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Conservative Icon Dies

Posted on Nov 16, 2006
New York Times

Conservative economics icon

Milton Friedman has died at the age of 94.  Friedman, a rabid free-marketeer and dogged opponent of regulation, inspired generations of conservatives with his theories.

New York Times:

Milton Friedman, the grandmaster of conservative economic theory in the postwar era and a prime force in the movement of nations toward lesser government and greater reliance on free markets and individual responsibility, died today. He was 94 years old.

A spokesman for the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation confirmed his death.

Conservative and liberal colleagues alike viewed Mr. Friedman as one of the 20th century’s leading economic scholars, on a par with giants like John Maynard Keynes, Joseph A. Schumpeter and Paul Samuelson.

Flying the flag of economic conservatism, Mr. Friedman led the postwar challenge to the hallowed theories of Lord Keynes, the British economist who maintained that governments had a duty to help capitalistic economies through periods of recession and to prevent boom times from exploding into high inflation.

In Professor Friedman’s view, government had the opposite obligation: to keep its hands off the economy, to let the free market do its work. He was a spiritual heir to Adam Smith, the 18th-century founder of the science of economics and proponent of laissez-faire: that government governs best which governs least.


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By bill Elavil, November 17, 2006 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
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Well, the master of economic fascism moves on…. the US in less than 26 years of his theories is a debtor nation rather than a credit nation. In the first 8 years… banks, savings and loans, and HUD collpsed and economic interventionism rose to unprecedented highs (after all.. who trained the Mujahadeen .. read that Al Queda)and great secrecy became the way of government.
Then, if I understand right… his real test of playing with money caused a huge collapse of a fund he put together with others to play with world currencies.
Yes, he was a great influence… so was Rasputin. The very world created by President Bush, Rice, Cheney et al… can be found in his 1950’s books, which were not about economics… but about a nationalistic military-economist state.

Economist or Reactionary? I thank god I got a public education and a world view from the Lord Keynes view before the fragmentation, polarization, reliegiousization, and emergence of the mean people state.
WE are at breaking point for the great mass of humanity and the natural world. These can be laid at the feet of Mr. Friedman and his apprentices. Free market might be the best way to find solutions to problems, but a laissez-faire view is to ignore them when they are small and manageable… then to fix them when there is a buck to be made… at everyones expense.
It didn’t work in Adams Smith time and still will not work.
but, what would I know.. obviously i was raised wrong.

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By d, November 16, 2006 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
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When one subsists on the succulent blood of calves, longevity it assured.  Good riddance.

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By menot, November 16, 2006 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
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That Milton got to be 94 makes me suspect that those who believe in the supply-side Jesus are maybe on to something.

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