George Pratt Shultz (born December 13, 1920) is an American economist, statesman, and businessman. He served as the United States Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970, as the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1970 to 1972, as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1972 to 1974, and as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989. Before entering politics, he had been professor of economics at MIT and the University of Chicago, serving as Dean of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business from 1962 to 1969. Between 1974 and 1982, Shultz was an executive at Bechtel, eventually fitting the firm's president. He is currently the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Early life and education
George Shultz began life in New York City, the only child of Margaret Lennox (née Pratt) and Birl Earl Shultz. His great-grandfather, an immigrant from Germany in the middle of the nineteenth century, changed the spelling of his surname to Shultz as Americanized form of the original Schultz. Contrary to common assumption, Shultz isn't a member of the English American Pratt family associated with John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Trust. He grew up in Englewood, New Jersey.
In 1938, Shultz graduated from the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. He earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude, at Princeton University, in economics with a minor in public and international affairs. His senior thesis examined the Tennessee Valley Authority's effect on local agriculture, for which he conducted on-site research. Shultz graduated with honours in 1942.
Shultz was on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps 1942–1945. He had been an artillery officer, attaining the rank of Captain. He had been detached to the U.S. Army 81st Infantry Division throughout the Battle of Angaur (Battle of Peleliu).
He taught in both the MIT Department of Economics and the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1948 to 1957, with a leave of absence in 1955 to serve on President Dwight Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers as a senior staff economist. In 1957, Shultz joined the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business as professor of industrial relations. Later, he had been named dean in 1962. While at Chicago, he had been influenced by Nobel laureates Milton Friedman and George Stigler, who reinforced Shultz's view of the importance of a free-market economy.
Secretary of Labor
Shultz was President Richard Nixon's secretary of labour from 1969 to 1970. He soon faced the crisis of the Longshoremen's Union strike. The Lyndon B. Johnson Administration's had delayed it with a Taft Hartley injunction that now expired, and the press pressed him to describe his approach. In fact, he applied the theory he had developed in academia: he let the parties work it out, which they did quickly. He imposed the Philadelphia Plan requiring Pennsylvania construction unions, which refused to accept black members, to admit a certain number of blacks by an enforced deadline. This marked the first use of racial quotas in the federal government.
Shultz was Nixon's unofficial ambassador to the AFL-CIO.
Office of Management and Budget
Secretary of the Treasury
He was United States Secretary of the Treasury from June 1972 to May 1974. Throughout his tenure, Shultz was concerned with two major issues: the continuing domestic administration of Nixon's "New Economic Policy," begun under Secretary John Connally (Shultz privately opposed its three elements), and a renewed dollar crisis that broke out in February 1973.
Domestically Shultz enacted the next phase of the NEP, lifting price controls begun in 1971. This phase was a failure, resulting in high inflation, and price freezes were reestablished five months later.
Meanwhile, Shultz's attention was increasingly diverted from the domestic economy to the international arena. He participated in an international monetary conference in Paris in 1973, which grew out of the 1971 decision to abolish the gold standard, a decision that Shultz and Paul Volcker had supported (see Nixon Shock). The conference formally abolished the Bretton Woods system, thereby causing all currencies to float. Throughout this period Shultz co-founded the "Library Group," which became the G7. Shultz resigned shortly before Nixon to return to private life.
Secretary of State for Reagan
On July 16, 1982, he had been appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as the sixtieth U.S. Secretary of State, replacing Alexander Haig, who had resigned. Shultz would serve for six and a half years – the longest tenure after Dean Rusk.
Shultz relied primarily on the Foreign Service to formulate and implement Reagan’s foreign policy. By the summer of 1985, Shultz had personally selected most of the senior officials in the Department, emphasising professional over political credentials in the process. The Foreign Service responded in kind by giving Shultz its "complete support," making him the most popular Secretary after Dean Acheson and, along with Acheson and George Marshall, one of the most admired Secretaries in the twentieth century. Shultz's success came from not only the respect he earned from the bureaucracy but the strong relationship he forged with Reagan, who trusted him completely.
Relations with China
Shultz inherited negotiations with China over Taiwan from his predecessor. Under the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States was obligated to assist in Taiwan's defense, which included the sale of arms. The Administration debate on Taiwan, especially over the sale of military aircraft, resulted in a crisis in relations with China, which was alleviated only in August 1982, when, after months of arduous negotiations, the United States and China issued a joint communiqué on Taiwan in which the United States agreed to limit arms sales and China agreed to seek a "peaceful solution."
Relations with Europe and the Soviet Union
By the summer of 1982, relations were strained not only between Washington and Moscow but additionally between Washington and key capitals in Western Europe. In response to the imposition of martial law in Poland the previous December, the Reagan administration had imposed sanctions on a pipeline between West Germany and the Soviet Union. European leaders vigorously protested sanctions that damaged their interests but not U.S. interests in grain sales to the Soviet Union. Shultz resolved this "poisonous problem" in December 1982, when the United States agreed to abandon sanctions against the pipeline, and the Europeans agreed to adopt stricter controls on strategic trade with the Soviets.
