>> Go ahead, Carla, ladies first. [laughter]
>> Jim Lynn: Or in today's world on a talk show and you've got a half a minute to do it, and that would be a long time, 30 seconds to have an answer.
>> Carla Hills: My view with China is that it's very important that it make steady progress and that it be brought into the international community and vote on its succession to the World Trade Organization is of key national importance. If they are successful in coming into the World Trade Organization we cannot forecast that the path will always be a linear, straight happy one, but we can say that if they're on the outskirts and if there were an implosion in China there would be instability in the Asia region, and it would cause the United States grave security problems. All of the things that we worry about, the range of environment, crime, drugs, instability would be very much upon us if China doesn't make it. So it behooves us to develop strategies, starting with the economic because China is a one party system with factions. I sometimes analogize it to how Mexico was 60 years ago, and if it can make the progress hopefully more rapidly so that it comes into a situation where there is choice we will all be much better off and it is more likely to come to that situation through the economic liberalization. We have seen it now. Those who have grievances with China have legitimate grievances, and the list is long, but all you have to do is cast your eyes back 10 years and you know full well that Chinese have more choice, more prosperity, and that life for the Chinese on the full gamut of issues, including human rights, has improved. Certainly, no one would suggest life during Mao's time was happier than today. So I think it can make it, but it's not a foregone conclusion, and it will take a long time, take the per capita income of China. It is extremely small and to build up that growth is going to take a couple of generations. Russia, on the other hand, has talented people, but a huge problem. I think this is going to take a very long time. Its GDP today is half of what it was when the wall came down, and that contraction has left 40% of its people in poverty, and so many of them are much, much worse off in terms of longevity, infant mortality and the like. And, again, these are long-term solutions, and how we deal with these two very important powers will have an incredible impact upon our children's and our grandchildren's security because, as I say, there is no sure thing that we will all be rocky. But then I turn to my friend, General Scowcroft, to talk about the security issues.
>> Brent Scowcroft: I don't disagree with anything that Carla said. I think China, I'm very optimistic about China in this sense. I think they are, all factions are determined on the continual development and liberalization of the economy. I think that will have political repercussions that are very much in our interests. I'm not sure China will ever look just like the United States. In fact, one of the two problems we have is if we insist on China looking like the United States we will fail and we'll turn China into an enemy. The other thing is Taiwan, it is an intensely risky area, and either China, Taiwan or the United States can do things which could put us in confrontation and change all the forecasts about China. Soviet Union, I think, is different. The Soviet Union is now searching for its soul. It has never decided since the time of Peter the Great whether it is a Western civilization, which hasn't shared in all the benefits of the Renaissance and the Reformation, or whether it is uniquely Eastern Mongol Authoritarian. They're trying to sort that out now, and I think the best thing we can do for Russia is not interfere but try to show them that we think they still matter, despite the fact that their GMP has dropped in half, despite the fact that they're no longer a super power. They're in a state of deep humiliation now, and if we rub their noses in it we will live to regret it.
>> Lee Bollinger: Yes?
>> I have a question, primarily for Mr. Lynn or anyone on the Panel. I'm a political policy student here at the school. And something that I think frustrates me and a lot of my colleagues is the conflict sometimes between politics and making good policies. And I was just wondering do you think that's changed in the past 25 years?
>> Jim Lynn: No. Next question? [laughter] People that know me know that's ridiculous for me to say no, just like that. Politics, it depends how you define politics, too, but the urgencies of somebody getting elected and the importance they believe in their vote, the next time they have to be voted on in the election, there can be the politics of getting your way because it's important to you politically in the sense of being elected the next time, let's say it that way, or having the attitude that you need back where you come from with regard to it. Sure it affects policy. The thing that we mustn't ever forget, though, and the thing that's so important to do in Government at any level is to keep the politics out of the basic analysis of what makes good policy from the standpoint if you're a benevolent dictator and put this in effect it would be the best thing to try for the people. The great thing about OMB is that's what OMB does, and when they stop doing that and when you see the virus creeping in, I'm talking about the Institution, not me -- there's some very able people in that place -- but when that virus starts creeping in, when the analysts start thinking politically as opposed to what's in the best interests of this country that's when they've got to go. Then you have to apply the politics as another layer in the consideration. The politics have to be considered, but that isn't the job of the analysts. The jobs of the analysts are to call it straight up the way it is. Now the fun comes when the rubber meets the roads, to use a Firestone, Bridgestone expression, sorry, sorry, about that, Bridgestone, Firestone, excuse me. [laughter] The problem, the thing that happens at that point is that you'd have to make the political compromises in order to get the job done. The difference today between what it was before, the compromises come now totally in the process as the Bill goes through and, therefore, you don't have the power on the Hill located anywhere enough that you can get the outline, the essence of what the debate ought to be on and then have the politics enter into the final important decisions that have to be made. And, as a result, the politicization process goes on too far through the whole process and you water down a good Bill that by the time you get to the end it isn't that good.
