Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman R.I.P.

So Milton Friedman has died. Being a full 94 years old, it was perhaps not unexpected.

Milton Friedman contributed with both bad ideas and good ideas. Among the bad ideas he promoted was his positivist view of the methodology of economics and his view that fluctuating fiat exchange rates was the ideal monetary system. And in the late 1990s he came out with a very un-monetarist call for Japan to sharply increase money supply growth.

But while he had his shortcomings he was still on the whole a positive force for liberty. I remember how impressed I was of his defence of free trade when reading his Free to Choose book. And he has had greater impact in pushing politicians and the general public in a libertarian direction than any other economist or other pundit. While voting for Bush in 2000, he later regretted it and criticized the Republicans for spending too much.

And how can one not like someone heckled at the nobel ceremony by some wacko leftist screaming hysterically "Stop capitalism!Long live the people of Chile!"?


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