A more controversial issue was the NATO Ministers’ 1979 "dual track" decision: if the Soviets refused to remove their SS-20 medium range ballistic missiles within four years, then the Allies would deploy a countervailing force of cruise and Pershing II missiles in Western Europe. When negotiations on these intermediate nuclear forces (INF) stalled, 1983 became a year of the protest. Shultz and additional Western leaders worked hard to maintain allied unity amidst popular anti-nuclear demonstrations in Europe and United States. In spite of Western protests and Soviet propaganda, the allies began deployment of the missiles as scheduled in November 1983.
US-Soviet tensions were raised by the announcement in March 1983 of the Strategic Defense Initiative, and exacerbated by the Soviet shoot-down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 near Moneron Island on September 1. Tensions reached a height with the Able Archer 83 exercises in November 1983, throughout which the Soviets feared a pre-emptive American attack.
Following the missile deployment and the exercises, both Shultz and Reagan resolved to seek further dialogue with the Soviets.
When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985, Shultz advocated that Reagan pursue a personal dialogue with him. Reagan gradually changed his perception of Gorbachev's strategic intentions in 1987, when the two leaders signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The treaty, which eliminated an entire class of missiles in Europe, was a milestone in the history of the Cold War. Although Gorbachev took the initiative, Reagan was well prepared by the State Department to adopt a policy of negotiations.
Two more events in 1988 persuaded Shultz that Soviet intentions were changing. First, the Soviet Union's initial withdrawal from Afghanistan indicated that the Brezhnev Doctrine was dead. "If the Soviets left Afghanistan, the Brezhnev Doctrine would be breached, and the principle of 'never letting go' would be violated," Shultz reasoned. The second event, according to Keren Yarhi-Milo of Princeton University, happened throughout the nineteenth Communist Party Conference, "at which Gorbachev proposed major domestic reforms like the establishment of competitive elections with secret ballots; term limits for elected officials; separation of powers with an independent judiciary; and provisions for freedom of speech, assembly, conscience, and the press." The proposals indicated that Gorbachev was making revolutionary and irreversible changes.
Middle East diplomacy
In response to the escalating violence of the Lebanese civil war, Reagan sent a Marine contingent to protect the Palestinian refugee camps and support the Lebanese Government. The October 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut killed 241 U.S. servicemen, after which the deployment came to an ignominious end. Shultz subsequently negotiated an agreement between Israel and Lebanon and convinced Israel to start a partial withdrawal of its troops in January 1985 notwithstanding Lebanon’s contravention of the settlement.
During the First Intifada (see Arab-Israeli conflict), Shultz "proposed ... an international convention in April 1988 ... on an interim autonomy agreement for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to be implemented as of October for a three-year period". By December 1988, following six months of shuttle diplomacy, Shultz had established a diplomatic dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was picked up by the next Administration.
Shultz was well known for outspoken opposition to the "arms for hostages" scandal that would eventually become the Iran Contra situation. In a 1983 testimony before the U.S. Congress, he said that the Sandinista government in Nicaragua was "a cancer in our own land mass", that must be "cut out". He had been additionally opposed to any negotiation with the government of Daniel Ortega: "Negotiations are a euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power isn't cast across the bargaining table."
George Shultz left office on January 20, 1989. He had been an advisor for George W. Bush's presidential campaign throughout the 2000 election, and senior member of the so-called "Vulcans", a group of policy mentors for Bush which additionally included Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleezza Rice. One of his most senior advisors and confidants is former ambassador Charles Hill, who holds dual positions at the Hoover Institution and Yale University. Shultz has been called the father of the "Bush Doctrine", because of his advocacy of preventive war. He generally defends the Bush administration's foreign policy.
After leaving public office in 1989, Shultz became the first prominent Republican to call for the legalisation of recreational drugs. He went on to add his signature to an advertisement, published in The New York Times on June 8, 1998, entitled "We believe the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." In 2011, he had been part of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which called for a public health and harm reduction approach towards drug use, alongside additional luminaries like Kofi Annan, Paul Volcker, and George Papandreou.
In April 1998, Shultz hosted a meeting at which George W. Bush discussed his views with policy experts including Michael Boskin, John Taylor and Condoleezza Rice, who were evaluating possible Republican candidates to run for President in 2000. At the end of the meeting, the group felt they could support a Bush candidacy, and Shultz encouraged him to enter the race.
He additionally has spoken against the Cuban embargo, calling the policy towards Cuba "insane". He has argued that free trade would help bring down Fidel Castro's regime and that the embargo only helps justify the continued repression in the island.
In August 2003, Shultz was named co-chair (along with Warren Buffett) of California's Economic Recovery Council, an advisory group to the campaign of California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On January 5, 2006, he participated in a meeting at the White House of former Secretaries of Defense and State, to discuss United States foreign policy with Bush administration officials.
