Happy 100th Birthday, Uncle Miltie!
Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Milton Friedman, the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics, was born on this day in 1912 and is probably the most influential economist of the 20th century. His work provided an intellectual foundation for the policies supported by the Reagan administration and British Prime Minister Thatcher’s government. He was a fierce advocate for school choice, which the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice continues to promote.
There are millions of people throughout the world who, even though they have never read Free to Choose, are benefitting from an improvement of living standards from the implementation of Friedman’s theories.
In the era of bailouts, QE2, and stimilus packages, Friedman’s work is more important today than ever. As a pragmatic libertarian, Friedman used impirical evidence to attack the war on drugs, the “spending multiplier,” “consumption functions,” and the Phillips curve- which falsely claimed there was an enduring functional and enuring relationship between the rate of price inflation and the level of unemployment. He famously proved that in the long run, unemployment returns to its normal rate regardless of the rate of inflation, which is a truth President Obama outright rejects still today.
With a brilliant use of a pencil, Friedman showed how, without central planning, entrepreneurs and workers from around the world come together to produce just the right amount of materials for production:
Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman!