Sometimes you come across a Post which touches all the bases, and this is one, though I hate the discussion. The first economic textbook I ever owned was written by Paul Samuelson. What can one say about the man and/or the Teacher. Professor Samuelson looked at the economy, and wrote a math book. He looked at a math system, and wrote an economic textbook. He gave sound advice to every President since FDR, and all of them would have been better off if they had followed his instructions to the letter. He was the first of the American Nobel laureates, and arguably the best of the lot. By the way, I didn’t even like the layout of his textbook–it is an author thing. The layout of his economics, though, was probably the best in kind. It is really the end of an era, and I think We will all miss the promise of it.
I have been looking for a manner to complete a Post this morning, after the news about Paul Samuelson. I decided this Post from Arnold Kling would fill the bill. Samuelson always used a decentralized style, both in Teaching and Practice. He always sought Order out of what was basically spontaneous creation, believing the real world was the only practical aspiration. Canned Product was universally based upon forces which were basically non-economic in nature, and substituted personal concerns for real economic evolution. I could say that Samuelson would agree with this Post, even though he was very Liberal in economic action; he spent his youth in the economic profession under FDR. Arnold deserves to hold in this place, because his Thought pattern parallels Paul Samuelson to great degree.
I finish with this Post, because it is so much like Paul Samuelson. Jeff Cornwell would not seem to work with Arnold Kling, but both directional styles worked actively in Paul Samuelson. The later was always concerned with theory and the practical, at the same time. Samuelson always wanted to know What worked, and then devised a theory to go along with it. It was Paul’s universal grasp of economics which fascinated. Another Great Man has gone to his final rest, and We have been losing some great Voices. lgl