Paul Samuelson passes away at 94

Here is one obituary.  Here are previous MR posts involving Samuelson.  Here is Krugman's post.  Here is the Twitter feed.

Samuelson once said: "I don't care who writes a nation's laws, or crafts its treatises, if I can write its economics textbooks."


"if I can write its economics textbooks"

Amazing quote! and a bit frightening, too. Did he really think that economists have so much influence? Do they?

Should that be "treaties" instead of "treatises"?

Is it either Friedman or Samuelson? Or can one reconcile their ideologies?

"....if I can write its economics textbooks": aye, but in the long run the poets win.

Rahul, I don't think you can reconcile them. Perhaps, like the physicists, we should live with having contradictory paradigms operating in different areas. On some issues, each man was wrong: Samuelson in promoting naive hydraulic Keynesianism, Friedman in proposing the naive money growth rule. Each man revised his judgement after the fact of his error; in this we see the rapid progress to which each man contributed.

It was good of Prof. Cowen to post the links to previous MR posts re Samuelson. In one, Prof. Cowen criticizes Samuelson for being very pessimistic about the economy in late 2007.

In another, Prof. Tabarrok takes Samuelson to task for suggesting that the financial crisis might affect GE. GE would later accept TARP funds.

I didn't realize Samuelson was 94 years old. Forget his textbooks on Econ, I want to know what his diet strategy was.

Samuelson appears to have been a literate as well as
literary man. Your quotation glances at, "I do not
care who writes a nation's laws so long as I can write
its songs." Not all Economics professors can write
nor, for that matter, can all English professors.
As for living to be 94 it can't hurt to have written
a phenomenally successful textbook.
And he had a wry sense of humor, writing to Robert
Sanuelson, a successor to his Newsweek column(no
relation), "Nobody named Samuelson can be that bad."

I think some here are missing the allusion to the famous Mayer Amschel Rothschild quote. "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws."

I believe John Philip Sousa once said:

"I care not who writes my country's laws as long as I can write my country's music"

Can anyone verify this?

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