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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman R.I.P.

It is a sad day for free-marketeers, but we should celebrate, not mourn, the life and tremendous contributions of the Nobel Prize winning economist. Thank God we had Milton Friedman when we did. FoxNews story here, or a better story at Forbes.

(Forbes states, ". . . died Thursday in San Francisco at age 94. The cause wasn't immediately known." Hello. He was 94.)

The Chicago Tribune has a good, in depth article about Friedman, his ideas, and contributions:

Taxes, he said, should be cut and simplified. Society benefits when personal choice reigns supreme.

In the 1960s, he argued that personal retirement accounts made more sense than a mandatory system of Social Security . . .


Similarly, he contended that parents should be allowed to choose what schools their children attend . . .

"Why do America's universities have a greater reputation around the world than its public schools?" he once asked aloud. 'You have choice. That makes all the difference in the world.
In particular, he was moved by an economics professor named Friedrich Hayek, whose intellectual attacks on socialism galvanized a small group of true-believers under the banner of "liberalism."

At the time, mainstream Democrats and Republicans assumed the federal government would retain a huge, ambitious role throughout society, serving as an equalizer for the disadvantaged and softening the sharp edges of a Darwinian marketplace.

It is unfortunate that, for all the knowledge Friedman bestowed upon us, very little has changed politically.