June 7, 2002

ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS I NOTICED about the homeland security speech last night was that Tom Ridge was referred to in the past tense. So maybe someone else will replace him. Reader Will Allen has a suggestion:

The point is, Greenspan is famous for poring over reams of arcane data from all corners of the American and world economy, which is, needless to say, an extraordinarily complex organism. Greenspan has been fairly effective, although not perfect, in assimilating this exceedingly diverse information in a fashion that has allowed him see patterns and make inferences that engender effective decision-making in what is a very difficult job. I say this as a person who is generally supicious of central bankers; the very idea of central banking runs counter to the evidence of the futility of all economic central planning. However, credit should be given where it is deserved, and Greenspan has been very good in executing a very daunting task. This is exactly the sort of talent that is needed in a Homeland Security Office, in addition to managerial skills. Seemingly unrelated, arcane, data will be flowing in from all corners of the globe and someone near the top will need the ability to notice patterns and make inferences in a fashion that allows us to stay ahead of our enemies. If done well, it will even allow us to be more efficient in conducting offensive operations, which is the best defense. Maybe someone with a background in economics would be very effective is assisting this

effort.

We could do worse. And we very well may.

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