Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman, RIP

The greatest

The Financial Times has reported the death of the greatest living economist, Milton Friedman, age 94.

Milton Friedman, no matter what you think of mathematical economics - and he was one of the best and founders of this - has passed. Professor Friedman was first and foremost a defender of an individual's free choice, to be free of state coersion and the unintended consequences of seemingly benign (but disastrous) interventions into the economy. His Capitalism and Freedom is a classic, up there with the works of Ayn Rand and Robert Heinlein (albiet non-fiction :-) ) in its influence on generations of truth seekers and individual thinkers. And his Monetary History of the United States put the blame for the prolonged Great Depression right where it belongs: the Central Bank who decreased the money supply instead of just letting it alone.

Everything I've heard and read about him was that he was a thoughtful and kind person, who was able to live long enough to see many of his ideas - 50 years ahead of their time - take hold.