typewriterking (typewriterking) wrote in conservatism,

Anna Schwartz 1915-2012

In the 1950s, the general consensus in academic circles favored the central planning of economics. Very crudely, fiscal planning was thought to be capable of steering markets. The belief in progress was such that serious people could actually anticipate a future where the psycho-history field in the Foundation series seemed plausible.

By the end of the decade, Ike would hand over the White House to JFK's brain trust, the Top Men that would steer policy with the hubris of Heri Seldon. But during Kennedy's administration, Anna Schwartz and Milton Friedman published a work that overturned many assumptions at the time, and revived the question of whether monetary policy trumps fiscal. Furthermore, she advocated for the end of activist or interventionist monetary policy, repudiating the idea that the Fed should battle the business cycle. In later years, she lashed out at the government for the bailouts.

She died a few days ago at the age of 96. She worked at the National Bureau of Economic Research virtually her whole adult life. She lived a long life by our current contemporary standards, but I'd have loved for her to live for a millennium. Rest in peace.
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