I'm sorry, one thing I did want to say before this session is out, I see a lot of young people out there, I think one of the hardest things to do today is to get people to come into Government, older people, I'm not talking about young people because young people will come into the Government, young people will come into the Government and they feel very good about what they're doing and they should, and get the right kinds of jobs and so the experience that I heartily recommend. But I think one of the things that has happened, if you want a change from the old years, there was always a risk for people going into Government that you would take a reputation that you had built and honed over 20 years and have it go down the drain because somebody write a story that isn't true about you. And that has always been a risk, that's always a risk of being in Government, it's a risk of being in almost any position of authority. [laughter] And today it is worse than it's ever been before. In the effort to avoid doing anything that would be useful in perhaps getting into issues and making them interesting and entertaining and so on, that takes work, and there are very few people who do that. Tim Russert does that, there aren't a lot of people that do that, but he does, and he follows through with a second question. But I think today to get people to leave good jobs, they've got a good life, particularly in the private sector, and take on the Federal Government, who needs it, you know? Who needs to see your picture in the paper that way all the time? The endless work before the media, you've got a desk full of policy decisions that have to be made, and you suck away all this time talking with the media, who really doesn't care about the issues, at all, they want to find out something about your personal life or something else or catch you in something that's wrong that they can amplify, who needs it? Who needs to go to the Hill and have people, because they're having a nurses convention next week want you to now spend all your time talking about what kind of nurses' education you have in the country so that it'll look good in the Herald Union the next day on nurses, and suck away your time on that. But the worst thing is what it can do to your reputation. And I think that we don't give enough credit to the people who do go and do that today. It's always been a tough thing and you always take bigger risks than you've taken in the private sector, but on the other hand it's worse today than I think it's ever been. It's part of what you talked about, Carla, about with Watergate, with what had happened in Watergate, and that's where it really started. It's kind of a thing, you're not important unless we've got some kind of a story with regard to you.
>> Lee Bollinger: Yes?
>> I am also a political policy student.
>> Jim Lynn: We talked this morning.
>> I think most of us in the policy school have dreams of becoming future leaders, and I was going to ask do you think that the characteristics and the nature of leadership, political and not necessarily in the actual political form, but close to politics is going to change in the future? How do you see the characteristics of tomorrow's leaders as opposed to the past?
>> Lee Bollinger: Who wants to take that?
>> Brent Scowcroft: I have the highest hopes for the young people of today going into politics and what you may be able to do. I think, as others have suggested here, it has deteriorated badly. It was some years ago when I left the Senate, with Senator Howard Baker, then the Majority Leader, and I remember Senator Matt Matthias coming in to tell Senator Baker, Howard, I'm not going to run anymore, it's just not any fun anymore, and I'm going to get out. And this is, unfortunately, what has happened to too many good people. And because of that what you have now in the Senate, for example, is a core group of very conservative people, maybe 40 plus conservative Republicans, who don't want to compromise. If some one of them suggests, well, let's, you know, we need to work this out, then the others will point the finger at him and say you're selling out. Now that's not the way it's supposed to work, that's not the way it will work, and that's the way it worked from the beginning. After all, the very Constitution, itself, is a compromise on what small states wanted and what the big states wanted. And President Ford had one of his most, greatest admirers and most personal, strong person friends was Tip O'Neill. And Tip O'Neill told me once, well, what we do is wail away at each other in public and then we sit down in private and work it out. And that's the way system has worked and should work, but I don't think it's working that well anymore. I think that partisanship, not politics. The young lady there mentioned politics, politics is part of the system, it's meant to be part of the system, constructive politics and making a deal, reaching an understanding. But now too many philosophers are in the House and Senate and they don't want to compromise, and that's why it doesn't work as well.
>> Carla Hills: But that can change, don't despair, there are some great leaders, they're new. Our Senate is younger than it has been historically. Those who chair committees in the Senate are for the most part in their first term of office or second. So we don't have any gray hairs, and we miss the Sam Nunn's and the Howard Baker's and those who have left, but there are some good ones there and they can grow up. And when you come it'll make all the difference.
