My former colleague Robert Tollison has passed away.  I still remember the tour of Carow Hall he gave me when I was interviewing in 1997.  Though we only overlapped at GMU for one year, he was an unforgettable personality.  My strongest memory: At a Liberty Fund in Bozeman, Montana in the summer of 1997, someone expressed despair at economists’ inability to improve the world.  Tollison responded with this aphorism, which I’ve repeated ever since:

“We’re all part of the equilibrium.”

His point: It’s a huge world, so no individual can reasonably expect to make a visible difference.  But each of us pushes the world just a smidge in his desired direction – and our small efforts add up.  In the end, Tollison inspired my paper on how economists can (and do) change the world.

Farewell, Bob.  I’ll miss you.