A vacation interrupted by very sad news about a great economist, Dr. Anna Schwartz.
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Really? Then where do the laws of physics come from? Where does the first cell come from? Where do the laws of thermodynamics come from? Physical laws ? By chance? That’s rich. Life, actual life, by chance? How can anyone believe that?
However, I could be wrong about all of this. I am often wrong. That’s what it means to be human. But the neo-Darwinists can never be wrong. That’s what The Party says. Well, I am sure some of the people who were exercised about Expelled were fine people. Maybe they were all fine people. You are just not allowed to disagree with them. That’s Thoughtcrime.
Thoughtcrime does not entail death. Thoughtcrime is death. So says The Party. Thank you, George Orwell.
Then home to a melancholy e-mail from my pal Phil DeMuth. My mother’s best friend from Barnard College days and for the rest of her life, Anna Jacobson Schwartz, has entered immortality at 96.
Dr. Schwartz was a genius statistician and economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She co-authored as important a book on economics as there has ever been, since The Wealth of Nations, A Monetary History of The United States with Milton Friedman, a supernova genius (like her). I cannot believe I read it all, but I did, when I was 19 years old. It was so beyond me that it might as well have been in Greek. I did learn a lot from it, though. I guess.
But I knew her well because she was my mother’s roommate and best friend. She hosted me for many Sabbath meals when I was a lonely student at Columbia. That was long ago.
She was always good hearted and generous as I whined about missing my girlfriend, Cathy F. I may add that Milton Friedman at this time was a visiting Professor at Columbia and said to me the ultimate brilliance that saved me from despair about her. “If there were only one right woman for every right man on earth, they would never find each other,” he said.
(I happen to believe that he was wrong here but I hesitate to challenge Friedman about anything.)
Many, many nights I was saved from lonely sorrow by the kind attention of Dr. Schwartz and her husband Isaac and their brilliant, lovely children. Brisket in their apartment on West End Avenue. Brisket, economics, and love.
I can still recall her, as a woman in her '80s, running to get to my mother’s funeral in 1997. They both graduated from Barnard at 18.
Really, the kindest of the kind.
I called her during the Crash of 2008 and asked what was going on. “The banks are terrified about insolvency, not liquidity,” she said, in a spectacular summation of the problem.
We citizens of America and of the world will miss her. I leave to others ultimately to judge her brilliance as an economist (in my book, peerless).
But as a kind woman, a caring soul, without doubt as good as they get.
God bless her family and the souls of Isaac and her and her wonderful, super smart children.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online