On January 15, 2008, Shultz co-authored an opinion paper published in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Toward a Nuclear-Free World". His co-authors were William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn and they called upon governments to embrace the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. The four have created the Nuclear Security Project to advance this agenda. Nunn reinforced that agenda throughout a speech at the Harvard Kennedy School on October 21, 2008, saying, "I’m much more concerned about a terrorist without a return address that can't be deterred than I'm about deliberate war between nuclear powers. You can’t deter a group who's willing to commit suicide. We are in a different era. You have to understand the world has changed." In 2010, the four were featured in a documentary film entitled "Nuclear Tipping Point". The film is a visual and historical depiction of the ideas laid forth in the Wall Street Journal op-eds and reinforces their commitment to a world without nuclear weapons and the steps that can be taken to reach that goal.
On January 11, 2011 Shultz wrote a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to pardon Jonathan Pollard. He stated, "I am impressed that the people who're best informed about the classified material Pollard passed to Israel, former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis DeConcini, favour his release". He continued to state, that former Attorney General Michael Mukasey of the Bush administration was particularly compelling in advocating the release of Jonathan Pollard.
On September 30, 2014, Shultz returned to MIT (where he earned a PhD in economics and then taught as an economics professor) to give a talk discussing the policies he favours to address climate change. In the talk Shultz urged the adoption of a revenue-neutral carbon tax, increased government funding of renewable energy research, and additional efforts to persuade his fellow Republicans in the U.S. Congress of the need for action on the climate change issue.
Shultz is the chairman of JPMorgan Chase's International Advisory Council and an honorary director of the Institute for International Economics. He is a member of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) Board of Advisors, the New Atlantic Initiative, the prestigious Mandalay Camp at the Bohemian Grove, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, and the Committee on the Present Danger. Shultz additionally serves as an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America. He is honorary chairman of the Israel Democracy Institute. Shultz formerly served on the board of directors for the Bechtel Corporation, Charles Schwab Corporation, and was a member of the board of directors of Gilead Sciences from January 1996 to December 2005. He is currently a co-chairman of the North American Forum and additionally serves on the board for Accretive Health. He is a board member of Theranos, a Silicon Valley biotech company.
While serving with the Marines in Hawaii, he met military nurse lieutenant Helena Maria O'Brien (1915–1995). They married on February 16, 1946, and had five children (Margaret Ann, Kathleen Pratt Shultz Jorgensen, Peter Milton, Barbara Lennox Shultz White, Alexander George).
In 1997, two years after the death of his first wife, Helena (who passed away of pancreatic cancer), Shultz married Charlotte Mailliard Swig, a prominent San Francisco philanthropist and socialite.
Honors and prizes
- 2001 – Eisenhower Medal for Leadership.
- 2000 – Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.
- 1996 – Koret Prize.
- 1992 – Seoul Peace Prize (Korea).
- 1992 – United States Military Academy, Sylvanus Thayer Award.
- 1989 – Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- 1989 – Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers, Grand Cordon (Japan).
- 1986 – Freedoms Foundation, George Washington Medal.
- 1986 – U.S. Senator John Heinz Award (Jefferson Awards) For Public Service.
- 1970 – Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Honorary degrees have been conferred from the universities of Columbia, Notre Dame, Loyola, Pennsylvania, Rochester, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, City University of New York, Yeshiva, Northwestern, Technion, Tel Aviv, Weizmann Institute of Science, Baruch College of New York, Williams College, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tbilisi State University in the Republic of Georgia, and Keio University in Tokyo.
- Shultz, George P. and Goodby, James E. The War that Must Never be Fought, Hoover Press, ISBN 978-0-8179-1845-3, 2015.
- Shultz, George P. and Shoven, John B. Putting Our House in Order: A Guide to Social Security and Health Care Reform. New York: W. W. Norton, 2008
- Shultz, George P. Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State, New York: Scribner's 1993.
- Pressures on Wage Decisions: A Case Study in the Shoe Industry, Wiley (New York, NY), 1951.
- (With Charles Andrew Myers) The Dynamics of a Labor Market: A Study of the Impact of Employment Changes on Labor Mobility, Job Satisfaction, and Company and Union Policies, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1951.
- (Editor, with John R. Coleman) Labor Problems: Cases and Readings, McGraw (New York, NY), 1953.
- (Editor, with Thomas Whisler) Management Organization and the Computer, Free Press (New York, NY), 1960.
- (Editor and author of introduction, with Robert Z. Aliber) Guidelines, Informal Controls, and the Market Place: Policy Choices in a Full Employment Economy, University of Chicago Press (Chicago), 1966.
- (With Arnold R. Weber) Strategies for the Displaced Worker: Confronting Economic Change, Harper (New York, NY), 1966.
- (With Albert Rees) Workers and Wages in an Urban Labor Market, University of Chicago Press, 1970.
- Leaders and Followers in an Age of Ambiguity, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1975.
- (With Kenneth W. Dam) Economic Policy beyond the Headlines, Stanford Alumni Association, 1977.
- Risk, Uncertainty, and Foreign Economic Policy, D. Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies, 1981.
- The U.S. and Central America: Implementing the National Bipartisan Commission Report: Report to the President from the Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State (Washington, DC), 1986.
- U.S. Policy and the Dynamism of the Pacific; Sharing the Challenges of Success, East-West Center (Honolulu), Pacific Forum, and the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, 1988.
- Economics in Action: Ideas, Institutions, Policies, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University, 1995.