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Monday, November 20, 2006

RIP Milton Friedman

I intended to write about this some time ago, when we heard that Milton Friedman died. I’m belated because I found myself actually sad that Milton Friedman is dead, which would be odd on the surface, because his area of education and teaching wasn’t exactly "every man" land.  I studied Milton Friedman as a fresh, gullible Economics student in college, and he had quite an impact on my then as now.  He was an economist, a very good one.  I needed to figure out how to put my impressions of this man into blog form.  After my remarks here, below you can follow a link to information about Dr. Friedman.

I guess what makes Milton Friedman special, as economists go, is his work in "laissez-faire capitalism."  This theory of economics insisted on limited government intervention in free markets, and proposed that all bad things would be made good again by shear market force.  Essentially, in a pure market-driven capitalist economy, everyone will – over time – do as well in the economy as they can possibly do.  We’re not talking about unavoidable destiny here, we’re talking about toughing it out, being the best you can be, and the market (employer, business, whatever) will treat you the best it can in return.  In an odd way, it’s fairness taken to a higher level.

In a sense, I guess that’s the "every man" angle I was looking for, and a theory that has driven my personal ambitions throughout my life.  I came from a somewhat humble economic environment in my childhood, and I have always worked hard to make things better for myself and my kids.  In the Milton Friedman world, by being smart and working hard, my lot in life over time was destined to improve.  And it did. 

The lesson we learned from Milton Friedman is, things will always balance out to the best possible condition that they can be.  Dr. Friedman was mostly concerned with economics, but we can apply this to almost anything, can’t we?  We don’t need someone else to have to make things better for us.  In fact, if we control our destiny, things will probably get better despite external interference, it just might take a little longer.

Here’s more information about Milton Friedman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_friedman

posted by Michael Humphries-Dolnick at 5:34 pm  

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