>> Brent Scowcroft: There's one more thing I want to mention, I should have mentioned, and that is I believe, I truly believe this, I saw it happening in the Senate when I was there. I think the introduction of women into politics is going to be the salvation of the system.
>> Carla Hills: There you go, Jim.
[ Applause ]
>> Carla Hills: I would agree with him.
>> Lee Bollinger: Yes?
>> [Inaudible] first year student at the Ford School [inaudible] and I think I speak for everybody here, hopefully, in just welcoming you and thanking you for being here. And my question is really targeted at Secretary Hills. A lot of what we've seen now in trade negotiations and a lot of public attention and a lot of protests and that sort of thing being evolved [inaudible]. I wanted to ask you about your views on the implications of that and how trade negotiations maybe are different today and the relationships are different today than maybe they were five years ago, or at least in your recent experience?
>> Carla Hills: Twenty-five years ago trade focused far more on tariff production, so they were simpler negotiations and we had fewer trade partners. I believe there were 27 trading partners when we formed a general agreement on tariffs and trade, the GAT in 1947. Today there are 137 members of the World Trade Organization and with China there will be 138, and there are roughly 30 in the queue, so that it's a big organization. And the address is much, much more complicated. I think that the United States simply has to be a leader in trade. For 50 years we have been so, and we have been blessed with the fast track rules that I mentioned. We no longer have them. We have not had them for six years, and it shows. In this Hemisphere alone there have been 20 trade agreements signed that do not include the United States. That not only means that countries, like Canada, can sell to Chile or Argentina on better terms than we, it means that we're not there to shape and protect our interests on a wide range of subjects. The fact is trade gets people to the table to talk about the issues that are of mutual interest, and if you can stretch that and build up a relationship of trust you can move on to other issues, and that's where we're falling short. I confess I am a severe critic of today's trade policy. I think it has been woefully inadequate to our grave national detriment, but that, too, can be corrected. We need to lead on trade. We are the country most equipped, we're the largest economy, we are the world's largest exporter, importer, investor, foreign investor, and host of foreign investment. We are everywhere, and we address the issue with the lowest bound tariffs of any large market. so that we can literally lead by example, which we have done in the past, and have failed desperately to do recently. I could talk about this for an hour, but President Bollinger would be unhappy. [laughter]
>> Lee Bollinger: Don't blame it on me, on everybody else. Yes?
>> [Inaudible] a political policy student here at the Ford School. And my question is related to the [inaudible] information, that the public digesting that compared to 25 years ago. And I was just wondering if one of the factors that you also think contributes to this drop is the lack among the public of civic responsibility? Is it just the fact that there's so much information out there or do you think that people don't feel nearly as much of an obligation as they did 25 years ago to take part in the national policy base?
>> Brent Scowcroft: Well, I think one of the things that has transformed public life is television. I think those of us in public life were a little slow to understand that it was going to revolutionize politics. And but I think, if I heard your question right, I think the fact that the television coverage of campaigns has become so focused on differences, so much on conflict that people don't know what to believe. And, you know, it used to be, for example, that ABC had a very high quality political reporting organization, they used to inform their anchorman and so on. Well, after the last Presidential election, they don't have it in this election -- at the Presidential election they abolished that. Instead, they hired one person on the Right and one person on the Left to come on and argue every now and then, and presumably that was going to inform the public. But I don't think that works very well. I think that what we need to do is get, is somehow to get back to a level of conveying information about public issues so that people can make up their own minds. I think, I hope anyway that the debates, the Presidential debates will add to that because that's one of the few chances we have to see each of them stand face to face and talk about the merits of an issue or not. But I think we are a long way yet from doing a good job of informing the public and a young person, such as yourself, about what is going on in our national life and what the issues really are.
