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It would be great if he would tell us what he thinks of contemporary Chicagoans. (I think that the Posner-Becker dastardly duo is more mainstream then Friedman, and on political issues they don't seem to get the role and meaning of freedom... that sort of ultra-utilitarianism-with-abacus was something I'd charge Friedman with.)

I hope he signs up for cryogenics so we can defrost him when we're stuck on a Statistics problem.

...was something I WOULDN'T charge Friedman with...

(sorry for the typo)

One other policy change I think he has made is with the "Starve the Beast" theory of taxes. I believe that I read in the Wall Street Journal that he said he thought that reducing taxes and, therefore, starving the politicians, the gov't would need to reduce spending.

He believes, now, that politicians will spend regardless of whether they have the taxes or not.

Granted, this position might be even MORE libertarian, not less.

Friedman did say that government spending was bad, but that he believed it was less important than taxes. Cutting taxes is always good in his opinion, and I certainly wouldn't disagree with him there, though I do think that the damage of deficit finance and public debt is much worse than he seemed to suggest in the interview. He also said he thought inflation had been whipped and that Greenspan was the best Fed chairman ever. Statements I also disagree with (not that I think has been a better Fed chairman --- I think we need to abolish the Fed).

Still he was wonderful in this and every interview I have ever seen him give. At the Fed event I was asked about the impression of Friedman in relation to other economists and by analogy I related a story I had recently heard about NBA greats. Dr. J, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson were in a room and everyone was asking them questions when Michael Jordon entered the room. Even Dr. J, Bird and Magic turned to acknowledge Jordan and defer to his greatness. I said that I thought Milton Friedman was the Michael Jordan of economists. Jim Buchanan, Gary Becker, Douglass North, Ronald Coase and Vernon Smith could all be in a room discussing economics, but if Milton Friedman entered everyone would acknowledge that the greatest of the great had just entered the room.

It is amazing the commanding intellectual and personal presence that Friedman commands and he still commands that today at the age of 93.

Pete: Friedman is, as you say, still remarkably sharp. Small correction: Friedman said that "our" principles were for Nixon merely prejudices (not "preferences") that Nixon would sell out for the slightest perceived political advantage.

A noteworthy remark you didn't mention: when Charlie Rose asked if he'd changed his mind over the years about anything, Friedman said yes: he no longer thinks antitrust policy is a good idea.

Ooops, sorry for my haste: obviously you DID
mention MF's antitrust remark.

Yes, I know that he is in favor of reducing all taxes all the time, and I agree, but I thought that he gave up on the "Starve the Beast" idea. Maybe he still believes in "Starve the Beast", just not to the degree that he once did.

Like I said, I think I read this in the WSJ. I may be mistaken.

Not to neglect all the great things Milton Friedman has contributed to the promotion of liberty, but when I think of him two things always come to my mind: withholding taxes (he was involved in the development of withholding taxes) and his unwavering support of central banking. Two of the biggest yet subtlest incarnations of despotism of our day, I just can't forgive him for it...

In recent years Friedman _has_ wavered on central banking -- he's said positive things about free banking, believe it or not!

good to see friedman's come round to my view on antitrust...

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