Thursday, November 16, 2006

Goodbye Uncle Milt

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

In college, my economics buddies referred affectionately to Milton Friedman as "Uncle Milt." We read his books and watched his videos in several different classes. He was among the giants of explaining why the free market is the superior method of distributing resources. He passed away today.

"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."

From The Best of the Web:

Milton Friedman, RIP. Word reached us this morning that Milton Friedman has died. Friedman, who won the Nobel Prize in Ecnomics in 1976, was a giant in free-market economics--and freedom more generally--and a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal. Just last month he penned an op-ed lamenting Hong Kong's departure from laissez-faire economics. Back in July Tunku Varadarajan published a charming interview with Friedman and his wife, Rose. Milton Friedman was 94.

"Most economic fallacies derive - from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another."

You can read more about him in his Wikipedia entry.

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."

Better yet, go to the Friedman Foundation and help in one of his projects, the promotion of school choice to improve K-12 education. This is one of his causes that I whole-heartedly support.

"The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both."

This personal tribute to Dr. Friedman is worth reading.

"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."

Finally, if you want your kids educated in economics, they need to read his books and watch his videos. His Free to Choose project resulted in a PBS TV show and a book. Order the videos here. Buy some books here.

Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.

Have a high school graduate coming up in the spring? This is the best gift you could give him or her.

The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.

God bless you, Uncle Milt. You will be missed. Especially by those that love freedom.

The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system.


At 12:18 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

The best comment I saw on this was over at RWN late last nite. I thought of you immediately, KJ.

I put him up there with Aristotle, Mozart, Shakespeare, and the rest.

Vizzini: "You've heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? Morons!"

He will be greatly missed.


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