Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“We attack involuntary servitude, not in spite of the fact that it is advantageous to the "masters," but because we are convinced that, in the last analysis, it hurts the interests of all members of human society, including the "masters."”     Ludwig von Mises,    Liberalism

January 29, 2007

Milton Friedman: An Appreciation

by Doug Mataconis

Since today is Milton Friedman Day, I figured it was as good a time as any to note my own personal appreciation for a man who contributed so much to the ideals of free minds and free markets.

I am not an economist, or a political scientist, so this won’t be an examination of Dr. Friedman’s contributions to either of these disciplines. Instead, I thought it would be appropriate to focus on the influence that Milton Friedman had on the evolution of my own political philsopophy.

It started when I was in college and was exposed to ideas that, quite honestly, didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Specifically, I had a Professor —- in a course ironically titiled “Capitaism, Socialism, and Democracy” —- who spent a good deal of time telling us just how evil capitalism was and specifically using Friedman as an example of all that was wrong with it’s defenders. I never really believed what he was saying, and knew that I wanted to learn more and that’s where Milton Friedman got involved.

As I’ve mentioned before, I graduated from Rutgers University. Among it’s claims to fame, Rutgers can, but seldom does, rightly claim Milton Friedman as an Alumnus. In fact, during the time I was there, you would have scarcely known that one of the most important economists of the 20th Century had graduated from Rutgers……and I am totally convinced that it was because his politics no longer coincided with those of the faculty.

Once I figured out that I wasn’t getting the whole story, I decided to check things out for myself.  In addition to whatever reading I needed to do for my classes, I started reading on my own. Friedman. Hayek. Mises. Rand. Quite honestly, I was amazed at how much independent reading I was able to get done and still keep up with my classes. In the end, though, I felt like I was on a journey that had less to do with the grades I was getting than it did with what I wanted to learn.

And the truth is that I started my intellectual journey with Capitalism And Freedom, and have never been the same. And for that I have nothing but gratitude for Milton Friedman.

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3 Comments

  1. [...] at The Liberty Papers   [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Milton Friedman: An Appreciation — January 29, 2007 @ 1:16 am
  2. [...] I mentioned earlier, today is Milton Friedman Day. Tonight at 10pm, most PBS stations around the country will broadcast a new documentary about the [...]

    Pingback by The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Milton Friedman: The Power Of Choice — January 29, 2007 @ 12:11 pm
  3. [...] Milton Friedman: An Appreciation Milton Friedman: The Power Of Choice Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 7:08 pm || Permalink || || Categories: Theory and Ideas TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/01/29/milton-friedman-vs-the-philosopher-kings/trackback/ Read more posts from Doug Mataconis • • • [...]

    Pingback by The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Milton Friedman vs. The Philosopher Kings — January 29, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

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