Samuelson is a nice case study in how wrong economics and economists (and even the most knowledgeable ones like Samuelson) can be when ignoring the basics about human action and economic laws. Mises was the anti-Samuelson of course, who was correctly pointing out that Soviet-style socialism would self-destruct while Samuelson, who naively believed the doctored economic data coming out of the USSR, thought central planning was an astounding success.
Yuri Maltsev has an excellent obit over at the Mises blog, and Maltsev includes an excellent observation by Samuelson on the importance of economics that so many still fail to realize:
He declared that “I don’t care who writes a nation’s laws — or crafts its advanced treatises — if I can write its economics textbooks.”
PS: Since I’m not an atheist, I hope Samuelson goes to heaven.8:43 am on December 15, 2009 Email Ryan McMaken