Cerebral Shangrila

Friday, November 17, 2006

Milton Friedman - An Obituary

The world has lost one of its foremost proponents of individual freedom and liberty. One of the greatest economists of the 20th century - Milton Friedman, died on Thursday in California,US.

Milton along with Ayn Rand has had a profound influence on my thoughts on freedom,capitalism and liberty. His books " free to choose" and "Capitalism and freedom" changed my understanding and perspective on the role of free markets and the inter-linkage between capitalism and individual freedom.

Milton was a man of towering intellect, fierce debating skills and an academic giant at Univ of Chaicago. His ability to convey the most complex ideas through simple prose was one of the reasons for his huge popularity. He started the wave of Nobel Prizes for the Chicago school, that was one of the firm adherents to the Adam Smithian school, that believed in free markets with very less government interference and control.

Milton - thanks for teaching me the value of liberty and freedom.

Here is a wonderful video of Milton explaining about the power of free markets by taking the example of a simple Pencil. The "Commanding heights" video on the Chicago School and Milton's influence.

Some Excerpts and tributes from the fourth estate :

Wall Street Journal on How Milton Friedman Changed Economics, Policy and Markets

New York Times pays homage to Milton.

From WSJ :

George Shultz, Reagan’s secretary of state and longtime friend, says Milton Friedman’s reputation as a debater intimidated his critics. The saying was, he says, “Everyone loves to argue with Milton, particularly when he isn’t there.”

Alan Greenspan, former Fed chairman, says of Friedman’s self-assuredness: “The famous joke was ‘I wish I could be as sure of anything as Milton is of everything.’ ”


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