Today, Tuesday, July 31, 2012 is Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday. Dr. Friedman, who died in 2006 at age 94, was the first and arguably the premier macroeconomist in favor of free enterprise. He was (and still is) one of the most influential figures in American thought. He swam against the tide. His academic peers worshiped the role of government in influencing our economic well being. Friedman rejected that. And he was right! His 1976 award was the first Nobel in economics given to a free-market thinker.
To quote Willi Schlaff, the German political scientist in the 1930’s,
“The thing that’s wrong with socialism is socialism.
The thing that’s wrong with capitalism is capitalists!”
Simply put, capitalism has done more for the common person than any other system of economics known to mankind. We just need more honest capitalists. Socialism itself is bereft of virtue.
Bucking his socialist foes, Friedman bravely smiled his way through debates, confounding his adversaries, and never letting a beam of “light”, no matter how small, shine on socialism’s sophistry. For an interesting example, go to YouTube and search on Friedman. Some of the clips with left-of-center commentator, Phil Donahue, like this one, are as entertaining as enlightening.
Friedman’s last years were devoted to freedom of choice in education. He said, “We allow the market, consumer choice, and competition to work in nearly every industry except the one that may matter most: education.”
Milton Friedman’s principles of free market economics have helped raise over 200 million from poverty since he began his life’s work. Now there’s a deserving Nobel laureate.