Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman has died today at the age of 94. One of the most influential economists of the last century, Friedman wrote numerous books on a wide array of topics, but focused mostly on political and economic freedom. In the grand tradition of past American intellectual writers like Jefferson, Franklin, Emerson, and Whitman (to name a few), Friedman was unabashedly vociferous about freedom's singular purpose as the ultimate human value.
As an economist, Friedman was best known for explaining the role of the money supply within economies and on inflation. He also played a role in developing the theory that a regulatory tradeoff between lower unemployment and higher inflation isn't possible, and that such efforts ultimately result in the same or higher levels of both. This view is still widely held today.
Here are a few articles covering Mr. Friedman's life, his work, and his beliefs:
Complete Coverage on Milton Friedman and His Life at The Wall Street Journal
Milton Friedman: In His Own Words
By Milton Friedman, The Wall Street Journal
Milton Friedman, Economist, Dies Aged 94
By Samuel Brittan, The Financial Times
And we leave you today with a few of our favorite Friedman quotes . . . .
"The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom."
"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
"The power to do good is also the power to do harm."
"Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good
intentions of those who create it."
"I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible."
"Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government."
"Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property."