A Newscaster From My Past Makes A Lot of Damn Sense

Okay, check out this quote about economics. Then guess who wrote it and when.

“It simply made no sense to us. There were no immutable ‘laws’ – or damned few – about it. Economics was not a ‘science’ at all; it was fruitless to treat it as such, and to study it as a special, exclusive field. It was all mixed up with politics, with sociology, with geography and a good many other things. Clearly the ‘economic laws’ of competition were a fantastic delusion, merely an elaborate effort to justify things as they were by the invention of supposedly unchangeable forces which men mustn’t attempt to interfere with. It seemed to us as much of a hoax as the medieval scholars’ explanation of kingly authority as something derived from God. The system did not work, and if it did not work in America it certainly would not work anywhere.”

The Mellons vis-a-vis the Whitneys

Looking over the slide show here in this morning’s New York Times, I was struck by how similar the aesthetic was to the Greentree estate of the Whitney family on Long Island.  I had the good fortune to spend a few days there earlier this year, and I wrote about it for a column here in Governing. Of course, there are reasons not to be surprised about the similarities of the two estates. Both the Mellons and the Whitneys were/are extremely wealthy families that loved the rural life and were really into horses. They must have known each other. Were they friends or enemies?