To me economics, like many things in life, is all about unbiased observations, unprejudiced perceptions, doing away with defensive statistical justifications, cutting off camouflaging irrelevant logical fallacies, chaffing off bombastic jargons, curtailing the instinct to churn out untested or untestable theories and instead engage in interpretations of all the observed facts uninfluenced by any ideological affiliations taking into consideration various factors that impact and/or involved in these facts appropriate to the context and relevant to the region.
By applying these criteria, I feel Julian L.Simon as one among the many great economists.
Don’t miss to read some parts with summaries of some chapters of one of his work THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE , of course, culled from the internet
Unfortunately our information input and subconsciously opinion molding is both done by these popular media houses who too suffer from selective amnesia and collective indifference. Let us not fall a prey to that. You may also read of relevance to the last 4 points
Edward Tenner: Unintended consequences
and Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Statistics