Arnold Kling  

Remembering a Teacher

Health Care Disintermediation... Subsidies Raise Prices...

Bernard Saffran, known to many economists for his regular column in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday. When I was an undergraduate, I took most of my economics courses from Bernie. I wrote this essay when I found out about his death. I tried to recall a few of his sayings.

"The Army Corps of Engineers wants to do as many projects as possible, so they try to use as low an interest rate as they can to discount future benefits. At a low enough interest rate, it pays to dam the Crum." (a tiny creek near Swarthmore)

"Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson say the same thing in their price theory texts. The difference is that on policy issues, Friedman actually takes price theory seriously."

For Discussion. For readers who knew Bernie, feel free to add any comments in the comment section.

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CATEGORIES: Economic Education

COMMENTS (2 to date)
Larry Willmore writes:

I never had opportunity to meet Bernard Saffran in person, but we had many interesting exchanges by email. I will miss him and his column.

Peter Jaquette writes:

Bernie's passing is a real loss. I took the Economic Theory and Econometrics seminars from Bernie at Swarthmore. He was the best teacher I ever had, in any subject, from grade school through graduate school. I'm sure he also helped get me in to the graduate program at Stanford. Here's a quote I remember from Bernie's Economic Theory seminar. When I asked him recently if it was still accurate, so I could post it on the Daily Jolt, he said yes, go ahead.

"There is diminishing marginal utility for everything except ice cream."

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