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Remembering Alfred Kahn

Bob Moon Dec 28, 2010

A final note. There’s word from Cornell University that economist Alfred Kahn has died of cancer. He was known as the father of airline deregulation after he successfully argued for free competition between air carriers during Jimmy Carter’s administration.

Serving later as Carter’s inflation czar, Kahn bluntly attacked the OPEC oil cartel:

I expect people upon whom I am willing to be dependent, and foolish enough to permit myself to be perpetually dependent and increasingly dependent, I expect them to screw me.

That kind of outspokenness brought a White House rebuke, when Kahn started warning of a looming depression. He agreed to come up with a substitute for the “D” word, and preached instead that the nation was at risk of “the worst BANANA you’ve ever seen.” Later, he changed it to a kumquat.

Alfred Kahn was 93.

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