Herbert Stein was an economist who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He was also a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributor to the WSJ. Herb was father to comedian Ben Stein, so he must have had an interesting perspective.
He is credited with a phrase commonly referred to as “Stein’s Law.” Since his death, it has been quoted several different ways, but this is the original:
“If it can’t go on forever, it will stop.”
While this original quote was centered around economics and politics, a paraphrase applicable to our current state might be something like:
“Things that can’t go on forever don’t.”
It’s a useful reminder that I’ve circled back to a number of times in the last few weeks.