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Saturday, November 18, 2006


I read Friedman's Free to Choose sometime in the mid eighties, knowing that he was a mouthpiece for the hated Thatcher& intending to seek faults. I was thoroughly impressed - the man was not a conservative he was a classic liberal through & through. I am still not convinced that in all cases a free market solution is best, or even practical but I was convinced by the way he repeatedly came up with cases of regulatory regimes/govenment ownership, initially produced to protect against monopolistic market failures, grew into massive bureaucracies that ended up first being infiltrated by the experts (who all had previously been employed by the controllers of the industry) & eventually ended up not even serving the bosses interest but merely that of the bureaucracy. That had a major influence on me. Indeed I think the rise of the USSR to world power & eventual death, strangled by its own bureaucracy can be explained in these terms.

Another part of the book I was heavily influenced, possibly not in the way intended, but possibly so, by his "proof" that the American Socialist party was the most influential party in 1930s US politics because while they stood steady for what they believed in the parties intent on power trimmed & thus moved ever towards their position ending up with things like Medicaid & Amtrak. Though I now strongly disagree with socialism & environmentalism I have to admire, & I think Friedman admired, those willing to work for a cause, even a wrong cause. As someone who would much rather achieve something in politics than be somebody I have found that reassuring.

When he said that being awarded the Nobel prize was not his greatest achievement he was confirming that he also preferred achieving something to being somebody. He succeeded.
Tennis with Milton

The World Turner
This encyclopedia and even-handed survey of the evidence on global warming
is a welcome corrective to the raging hysteria about the alleged dangers of
global warming. Moore demonstrates conclusively that global warming is more
likely to benefit than to harm the general public.
--Milton Friedman on T.G. Moore's Climate of Fear, 1998

Friedman - Wall Street Journal

Tim Worstall

Milton Friedman & Scientific Consensus

Brad DeLong

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