Posted by John Moser
America has lost one of its most influential thinkers, and the free society has lost one of its most passionate advocates.
A friend of freedom
Substance to economics, I was avtually able to read his work. RIP
But some would say they are not able to read my own.
Heres a great excerpt from "Friedmans Cruel Legacy" by William Greider in The Nation:
"People everywhere now understand what Friedmans kind of "freedom"
means. America has been brutally coarsened by his success at
popularizing this dictum--millions of innocents injured, mutual trust
gravely weakened, society demoralized by the hardening terms of life.
Most people know in their gut this is wrong but see no easy way to
resist it. Friedmans utopia is also drenched in personal corruption.
The proliferating scandals in business, finance and government flow
directly from his teaching people to go for it and disregard moral
qualms. When you tell people in power that their highest purpose in
life is to maximize their own returns, there is no limit to how much
"good" they will do for the rest of us. I dont recall hearing
Friedman express any discomfort. Perhaps he regarded looting and
stealing as natural features of capitalism that market forces would
This is what the memorials left out: the cruel quality of Friedmans
obliviousness. Art Hilgart, a retired industrial economist, recalls
hearing Friedman lecture in 1991 and recommend the destruction of
Medicare, welfare, the postal system, Social Security and public
education. The audience was dumbfounded.
Finally, a brave young woman asked what this would mean for poverty.
"There is no poverty in America," Friedman instructed. A clear voice
arose from the back of hall: "Bullshit!" The audience cheered wildly."
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