>> Jim Lynn: Your question, though, had a somewhat different tilt to it, I think. It was is there a difference, taking a look over a time span, as to whether part of this is there isn't the sense of civic responsibility, I think you said, that was there 20, 25 years ago. I'd give you the answer, I really don't know that. I find that our country when you really get it across to them, responds pretty well. You can have situations where it's a matter of life and death, and the Vietnam can get you into a terrible conflict in that regard of emotions and everything else, and somewhat different in Australia maybe than in the United States. It's one of those things that we talk about that way. I really don't know the answer to that. There's so much static going on of other things in people's lives. There's so much to do. There's a lot of information that's going out there, but it isn't being read by anybody. We read newspapers. We do watch some egghead shows on television from time to time. We ask, we scream when the reporter who hasn't really worked very hard asks us a tough question and gets an answer that says, gee, I'm glad you asked about baseball, I wanted to tell you that I think Michael Jordan is the best player we ever had and so on. And the guy goes on to his next question. I will not name the Senator, but we had a Senator once that we said that if you said have you ever committed a felony, and the guy would answer, and answer, yes, I did. And if you had the next question the staff prepared, how many years did you go to Harvard, he would ask the Harvard question. And I get very tired of seeing a tough question, a good question asked, the fellow gives a bad answer, and there's no follow-up question. And we scream about it because we don't get their attention. And that's true of nine out of 10 people that are doing it and it's, frankly, because they don't do their homework and they don't listen to the answer anyway, they just want to get to the next damn question. So there's so much static out there. I have found that if you get into some of these issues, and depending on how you put it, the people really do get interested, they really do, and at all levels, even grandchildren. [laughter]
>> Lee Bollinger: Bill Coleman, did you want to say something?
>> Bill Coleman: Well, I really enjoyed being here today at this great University, and the only difficulty was that I was unfortunate to go on to the University of Pennsylvania. [laughter]
>> Jim Lynn: And a pretty good graduate school, I might add.
>> Bill Coleman: From 1938 to 1941, even though we had a great quarterback named [inaudible] and a guy named Tommy Harmon [assumed spelling], who used to beat us every year. [laughter] But I [inaudible] one, how can we continue to expect [inaudible] we have urban schools which are not educating our children, but and you can have the best universities in the world and you don't educate your students [inaudible]? And, secondly, the other day was the first time I found out why the eight hours of work so important, and a gentleman said because we believe the eight hours when you work or eight hours when you sleep and there are eight hours when you do something else. Now the something else in your generation, the people sitting out there, was a lot of reading. I'm very disturbed that even the young people that come to my law firm, very few of them have read that much in terms of the classics and in terms of the books that we used to read. And it seems to me that as you get older you're amazed at the number of times and the problems you face today is a problem that somebody faced maybe 1500 AD and, therefore, you need that type of reading and instead of that we turn on the tube, as I do and everybody else, and therefore that whole very important process that most leaders that I know, whether it's Harry Truman, you name them, they did spend their time reading. And that's just not in the system today.
>> Lee Bollinger: That's true, yes.
[ Applause ]
>> Lee Bollinger: Yes?
>> It all falls down to if the Panel believes that the American public is over informed and under informed at the same time because of faster, faster -- I agree with that completely, but I took Civics in public school, and then I came to the University of Michigan and I majored in Political Science in order to get into my family's homebuilding business.
>> Carla Hills: Good background.
>> I know, and I thought that that was a way to learn how to what I call function. Now if there's only going to be a few kids, excuse the expression, at the school of public policy, that isn't enough. We've got to start at the beginning, don't we, and teach Civics in public schools? If we don't teach Civics in public schools or high schools then maybe it's up to President Bollinger to insist that we teach Civics at the University level, and that's not a question, it's a statement. [laughter]
>> Lee Bollinger: Remedial Civics. Let me, we're going to have to close up. Let me ask a question that comes from a statement made by one of your contemporaries, a person who has served, a retired Professor on this Faculty, I won't name because he said this in a context, I mean it's not an embarrassing thing, I'm not going to name him. But he was making the point that we really are not able as policy makers, decision makers in this society, we really are not able to understand the profound forces at work at any given time. We're always surprised or frequently surprised by major turns that happen in the world. The Depression is something that was not anticipated by people, and all the data that people had would have -- and there are countless examples of that. So the question is, A, do you think that's right, that in terms of policy making one ought to be aware that the crucial, some of the deepest, most profound forces are very, very difficult, if not impossible to discern? And, secondly, do you think it's less true, do we have more information, are we better in form -- now I'm not talking about the broad public, necessarily, that's a different point -- are we capable, more capable today of understanding these profound forces, let's say, than 25 years ago? Are we improving in that search? Carla?
