Gordon Crovitz, Tomato Fertilizer Manufacturer

Q: In his Wall Street Journal column, Gordon Crovitz writes that the federal government’s involvement in the creation of the Internet was modest. Does that jibe with your recollection?

Vint Cerf: No. The United States government via ARPA started the project. (Bob Kahn initiated the Internetting project when he joined ARPA in late 1972. He had been principal architect of the ARPANET IMP (packet switch) while at BBN.

Bob invited me to work with him on open networking in the spring of 1973. We also both worked on the ARPANET project starting in 1968. ARPANET was funded through 1990 by ARPA and other USG agencies. The Internet work was funded from 1973 to about 1995 (and beyond) by ARPA, NSF, DOE, NASA among others.

Charles Cooper: No credit for Uncle Sam in creating Net? Vint Cerf disagrees

GlaxoSmithKline is Feeling Fine

One-third of the $3 billion fine is a criminal penalty. The other $2 billion involves fines in connection with a civil settlement with the federal government and some states over the marketing of the blockbuster asthma drug Advair and other drugs.

Despite the large amount, $3 billion represents only a portion of what GlaxoSmithKline made on the drugs. Avandia, for example, racked up $10.4 billion in sales, Paxil brought in $11.6 billion, and Wellbutrin sales were $5.9 billion during the years covered by the settlement, according to IMS Health, a data group that consults for drugmakers.

“So a $3 billion settlement for half a dozen drugs over 10 years can be rationalized as the cost of doing business,” Mr. Burns said.

Katie Thomas and Michael S. Schmidt: GlaxoSmithKline Agrees to Pay $3 Billion in Fraud Settlement

These kind of reckless criminal acts will continue as long as the corporations committing them stand to make way more than likely fines and the big bosses aren’t personally accountable.

Stay Put

Culturally, and in their daily lives, Americans continue to glide through a ghostly land of opportunity they can’t bear to tell themselves isn’t real. It’s the most dangerous lie the country tells itself.

Stephen Marche: We Are Not All Created Equal

It is easier to climb the social ladder and earn more than one’s parents in the Nordic countries, Australia and Canada than in France, Italy, Britain and the United States, according to a new OECD study.

Intergenerational Social Mobility: a family affair?