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Thursday, November 16, 2006

 
Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

One of America's leading intellectuals died today. Here is the Cato Institute's obituary (link via Dan Drezner). Instapundit has links to other bloggage and to some Friedman videos.

On his 90th birthday in 2002, I posted a review of his book Free to Choose. In this post I quoted this Friedman remark (emphasis added):

And here the news may be good: By many accounts, even where inequality is increasing, poverty is on the decline. The 2002 UNDP Human Development report notes that the proportion of the world's people living in extreme poverty dropped from 29 percent in 1990 to 23 percent in 1999. Says Friedman, "If it's inequality you're worried about, the world is becoming a less good place. But if it's poverty you're worried about, while we still have a ways to go, the world is becoming a better place."

In this post I excerpted a Cato Institute article that captured one Republican's impression of Friedman's economic philosophy:

In 1980 Friedman broadened his audience further with the publication of a book, "Free to Choose," and an accompanying PBS television series. Millions of people watched "Free to Choose" and came to understand how markets work. One viewer, a young actor named Arnold Schwarzenegger, said in 1994: "In Austria I noticed that people would worry about when they would get their pension. In America, they would worry if they were going to meet their potential. Friedman's books explained to me how a dynamic capitalist system allows people to fulfill their dreams."

Condolences to Rose Friedman and the rest of his kin.

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