November 16, 2006

Good Night, Uncle Miltie

Milton Friedman, economist, Nobel Laureate, and Patriot is dead at age 94.

Friedman offered blunt advice on subjects as personal as laws against prostitution (he saw them as incursions into individual choice) and as sweeping as the international system of relatively fixed exchange rates, which he sought to overturn and which did collapse in the early 1970s.

He became the human face of the influential "Chicago school" of economics, emphasizing the role of monetary policy, which affects interest rates, and the benefits of laissez-faire or free-market approaches to the economy.

Political leaders listened, granting almost unparalleled influence to a capitalist icon whose free-market emphasis had once seemed out of step with his times. The rise of Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher brought Friedman fans to seats of national power.

Later, some would see the inspiration of Friedman behind moves of former Soviet governments, the People's Republic of China and other nations to stake more of their future on a private sector.
Although he his best known for his theory of Monetarism, MIlton Friedman was a true Libertarian who believed in personal choice as a social and economic force.  He was a fierce advocate of legalizing drugs and prostitution as a deterrent to crime and a staunch advocate of school choice for elementary and high school students.  His adherence to personal choice more than once put him on the wrong side of the fence with his closest political allies, including President Ronald Reagan.

More on Mr. Friedman here.

And, like he needs MORE linkage, but Insty has a nice round up with links to some writings and several interviews with Dr. Friedman. Also, Steven Leavitt (yes, that one) has some thoughts up at the Freakonomics blog.

Posted by caltechgirl at November 16, 2006 02:21 PM | TrackBack


Posted by: Thomas Warlock at November 16, 2006 06:41 PM

A brilliant man, he'll be greatly missed. I don't remember if I've read any of his books - it's possible I did years ago. I've heard him interviewed on the radio and on television. I've seen articles written by him. I think I really should get at least one of his books.

Rest in Peace Milton.

Posted by: Teresa at November 16, 2006 09:12 PM

Prostitution is another professional service and should be legalized. If it was legalized there would not be this sex crimes and freak behavior.
I simoply the basic hypocrisy of the society that does not want to admit the truth.

Posted by: panda at November 17, 2006 06:22 AM