Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Paul Samuelson is very smart but not always polite. When praising John Kenneth Galbraith he wrote something like “it would be wonderful to write his obituary” which only meant that it was enjoyable to write a encominium on Galbraith and any other more literal interpretation would be incorrect, funny and amusing to Prof Galbraith. Among Prof. Samuelson’s words of praise were, more or less, the following “he understood that economics is to important to leave up to the economists” Which is my effort to recall a translation of Clemenceau.

So the question is: “If you could write an encominium on a famous person in the mass circulation comments to a post in “A Fistful of Euros” who would you praise?”

The question is not “Does Robert Waldmann count how many comments each post gets and treat the number as a measure of his success ?” However, if anyone would like to post the comments “yes”,”that’s obviious”, “what a twit” or “that’s really the most pathetic form of self gratification I have ever heard of,” I will count them all the same.

So who would I like to praise ? Too keep the list under control I praise only people who died after I was born

My Mom should be famous
My Dad is almost famous
George Orwell
Vaclaw Havel
Nelson Mandela
Martin Luther King Jr
Jorge Luis Borges
Alan Turing ?
Larry Summers needs some praise right now and I won’t lie or anything but he was very patient with me.
Brad DeLong
Andrei Shleifer
Michael Kinsley
Graham Walker has tenure at MIT so he is sortof famous
Reinhart Selton is the most humble noble laureate that I have every met and he actually takes teaching undergraduates seriously.
Omigod I forgot to mention what an absolutely wonderful guy Salvatore Luria is.
I’m an economist so I have to talk about Kenneth Arrow even though I wish I could be a bit original.
Bernard Kouchner really deserves a better fate
John McCain should not be electe president of the USA even if he is an admirable person.
Happy is the nation that needs no heroes. Less happy is the nation full of people like me who didn’t appreciate Jimmy Carter
Why the hell was Andrew Young such a bad “permanent” representative at the UN ?
Paul Kafka is the nicest winner of the LA Times best first novel prize that I know
Many admirable and famous people who I know who are not going to get totally pissed at me for not mentioning them.

Click if you have nothing better to do than to read the actual praise.
Continue reading