One of the outstanding young thinkers of classical liberalism died December 12 in Redwood City, California, after a valiant battle with liver cancer.
Phil Salin, 41, was a UCLA graduate in economics with an MBA from Stanford. Some of his early work on telecommunications policy helped to lay the basis for the breakup of AT&T and the deregulation of this vital field.
In the 1980s he was a co-founder and first president of ARC Technologies, one of the first private space launch companies (and the first one to successfully launch its own rocket). His research (some of it sponsored and published by the Reason Foundation) on the cost of the space shuttle forced NASA to admit its true cost and helped lead to the Reagan administration's post-Challenger decision to abandon NASA's monopoly on launches.
More recently, Phil's interest turned to information and software services. He founded and was president of American Information Exchange (AMIX) Corp., a pioneering information-services company inspired in part by F. A. Hayek's idea of spontaneous order. AMIX is now a subsidiary of Autodesk Inc.
Phil Salin was one of a kind. We have lost one of this generation's finest minds as well as a warm, wonderful human being.