Milton Friedman on economics

As my brother said today on his show, today would have been Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday.  He passed away in 2006.  He won the Nobel Prize in economics for 1976, 200 years after our country began.  He believed firmly in the economic principles of our founding. 

I could no more do justice to his economic brilliance than I could explaining the fundamental principles of nuclear fusion.  So, please read the entire article.

But, I will give you some excerpts.

In discussing the principles of Keynesianism…i.e. if the government spends $1 that dollar becomes something more than $1 to the economy (the “multiplier effect”),

[i]n the 1960s, Friedman famously explained that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” If the government spends a dollar, that dollar has to come from producers and workers in the private economy. There is no magical “multiplier effect” by taking from productive Peter and giving to unproductive Paul. As obvious as that insight seems, it keeps being put to the test.


While he questioned almost every statist orthodoxy, he fearlessly gored sacred cows of both political parties. He was the first scholar to sound the alarm on the rotten deal of Social Security for young workers—forced to pay into a system that will never give back as much as they could have accumulated on their own.

But, this is one of my favorites.

He loved turning the intellectual tables on liberals by making the case that regulation often does more harm than good. His favorite example was the Food and Drug Administration, whose regulations routinely delay the introduction of lifesaving drugs. ‘When the FDA boasts a new drug will save 10,000 lives a year,’ he would ask, ‘how many lives were lost because it didn’t let the drug on the market last year?’

Please read the entire article, and, yes, the above link will let you do so.  It explains so much about Dr. Friedman and what we call the Chicago school of economics, as compared to the Keynesian school of economics that has permeated this administration.

But, let me leave you with this,

 [w]ell over 200 million were liberated from poverty thanks to the rediscovery of the free market. And now as the world teeters close to another recession, leaders need to urgently rediscover Friedman’s ideas.

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The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. Dimsdale on August 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Friedman believed power belonged with the people, Keynes believed that power belonged with government.
    It is pretty easy to see why liberal statists like ?bama love Keynes.
    Friedman is very readable and filled with commonsense.? Read “Free to Choose” or any of the other texts and find out why liberals are simply wrong in their economic views, assuming you want good things to happen to the U.S., of course.

  2. Linda Mae on August 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Barb- Rush played the interview with Donahue – discussed greed.? I’ll send a copy to Jim.

  3. JBS on August 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Friedman would probably ask liberals just how many trillions of dollars must the they squander before they learn. Spending a dollar confiscated from producers is not the way to stimulate the economy.
    Friedman will continue to be largely ignored by the media because his economic views do not fit their narrative.
    The LSM , as a whole — or, is it hole, feeds mostly on anti-intellectual, social agenda news that supports the Liberals and this current Regime. The LSM will marginalize and dismiss Friedman as an economic philosopher who is not to be taken seriously. Woe to us.
    God rest his soul.

  4. Eric on August 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Though the lame stream media chooses to believe their small audiences don’t need to hear about this remarkable man and his ideological acumen people are waking up to the reality that we’ve all been sold short by the ABC’s, NBC’s and CBS’s. ?We don’t want their boiler plate trash and their liberal BS any longer. ?The “major” networks are no longer the place for real news! ?

    • JBS on August 2, 2012 at 8:01 am

      They are rapidly being sent to the minors league.
      Viewership is down. The LSM’s mind-numbing, sound-bite, opinionated, lop-sided, gloss0ver? presentation is leaving a lot of people hungry for substance.

  5. Lynn on August 2, 2012 at 7:55 am

    SOS, Thank you. I freely confess, I know little about economics. Milton Friedman sounds like an extraordinary man.


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