Heir of Adam Smith positively affected millions
We mourn the death of Milton Friedman, and celebrate his valour and his ideas, which made a modern case for the freedom and prosperity advocated by Adam Smith. His work was an uphill struggle against the dead hand of Keynesian economics.
Dr. Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute writes,
Of the professional economists of his generation, Milton Friedman stands out as the most conspicuous, persuasive and effective promoter of free markets and limited government. A leading representative of the Chicago School, his highly original restatement of the quantity theory of money gave foundation to his telling criticisms of the post-war Keynesian consensus and its interventionist attempts to manage employment, output, and exchange rates. This technical and professional work earned him the 1976 Nobel Prize. With his redoubtable wife Rose, he also co-wrote a number of popular books (and a television series), which engagingly expound the superiority of free markets and explore practical policy routes toward smaller government.
. . .The marketplace, in which people make daily decisions about dozens of goods and services, is far more efficient than the political ‘market’, in which we vote only rarely and for big policy packages. So, says Friedman, as many functions as possible should be delivered through the voluntary exchange system rather than through government. Yet there are limits to his libertarianism. He would still give government the roles of defense and policing, of enforcing contracts, protecting children and the mentally disabled, and providing public goods (such as roads) which are generally desired but not always provided by the market.
Like Adam Smith, whom we write about here, Friedman affected millions with his books. His Free to Choose, which he co-wrote with his wife Rose, has contributed to prosperity in the U.S. and the free countries of Eastern Europe.