possibly the greatest thinker of his time......
and we forget.
I pray for the resurgence of his wisdom in the minds and hearts of present day americans.
So Friedman lovers;
Milton Friedman changed the world. The University of Chicago professor touted floating exchange rates, an end to wage-and-price controls, legalization of private gold ownership, dramatic tax reductions, and an end to conscription. And all of these things came to pass.
And what a wonderful economy we have as a result
Some balance please..
We have traversed the road to serfdom. It has been a lot of fun.
Nice piece. Friedman's genius was unarguable, and his speeches/talks were marvelous as well.
flow5: why was Friedman "the worst economist to ever get a Ph.D?
Milton Friedman was the worst economists to ever get a Ph.D.
COULD WE ALSO REMEMBER some break0through work of "THe AUstrian School" - still not being taught in AMerican public higher educational institutions?
Were it not for the work of the late Hillsdale College President George Roche & a quality paperback series still available from the Hillsdale Bookstore = von Mises, et al would not be known in this country - however limited their mention in current classrooms.
Tenured faculty IN ECONOMICS & the SOCIAL SCIENCES at the University of NV/Reno, when asked about "The Austrian School" still reply: "Who were they"? -30-
I shall always remember Mr. Friedman as an elementally persuasive
and lucid presenter of the choices we are all free to make, or in his
own words, "Free to Choose". They boiled down to the basic premise
that short range solutions are too seductive and the long range
alternative has a special appeal to the intellectually confounded. As
Keynes excused himself, 'In the long term we shall all be dead',
neglecting the fact that his children will not be, as ours shall learn.
"Theory is to be judged by its predictive power."
If only today's theory-driven politicians had listened to, learned and applied that lesson.
Celebrity, gifted prophet or Conservative icon, we should remember that all economists, including Freidman, are simply trained sociologists possessing advanced math skills. Their predictions are often wrong, their recommended policies frequently conflict with and contradict each other and their understanding of human nature is flawed at a fundamental level - which for any practicing sociologist can be a serious handicap. People invariably vote their emotions, their prejudices and their fears far more often than their common sense.
Are the majority of citizens essentially rational as economists stubbornly claim or are citizens essentially irrational with only occasional flashes of rationality? Economists must come down squarely on the side of the essentially rational citizen – otherwise their vaunted mathematical models are useless. Conversely, Anthropologists, those sociologists possessing minimal math skills, know that human tribes almost always include shamans among their ranks in order to divine the future and partially alleviate the ever present anxieties of the social group. Today’s shamans use computers rather than feathered rattles or chicken bones to calculate prediction curves but their societal role is no less an esoteric art rather than a functioning science. Witch doctors come in all guises nowadays and some are even honored with Nobel prizes and write for the New York Times.
Wow......this is a most excellent piece with some wonderful words of wisdom! Thank you Daniel for writing and sharing these reflections on Mr. Friedman.