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George Pratt Shultz (born December 13, 1920 – February 6, 2021) was United States Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1972 to 1974, and U.S. Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989.
- We should say we think a big element in the process of seeking peace [in the Middle East] is the acceptance of Israel's existence and so we´re going to go around to all our friends in Europe and Asia and elsewhere and say let´s accept Israel´s right to exist - and a way of doing that is to move our embassy to west Jerusalem. As long as the embassy is in Tel Aviv, it sort of says we´re camping out.
- "New York Post", June 21, 2003.
- [A] revenue-neutral carbon tax would benefit all Americans by eliminating the need for costly energy subsidies while promoting a level playing field for energy producers.
- Why We Support a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax: Coupled with the elimination of costly energy subsidies, it would encourage competition. "Commentary" article in the Wall Street Journal, co-authored with the Nobel-Prize-winning economist Gary Becker, dated April 7, 2013.
- Many of today's trading relationships actually make America more globally competitive. . . . Raising tariffs among the United States, Canada and Mexico will only weaken a well-oiled manufacturing machine that is driven by the high level of integration the three economies have in their supply chains. This integration makes the region as a whole more competitive vis-à-vis the world.
- A better way than tariffs to improve America's trade picture. CNN opinion article written jointly with Pedro Aspe, Mexico's former secretary of finance, published June 1, 2018.
Quotes about Shultz
- Few people did as much to shape the trajectory of American diplomacy and American influence in the 20th century as George Shultz. He was a gentleman of honor and ideas, dedicated to public service and respectful debate, even into his 100th year on Earth. That's why multiple Presidents, of both political parties, sought his counsel. I regret that, as President, I will not be able to benefit from his wisdom, as have so many of my predecessors.
- Joe Biden, Statement on the Death of Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, (7 February 2021)
- Gorbachev's impressionability also showed up in economics. He had been aware, from his travels outside the Soviet Union before assuming the leadership, that "people there . . . were better off than in our country." It seemed that "our aged leaders were not especially worried about our undeniably lower living standards, our unsatisfactory way of life, and our falling behind in the field of advanced technologies." But he had no clear sense of what to do about this. So Secretary of State Shultz, a former economics professor at Stanford, took it upon himself to educate the new Soviet leader. Shultz began by lecturing Gorbachev, as early as 1985, on the impossibility of a closed society being a prosperous society: "People must be free to express themselves, move around, emigrate and travel if they want to. . . . Otherwise they can't take advantage of the opportunities available. The Soviet economy will have to be radically changed to adapt to the new era." "You should take over the planning office here in Moscow," Gorbachev joked, "because you have more ideas than they have." In a way, this is what Shultz did. Over the next several years, he used his trips to that city to run tutorials for Gorbachev and his advisers, even bringing pie charts to the Kremlin to illustrate his argument that as long as it retained a command economy, the Soviet Union would fall further and further behind the rest of the developed world. Gorbachev was surprisingly receptive. He echoed some of Shultz's thinking in his 1987 book, Perestroika: "How can the economy advance," he asked, "if it creates preferential conditions for backward enterprises and penalizes the foremost ones?"
- John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2006), p. 233-234
- George left us at a moment when our national arguments are too often vindicated by passion rather than reason, by the debasement of the adversary rather than the uplifting of purposes. He also believed that if you were blessed with great gifts, you had a responsibility to apply yourself, and if you cared about your country, you had a duty to defend and improve it. He was skilled in presenting his convictions, but above all practiced the art of making controversy superfluous by encouraging mutual respect. Trust, George used to say, is the coin of the realm.
- When current events set us thinking about which former Washington policymaker might have something interesting to say about this story or that story, the name of George Shultz inevitably comes to mind.
- Robert Siegel, co-host of National Public Radio's news program All Things Considered, introducing Shultz prior to an interview which was broadcast on October 4, 2017.