We recently had questions raised here about Hayek and Pinochet. Ironically, a parallel conversation was going on at the History of Economics discussion list on Friedman and Pinochet.
Naomi Klein has this letter on her website presumably to indict Friedman. But Friedman's letter is limited to economic advice on debt, inflation, and economic freedom. Why does this indict Friedman? I mean this seriously, as I am not sure what the inference is supposed to be.
As I said in the comments, should Brad DeLong be held responsible for Clinton's foreign policy in Bosnia; or Clinton's personal policy with respect to female interns; or only the Clinton economic policies that Brad was involved in designing?
What is our moral responsibility as economic communicators to politicians and policy decision makers?* If you were asked to advise Putin on economic policy, would you only agree if he would listen to you about his policies with respect to the Chechnya? How about if Obama called, would you only tell him about what to do with respect to the economy if he actually closed Guantanamo, withdrew the troops from the middle east, etc.? Or would you simply offer your advice on economics? What would you say to Obama that was that radically different from what Friedman wrote to Pinochet?
*This is also connected to the question of whether economics as a discipline needs a code of ethics -- I've been invited to contribute an essay on this to a symposium.