Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth

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MetroplexJim
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Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth - Wed, 08/1/12 2:14 PM
Not generally given to "hero worship", I have only two autographed photos in my office; one was given me by Milton Friedman in 1975.  I am privileged to have been a student of his. 
 
Just as the writings of John Maynard Keynes dominated economic thought in the first half of the 20th. Century, Friedman's work dominated the latter half and continues today to influence any number of matters both great and small.
 
Sadly, it is not common for great economists also to be great teachers and communicators.  Happily, Friedman was a glowing exception.  Here, he uses a simple pencil to illustrate how markets and prices work; enjoy!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ERbC7JyCfU

easydoesit
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Re:Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth - Wed, 08/1/12 2:50 PM
Thanks, Jim.   This guy and his common sense was a major influence on me and many others, about what will work, and what won't work, and why. 

SeamusD
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Re:Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth - Wed, 08/1/12 5:30 PM
Probably him and Thomas Sowell are two standouts for me whose knowledge of economics I never get tired of reading about, or watching interviews/debates with them. It can be a complex subject, but they could/can break it down in a manner in which even an average Joe like me could understand!

CCinNJ
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Re:Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth - Wed, 08/1/12 7:53 PM
He was an excellent speaker who knew how to capture and hold the attention of an audience...without the feeling of being held hostage.

MetroplexJim
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Re:Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth - Wed, 08/1/12 8:31 PM
SeamusD


Probably him and Thomas Sowell are two standouts for me whose knowledge of economics I never get tired of reading about, or watching interviews/debates with them. It can be a complex subject, but they could/can break it down in a manner in which even an average Joe like me could understand!


Indeed, Thomas Sowell has that gift.  My former colleague, Walter E. Williams does as well.  I highly admire both those gentlemen.  Every now and then Walter does a "guest host" gig on national radio and usually has Dr. Sowell as a guest.  What entertaining and enlightening conversations these gentlemen have.  As CNN is down in the ratings, here's an idea:  give these two an hour in primetime.  It would be #1 in a heartbeat!

Foodbme
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Re:Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth - Thu, 08/2/12 5:24 AM
While Sowell & Williams are excellent, I don't think they have the ability to rise to the level of public awareness that Friedman had.
"The Philosophy" needs a new high profile Champion to reach the general public and have an impact on business and government like Friedman did.
Sowell & Williams tend to Preach to the Choir.
We need a high profile, "Economic Billy Graham" and I don't know who that's going to be.
Do You????? 
<message edited by Foodbme on Thu, 08/2/12 5:25 AM>

Tampico
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Re:Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth - Thu, 08/2/12 6:19 AM
I think the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem and very often makes the problem worse.
He had some great quotes as well.
<message edited by Tampico on Thu, 08/2/12 6:39 AM>

MetroplexJim
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Re:Celebrating the centennial of Milton Friedman's birth - Thu, 08/2/12 10:37 AM
Foodbme


While Sowell & Williams are excellent, I don't think they have the ability to rise to the level of public awareness that Friedman had.
"The Philosophy" needs a new high profile Champion to reach the general public and have an impact on business and government like Friedman did.
Sowell & Williams tend to Preach to the Choir.
We need a high profile, "Economic Billy Graham" and I don't know who that's going to be.
Do You????? 


Yes, I agree.
 
I didn't mention this as some might think it a "swipe" at Messrs. Sowell and Williams, but even they would agree that they are not economists of the rank of the magnificent Friedman whose brilliantly original technical work led to his being awarded the second Nobel Prize ever given for the Economic Sciences. 
 
Paul Samuelson received the first for his Foundations of Economic Analysis (not to be confused with his famous textbook!) which revolutionized the methods of economics.  Friedman's masterwork, A Monetary History of the U.S., revolutionized the understanding of the macroeconomy.  It should be noted that Samuelson's masterwork preceded Friedman's by about a decade.
 
BTW:  the great Lord Keynes said shortly before his death "I am not a "Keynesian"!  Friedman and Keynes are, in error, often thought of as philosophical opponents.  That is simply not the case.  In fact, I use this quote from Keynes under my e-mail "signature":
 
"The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens". 
                                             --John Maynard Keynes
 
Friedman (and Sowell & Williams) would be first to agree!