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When Economists Write About Presidents And Assassins, Lee Harvey Oswald Edition…

November 22nd, 2013 · 3 Comments
Economic History · Uncategorizable

When deciding whether or not to read something, I tend to focus more on who the author is than on the specific headline. This probably explains how I came across an article by Hoover Institution fellow Paul Gregory and clicked on it without looking closely at what it was about. (As far as I can tell, Gregory isn’t a particularly big name or anything, but he does work on Russian economics, which is interesting to me since my family is Ukrainian. #thingsgregmankiwandIhaveincommon)

In retrospect, the title “Lee Harvey Oswald Was My Friend” probably should have tipped me off to the fact that the article was not actually about economics. In my defense, however, I can totally picture some super conservative economist being politically incorrect and using such a title for an article about how marginal tax rates during the Kennedy administration were too high or something. (While said economists would be correct that marginal tax rates were very high at that time- up to 91%, in fact, it should be noted that Kennedy was on board with lowering them but didn’t have the chance to do so because his plan got rejected by Congress, so the job was left to Lyndon Johnson instead.) Anyway, this article is probably more viscerally fascinating than anything about economics could ever be. No offense to economics, of course, but dude, how many people can say that they inadvertently insulted Lee Harvey Oswald’s writing skills?

Since the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination seems to have brought the conspiracy theorists out of the woodwork, I think it would be totally appropriate for you to tell your boss that you have to leave work early so that you can go home and watch JFK.

Update: My hypothetical lack of surprise regarding economists making light of the JFK assassination was not without merit, in retrospect.

Tags: Economic History · Uncategorizable

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