Milton Friedman


Milton Friedman : biography

July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006


After 1960 Friedman attacked Social Security from a free market view stating that it had created welfare dependency.

Friedman proposed a negative income tax to replace the existing welfare system.


Friedman also supported libertarian policies such as legalization of drugs and prostitution. During 2005, Friedman and more than 500 other economists advocated discussions regarding the economic benefits of the legalization of marijuana.

LGBT rights

Friedman was also a supporter of gay rights.Alan O. Ebenstein, Milton Friedman: A Biography (2007) pp 228 He specifically supported same-sex marriage, saying on the issue, "I do not believe there should be any discrimination against gays."

Economic freedom

Michael Walker of the Fraser Institute and Friedman hosted a series of conferences from 1986 to 1994. The goal was to create a clear definition of economic freedom and a method for measuring it. Eventually this resulted in the first report on worldwide economic freedom, Economic Freedom in the World. This annual report has since provided data for numerous peer-reviewed studies and has influenced policy in several nations.

Along with sixteen other distinguished economists he opposed the Copyright Term Extension Act and filed an amicus brief in Eldred v. Ashcroft. He supported the inclusion of the word "no-brainer" in the brief.

Friedman argued for stronger basic legal (constitutional) protection of economic rights and freedoms in order to further promote industrial-commercial growth and prosperity and buttress democracy and freedom and the rule of law generally in society.

Personal life

According to a 2007 article in Commentary magazine, his "parents were moderately observant [Jews], but Friedman, after an intense burst of childhood piety, rejected religion altogether."Lanny Ebenstein, [ Milton Friedman], Commentary, May 2007, p. 286. He described himself as an agnostic.

Friedman wrote extensively of his life and experiences, especially in 1998 in his memoirs with his wife Rose, titled Two Lucky People. He died of heart failure at the age of 94 years in San Francisco on November 16, 2006. He was survived by his wife (who died on August 18, 2009) and their two children, David, who is a philosopher and anarcho-capitalist economist, and Janet. David’s son, Patri Friedman, is the executive director of the Seasteading Institute.{}


Econometrician David F. Hendry has said Friedman was guilty of "serious errors" of misunderstanding that meant "the t-ratios he reported for UK money demand were overstated by nearly 100 per cent", and showed in 1991 that "almost every empirical claim made about UK money demand" by Friedman and Anna Schwartz was wrong. In response to this claim, Friedman claimed, in a 1984 debate on Icelandic television, that Hendry’s criticism applied to a different problem than that which Friedman and Shwartz tackle in the book. Hence that Hendry’s objection was irrelevant, furthermore Friedman went on to criticise the relevance of Hendry’s methods. This being attributed to the (as of 1984), lack of consequential peer review amongst econometricians on Hendry’s paper.

Keynesian criticism

During the financial crisis of 2007–2010, several Keynesian economists such as James Galbraith and Joseph Stiglitz blamed the free market philosophy of Friedman and the Chicago school for the economic turmoil.John Lippert, , Bloomberg L.P., December 23, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2009.