RIP Milton Friedman

Milton Friendman, leading economist, free-market proponent, Nobel prize laureate, died today at 94.

He predicted the staglation of the 70’s and argued that the Great Depression was exacerbated by the government’s contraction of the money supply.

Friedman believed free markets lead to free people.

As seen in the clip above, Friedman was no fan of tariffs as he felt they imposed artificial restraints on consumer choice.

You can also thank him for developing the withholding tax, as well as the earned income tax credit. — BEN POPKEN

Milton Friedman NYT obit.

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  1. goaway147 says:

    Giving credit to Republican ideals? Huh.

  2. notlazyjustdontcare says:

    With only the invisible hand of the market controlling things, we’d have just one chain of retail stores and just one computer software company. Where’s the consumer choice?

  3. One has to admire Friedman’s intelligence, straightforwardness, and honesty, in contrast to the conservatives who lay claim to his work. He was the standard-bearer for libertarianism, both social and economic–Friedman even advocated the legalization of drugs and prostitution, because he didn’t think it was the government’s business to make decisions for adults.

    His death is a big loss to small-l liberals of all political stripes.

  4. Yep says:

    Hear that? Put up or shut up Don.

    Not bad for a guy named Milton.

  5. yonation says:

    from http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/richard_adams/2006/11/

    And Friedman’s one success? In 1942, during world war two, Friedman actually went to work for the US government. While there he helped design the payroll tax that in Britain is known as PAYE, Pay As You Earn, and in the US as withholding tax, the system that allows the government to administer the taking of income tax directly from salaries and pay packets. Unlike everything else he argued for, withholding tax was withstood the test of time and is in use all around the world. It was the best thing that Keynesian-style government could ever have wished for, and Friedman bitterly regretted it. In his memoirs he wrote:

    “It never occurred to me at the time that I was helping to develop machinery that would make possible a government that I would come to criticize severely as too large, too intrusive, too destructive of freedom. Yet, that is precisely what I was doing. [My wife] Rose has repeatedly chided me over the years about the role that I played in making possible the current overgrown government we both criticize so strongly.”

    Rest in peace Milton Friedman, big government’s best friend.

  6. NeonCat says:

    notlazyjustdontcare says:

    With only the invisible hand of the market controlling things, we’d have just one chain of retail stores and just one computer software company. Where’s the consumer choice?


    I’m not sure how you figure that. I was unaware that anyone in government had forced Montgomery Ward, Treasure Island, Woolco and Woolworth’s to stay open when they were losing so much money and went out of business.

    At one time A&P had a virtual monopoly of the grocery store business. They got arrogant, inefficient, and new competitors with better, more efficient business models came along. When monopolies become entrenched, it is only with government collusion. There’s always someone fresher, nimbler coming along. Never underestimate the power of two guys in a garage or a shed to come along and change the world.

  7. pronell says:

    I’d argue that exclusive contracts can replace government collusion. I’d seriously doubt that WalMart will continue to do business with any manufacturer that refuses to give them a better price than any of their other contracts. If you’ve got a monster in the market place that can negotiate the best prices simply _because_ they’re the monster, how can anyone manage to compete? Start with a large fortune?