Critical Condition

A Gentleman and a Scholar

For those who have not heard the very sad news, Jack Calfee of the American Enterprise Instutute passed away suddenly Wednesday night. Jack simply was a brilliant man who devoted his considerable talents to the improvement of public policies — that is, to the wellbeing of others — across a wide range of topics and issues. From various areas in regulatory policy to tort reform, to the defense of advertising (free speech for entrepreneurs), to the analysis of health care and pharmaceutical policy, Jack brought a rare combination of technical expertise, real-world experience, sound analytic tools, and common sense to the problems that he addressed. His work on comparative pricing of pharmaceuticals in Europe and the U.S., in particular, influenced my efforts, and I cannot count the number of errors from which he saved me by pointing out fallacies both subtle and not in my initial approach to various problems. Moreover, Jack was a truly great colleague, always making time to explore ideas and to review drafts of work, and always with the effect of enhancing the productivity of those around him. The summary of his work does not do justice to his productivity, impact, and great sense of humor. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P.

— Benjamin Zycher is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.