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.


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?