William Greider, an editor and author known for a contrarian skepticism of prevailing political and economic policy in his writings at magazines, newspapers and books, died Dec. 25 at his home in Washington. He was 83.
Mr. Greider was the author of eight books with such anti-establishment-sounding titles as “Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country,” “Who Will Tell the People?: The Betrayal of American Democracy” and “One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism.”
He worked at The Washington Post from 1968 to 1982, as a reporter, then editor of the Outlook section and lastly as assistant managing editor for national news. He wrote about civil rights, labor issues, life on Indian reservations and economics.
But he may have been best known to the public in that period as the author of a 1981 piece in the Atlantic Monthly, a tell-all confession by President Ronald Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, of chaotic decision-making within the Office of Management and Budget and an admission by Stockman that “none of us really understands what is going on with all these numbers.”
The story drew wide public attention. The Washington Post wrote of the impact: “David Stockman opened a subliminal closet, and the skeleton of supply-side skepticism rattled forth. It was the first instance of publicly expressed self-doubt among the Reaganites, and it shook the country.”
Stockman was quoted in the media as saying he had been “taken to the woodshed” by Reagan administration superiors.