Thursday, April 22, 2010

Was Paul Samuelson a Great Economist?

When I was in graduate school, one of my professors told me that he believed that Ludwig von Mises was a "first-rate mind," and that Paul Samuelson had a "second-rate mind," but that Samuelson had captivated the mainstream. Certainly, Paul Krugman's near-worshipful tribute to Samuelson confirms that even though Keynesian "economics" is a fraud, the fact that Samuelson helped establish it in U.S. academe makes him an icon.

Here is what another economist, a man who not only has been prominent in economic circles but is, in my view, a much better economist than Krugman ever could be, has to say about Samuelson and Krugman's remarks:
Samuelson 1948 still the standard we need today. Pathetic.

Krugman thinks Samuelson's merely playing with ideas, as opposed to seeking the (closest attainable approximation of the) truth, was a virtue. To me it was a fatal flaw. He was very, very clever, in the way that a really bright boy can solve all sorts of mathematical puzzles without knowing anything at all about how the real world works.

2 comments:

intrbo said...

From whom is the quote?

William L. Anderson said...

I'd rather not say, but he is a good economist, that is for sure. Yeah, it is not exactly fair, but since when has Krugman been fair?