Monday, December 14, 2009

Samuelson and economics

My brother attended a prestigious Eastern college in the sixties. One course that impressed him was Economics 101 taught by Paul Samuelson. At the dining room table (it must have been Sunday dinner) my brother explained to my father, an accountant, how inflation was good for the economy, according to his professor. Apparently, wages went up, prices went up, and everyone was better off. This must have ticked off my father because he slammed his hand on the table and said, "Yes, but that's creating a false economy".

Paul Samuelson died yesterday. He is most remembered for his textbook, read by Freshman economy students for decades. Students liked using the book. They knew they could always sell it come next year to the next batch of Freshman.

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