I’m glad there is no Milton Friedman anywhere on the political-economy spectrum today. I think that Milton Friedmans are bad for economics and bad for society. Fruitless debates with talented (near-)extremists waste a lot of everyone’s time that could have been spent more constructively, either in research or in arguing about policy issues in a more pragmatic way.We guess Prof. Solow doesn't thing it pragmatic that millions of American teen-agers aren't subject to their lives being disrupted by the Selective Service. That a 25 year long Great Moderation with a mere two, short, mild recessions (1982-2007) and virtually unnoticed inflation was just pie-in-the-sky? That Americans not having had to wait for hours to buy a few gallons of gas for their autos since January 1981, isn't an improvement in their lives?
It's not a positive development that the tax shelter industry is a thing of the past? That some children of low income families living in inner cities have an opportunity to escape horrible public schools? That Americans being free to choose their own telephone networks and internet service providers at competitive prices, rather than take what a government enforced monopoly thinks is good for them, to fly on airlines that offer lower prices, shop at stores that have lower prices thanks to free movement of goods on non-price-regulated trucks, to exchange American dollars for whatever foreign currency one needs to travel at the best exchange rate possible...all that is fruitless?
Remind us again, what are Bob Solow's great contributions to humanity?