In Memorium: Milton Friedman

by Erin McCune on November 16, 2006

in Caught My Eye

Milton_friedman_nytimes_2

Milton Friedman, the Nobel prize winning economist, died today.

Statement from the Milton & Rose D Friedman foundation here.   
Excerpted from the The New York Times:

    Rarely, his colleagues said, did anyone have such impact on both his own profession and on government. Though he never served officially in the halls of power, he was always around them, as an adviser and theorist. In time, his influence was felt around the world.

    “His thinking has so permeated modern macroeconomics that the worst pitfall in reading him today is to fail to appreciate the originality and even revolutionary character of his ideas,” said Ben S. Bernanke, now chairman of the Federal Reserve,  in a speech honoring Mr. Friedman in 2003.

    …

    But he [Alan Greenspan] also said Mr. Friedman had made a broader political argument, which is at the heart of his classic book “Capitalism and Freedom”: that you have to have economic freedom in order to have political freedom.

    As a libertarian, Mr. Friedman advocated legalizing drugs and generally opposed public education and the state’s power to license doctors, automobile drivers and others. He was criticized for those views, but he stood by them, arguing that prohibiting, regulating or licensing human behavior either does not work or creates inefficient bureaucracies.

    Mr. Friedman insisted that unimpeded private competition produced better results than government systems. “Try talking French with someone who studied it in public school,” he argued, “then with a Berlitz graduate.”

    Once, when accused of going overboard in his anti-statism, he said, “In every generation, there’s got to be somebody who goes the whole way, and that’s why I believe as I do.”

November 16, 2006
Milton Friedman, a Leading Economist, Dies at 94
By HOLCOMB B. NOBLE
The New York Times

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