Friday, November 17, 2006

Milton Friedman


Milton Friedman, one of the most influential economists of the 20th century, passed away yesterday at 94. Here is a set of links to obituaries and reminiscences:

I'm sure there will be quite a few insightful commentaries on Friedman's work in the days to come. If you know of any, do please give the link(s) in your comments below. Thanks.

In the meantime, let me just link to Friedman's 1955 memorandum to the Government of India and his 1956 commentary on the Nehru/Mahalanobis Plan.

6 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    I hate his ideas. More fundamentalist in nature. Here is a piece in BBC about him

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6156098.stm

  2. Rahul Siddharthan said...

    Lefties tend to hate Milton Friedman, and he was certainly extreme in his views, but I'm beginning to appreciate libertarian economic ideas like his more and more. Many of their basic observations -- like the counter-productivity of absurdly high tax rates like 90% -- are undisputed now.

    Friedman's observations on the five year plan seem spot-on, with the benefit of hindsight, of course. Thanks for the link.

  3. gaddeswarup said...

    Apart from the wikipedia article, this article seems to be fairly balanced:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/la-111606friedman,1,5214109.story?coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true
    An excerpt:
    But if he remained a hero to many, Friedman's influence in some circles declined in later years. The Fed and other central banks had long ago concluded that his monetary strategies should not be taken literally, although Fed vigilance against inflation continued under Greenspan.

    Similarly, his appeals to abandon the war on drugs and other government programs remain outside the mainstream of political debate.

    "Human life requires the balancing of freedom with other goals, including security and equality," said Richard Parker, a senior fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "Friedman's repeated neglect of these other values has been the repeated source of error in his policy advice."

    But to legions of admirers, Friedman remains a towering figure, unparalleled in the breadth of his insights about freedom and the economy.

  4. readerswords said...

    A few left handed tributes that I have linked to at my blog.

  5. Abi said...

    Krish: I think it's possible to admire Friedman, the economist, without having to admire his policy prescriptions. Even among some of his suggestions, there appear to be some that would gladden our hearts: negative income taxes, for example.

    Rahul: I'm not sure why you like libertarian ideas "more and more". I look forward to your post on this topic ...

    Swarup: Thanks for the links.

    Bhupinder: Thanks for the links to those tributes' ;-)

  6. Anonymous said...

    I admire Friedman in the same way I admire Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Bin Laden, Pol Pot... That's probably a little extreme, but he is indirectly responsible for the deaths, torture and suffering of millions.