Sunday, January 2, 2022

The last refuge of a vacant liberal mind

 On Christmas day, the headline in the NY Times business section was As Prices Rise, Biden Turns to Antitrust Enforcers.  Larry Summers immediately [and correctly] bashed the idea:

“The emerging claim that antitrust can combat inflation reflects ‘science denial,’ ” tweeted Harvard economist Lawrence Summers, a senior official in the Obama and Clinton administrations. “There are many areas like transitory inflation where serious economists differ. Antitrust as an anti-inflation strategy is not one of them.”

In the late 1970's, I heard John Kenneth Galbraith, the economist in charge of price controls during WWII, say much the same.  He called the idea "the last refuge of a vacant liberal mind."  The turn of phrase was so elegant and shocking--at the time, I was a liberal--it has stayed with me.  

No comments:

Post a Comment