Friday, November 17, 2006

Milton Friedman, RIP

“Those of us who survive, who remain in this fight can—and should—take courage from [Friedman’s] example. Few of us will live as long; even fewer will be able to match his achievements. Still, we can continue the struggle, do our part to leave the world a bit better, striving always to advance freedom; and, in doing so, we will benefit greatly from the intellectual ammunition and the personal example he leaves us. For that and much more, we should all mourn and honor this great man.”
—Fred L. Smith, Jr., President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

“[Milton Friedman was] able to thoroughly discredit the idea, common since the Great Depression, that capitalism is inherently flawed and requires the ‘fine tuning’ of government to avoid excess and disaster. This has been the central conceit of the Keynesian state, administered by educated elites, adjusting tax-and-spending policies to tame the business cycle... Friedman attacked these beliefs at their root. He ambitiously argued that the Great Depression was not caused by the ‘defects’ of capitalism but by government incompetence. Going back to the 1930s, he demonstrated that the one-third fall in GNP was due to a one-third cut in the money supply from 1929 to 1933. ‘The Great Depression in the United States, far from being a sign of the inherent instability of the private enterprise system, is a testament to how much harm can be done by mistakes on the part of a few men when they wield vast power over the monetary system of the country’.”
—Ed Feulner, President, the Heritage Foundation

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