I just learned the very sad news that Carolyn Weaver has died, at the too-young age of 63. Carolyn was a talented economist who earned her PhD in economics from Virginia Tech (in 1977) when Jim Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, and the other pioneering members of the Center for Study of Public Choice were in Blacksburg.
No one was more insightful and clear-eyed about Social Security than was Carolyn (as her contribution on this topic in the Concise Encyclopedia reveals). For many years – from the mid-1980s until at least the mid-1990s – Carolyn was a regular speaker at the annual Public Choice Outreach seminar at George Mason’s Fairfax campus. Jenny Roback-Morse (who ran the seminar during this period) regularly joked that Carolyn’s engaging, logical, and data-rich lectures were the intellectual equivalent of a horror movie for the students who attended: Carolyn made clear that young people have every reason to be scared for their future finances by Uncle Sam’s mismanagement of the funds they ‘contribute’ to Social Security.
Carolyn is survived by her husband, Bob Mackay, who also for many years lectured brilliantly at the Public Choice Outreach seminar.
She will indeed be missed.