William Peterson, RIP

Economist Bill Peterson passed away yesterday at the age of 91. I had enjoyed running into Bill at Washington events from the late 1980s onwards. He always had a hearty smile and a sparkle in his eyes. His buoyant joy of life was difficult to reconcile with his devotion to the “dismal profession.” Bill wrote one of the best books on farm policy in the 1950s, and his frequent contributions and reviews to the Wall Street Journal in the following decades helped awake many people to the value of free markets. Economics professor Bill Anderson cites Bill Peterson as the person who swayed him to pursue a doctorate and teaching; Anderson has since become the scourge of Paul Krugman and wayward prosecutors across the land. I’m sure that Bill Peterson’s teaching and writing left many other pro-freedom legacies both in the United States and other countries.

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