With the Presidential election behind us and a new one-party led government in Washington DC, it is likely we will see much more change on economic policies than we seen in almost a decade. I’m excited to see if the new President and Congress take action on some of the four areas outlined in my pre-election post earlier this week.
I included this quote from Milt0n Friedman today because he has always been one of my personal heroes. For those of you not familiar with him, he is a Nobel Prize winning economist from the University of Chicago that published the book “Capitalism & Freedom” that pushed back against government meddling in free markets.
Early in his career he helped advise the implementation of the Marshall Plan in Europe; later, he played a key role in organizing Reaganomics (and worked with Thatcher in the UK). His views shaped my views of economics – on a personal and societal level.
I first learned about him in high school, when our American History teacher had us watch a PBS Series featuring Friedman called ‘Free To Choose’. The 1980 series emphasized “the close relationship between personal freedom and economic freedom” and how the “interaction between those ideas have created the richest and freest societies the world has ever known.” He was featured on the cover of TIME magazine at the time and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988.
While government often strives to make positive change in society, Friedman effectively shows why it often comes up short. It is interesting to watch the series now and think how Friedman’s views apply to Obamacare – which has not come close to fulfilling its aim of making health care affordable.
‘Free To Choose’ is not a glossy up-to-date series, but it earnestly and simply puts forth a compelling economic arguments, focuses on the power of the individual bringing value to others through commerce, and not expecting the government to solve your problems. I doubt I would have reached financial independence and retired early (FIRE) if I hadn’t been exposed to Friedman’s views at an early age.
Please take a look at Friedman’s work if you haven’t seen it before. If you have, I hope you agree he makes a lot of sense and his ideas have a relevant place in our lives today.
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4 thoughts on “Free To Choose – Economist Milton Friedman”
I’m not familiar with Friedman’s work. I’ll give it a look.
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Friedman is absolutely an economic icon.
Mr. FireStation: I enjoy reading your blog. In today’s post, I think a word is missing (where I put the underline) in the following statement:
The 1980 series emphasized “the close relationship between _______ and economic freedom” and how the “interaction between those ideas have created the richest and freest societies the world has ever known.”
I’m curious to know….
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Oops … wrote that at 1:00am last night! He talked about the connection between personal freedom and economic freedom. (I corrected it now). Thanks!