>> Carla Hills: I wouldn't go so far as your colleague to say that the deepest and most difficult forces are impossible to identify. I would say they're difficult, but even with the Great Depression there was some analysis that the policies that we were following were highly detrimental to our economic growth, and there was at least one author who predicted a great downfall. There was a debate at the time, it just wasn't a successful debate and didn't come out the way we, as policy makers, would like to have it come out. We've had a lot of discussion today about are we suffocated with information? And it may be that Henry Kissinger is right, that we have information but no memory, that we can pull down on the internet a speech so we don't have to think and read and contemplate. What Secretary Coleman just said I think is so wise, that to read the great books, to think about them is education. To be able to pull a quote out from the internet is quite a different thing, that's gathering information, it's not even knowledge. And sometimes today we've used the words, information and knowledge, interchangeably, and they're not at all that. So I think that it's useful to work hard at the graduate level, but we're going to have work harder at K through 12. I once sat on a Board when there was a shortage of geologists, and they wanted to give money to the School of Geology and several fine Universities, but if you have a shortage and people are not going into the field you have to start earlier. And you can't decide to be a geologist at the last moment, you have to know how to add and subtract, algebra, calculus, and so forth so it's get you back into K through 12.
>> Jim Lynn: I would say I don't think we're any better prepared than they were 40 years ago. Let's take economics for a minute, and our trying to predict where things are going. One of the most -- one of the biggest changes that's occurred in our society is moving to a service economy as opposed to a solid product, tangible product society. We never have understood how to measure productivity of service economies. We haven't got the slightest idea really, if you talk to honest economists, as to how you can go about quantifying it. You can't, and everybody wants the numbers, you've got to have a number. So we put in numbers, and we operate at those numbers, and everybody knows those numbers, they're plugged numbers. Excuse me, I'm sorry for the profession, but it happens to be true, it happens to be true. [laughter] How the heck do you know what are the affects of derivatives, certain derivatives that allow you to do things because you have safety on the other side and so on? We don't know. We live in a world where money moves around that world trillions in a nanosecond. We have opportunities where people can default on obligations and could start a chain reaction around the world that you never say anything like it. You can have the situation, the new Dillinger, the new Dillinger is going to be the guy that goes to the XYZ bank and suddenly $20 billion is disappearing out of the accounts and nobody knows where the heck it is. The things that are happening in the world happen so fast and much faster today, you can't predict them. And I will say even in a simpler world show me an honest CEO, and we do careful planning and strategic planning and down side risk assessment and so forth, you're lucky if at the end of the year you come out close to what the numbers were that you predicted, and usually it's because the things that were off the scale above where your rule was offset the ones that you never thought of down below, and the numbers come right out and the money, you say, hey, look at how good we were this year. [laughter] But to go out two, three years, forget it. And I just don't think we're any farther along, and it's the nature of mankind, excuse me, person kind, and really is the world we live in today. I'm sorry, but that's how I feel about it, and that's what makes life also fascinating, it really does.
>> Lee Bollinger: Brent, you can have the last word?
>> Brent Scowcroft: The last word is I don't know. Are we getting better? I don't think we're better right now, I think we're better off 20, 30 or 40 years ago than we are now. And I think one reason is that we don't have the extraordinary national threat that we did in earlier times. We don't have the threat of USSR, the nuclear war as discussed earlier. We don't have the Depression that we had in the '30s. We don't even have the Depression that President Ford resolved when he came into office, we were on the eve of the worst Recession since the Great Depression, but as we said this morning he managed it so well that it seemed almost effortless, but it just worked itself out. It wasn't that easy within, but it seemed to be something that he accomplished so well. So we don't have that. We do have, someone mentioned education and we aren't doing enough about it. And one of the anomalies, to me, is that here we've got these two Presidential candidates talking about education, K, 12, whatever, the reality is neither one of them can do much about it. The fact is that most of the money for education is local, most of the effort is local, and it has to be solved pretty much at the local level. But, nevertheless, the press never examines this and say, hey, wait a minute, what, Mr. Bush or Mr. Gore, what are you really going to -- what can you do about it? The Federal Government can't do much about the quality of education at the local level, but we don't address that. I think that we have that peril to our society, and I think that despite all this great boom in the economy that the phenomenal fact, to me, is that more people are proportionately less well off than they were 15, 20 years ago. The upper top, they're doing very well and there are more millionaires than probably there will ever be again, but more than half the American people because of inflation and so forth they're having a tougher time, but that's not that evident to us. We talk about the stock market and all the good things that are happening. So are we better off? I can't see it.
>> Lee Bollinger: I want to thank the Panelists for being with us today, to engage with us in this way substantively, to be as candid as they have, as open with their thoughts, and their time is a great conclusion for us on this very special day. Carla Hills said it would take here an hour, could talk for an hour, well, we invite you all back, to come back individually or together. We'll give you as many hours as you need. We'd love to hear from you again. Thank you very much or being here.
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