BLOG: Death of an honest pundit

Tom Jackson
Nov 1, 2011


You've probably never heard of him, but William A. Niskanen, dead at age 78, was a rare, valuable creature: A Washington D.C. pundit who always tried to tell the truth.

The New York Times headlined his death as that of a "Blunt Libertarian Economist," while author Gene Healy called him "the most honest man in Washington."

The Times obit recounts how Niskanen was fired from his job as chief economist for Ford when he opposed the company's efforts to put restrictions on Japanese imports. "A common commitment to refrain from special favors serves the same economic function as a common commitment to refrain from stealing," he wrote.

Mr. Niskanen made himself unpopular with conservatives by opposing the Iraq war before it began. "An unnecessary war is an unjust war," he said.

A video (hat tip, David Boaz).





The long summer days have officially arrived, with today marking the summer solstice-the longest day of the year. To commemorate the occasion, Google has once again altered their front page graphic, this time hooking up with Takashi Murakami to create a celebratory doodle that embodies the spirit of the summer. Murakami’s whimsical style is always oozing with pastel colors and bouncy cheerful graphics, so who better to capture that joyous mood caused by the shining of the sun? Hopefully though on a day like this though you won’t be spending too much time sitting around and Googling things, get out there and enjoy the sun!