Happy birthday, Milton Friedman! Free market warriors remember their hero

The late Dr. Friedman would have been 101 years old today, and free marketeers are paying their respects:


Though Friedman passed away in 2006, he left a profound legacy:

Here’s just a taste of the wisdom he imparted to us:

Dr. Friedman himself was a rarity. A true champion of capitalism, personal responsibility, and liberty, his contributions to economics and to our American identity will never be forgotten.



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  • Maxx

    The straw that stirred the drink. “Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”

    He should be required reading in high school, long before universities begin their economic indoctrination of entitlement pollution.

  • WhoMeToo

    My Hero Worship ==> Dr.Milton Friedman 1912-2006

    • deano24

      All we’ve now is Mr. Thomas Sowell & Mr. Walter E. Williams. I love listening to Mr. Williams when he fills in for Mr Rush Limbaugh.

  • mickeyco

    And now we look to Matt Yglesias.

    • The Penguin

      Bizarro World ain’t it?

    • Jeremy

      Yeah and no one should look up to a moron like Yglesias.He doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

  • D-dubs

    Wish to God there were more professors in Academia like him. Sadly, it’s Marxist principles they are teaching now. Teach your kids about free markets now before they read about it only in history books.

  • arrow2010

    RIP Milton Friedman, you freed so many from the shackles of Communism.

  • The Penguin

    The fact that this is kind of a “non-topic” is a bit disheartening. RIP The Great Educator.

  • Moonbeam

    Milton Friedman: Father of the Tea Party?

    Milton Friedman would have turned 101 today. Would the Tea Party and “libertarian populists” make him proud?

    Today is the 101st anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth, and it will be widely celebrated among the vast number of Americans who march in Tea Parties and wear tricorn hats in public. He will be hailed by the vast number of “libertarian populists” now burgeoning within the Republican ranks. But the new “libertarian populism” is increasingly at odds with the possibility of a shared future.

    Libertarian populists love markets. One of their favorite proposals is privatization: If there is a problem, they look to markets to solve it. Milton Friedman wrote, “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” The statement fails to take into account that parties can only perceive potential benefits and, in the case of poor workers, may be unable to find the optimal market exchange. But there is a deeper problem.

    The problem is that markets, being amoral, are necessarily immoral. Markets are essentially utilitarian, they maximize “happiness,” and each individual is free to choose what makes him or her happy. But what happens when one man’s pleasure harms another? As E.F. Schumacher writes, “Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation to man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations: as long as you have not shown it to be ‘uneconomic’ you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow, and prosper.” That is, as long as companies can make money drilling into Canada’s tar sands, who are we to question them?

    Schumacher notes the core libertarian dilemma: “the market is the institutionalization of individualism and non-responsibility. Neither buyer nor seller is responsible for anything but himself.” But as a society, we want people to be free from slavish impulses and appetites and we want them to be responsible. We raise our children to love their country, to protect their environment, to aid their community. We tell them not to steal, never to hurt another human being and generally live in such a way that if everyone else also lived in that way, the world would be a better place. But, as G.A. Cohen notes, “the immediate motive to productive activity in a market society is (not always but) typically some mixture of greed and fear.” That is, upon taking on their first job, we tell our children, “throw away all that stuff we taught you; now all that matters is profit and loss.”