Milton Friedman


Milton Friedman : biography

July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006

After Friedman’s death in 2006, Keynesian Nobel laureate Paul Krugman praised Friedman as a "great economist and a great man," but criticized him by writing that "he slipped all too easily into claiming both that markets always work and that only markets work. It’s extremely hard to find cases in which Friedman acknowledged the possibility that markets could go wrong, or that government intervention could serve a useful purpose."The New York Review of Books, , February 15, 2007

Austrian School criticism

In 1971, Austrian School libertarian economist Murray Rothbard criticized Friedman’s efforts to make the government more efficient as detrimental to individual liberty, concluding "…as we examine Milton Friedman’s credentials to be the leader of free-market economics, we arrive at the chilling conclusion that it is difficult to consider him a free-market economist at all."Murray Rothbard, . Originally printed 1971 in The Individualist. Reprinted in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, Fall 2002. Friedman’s position on governmental control of money changed since 1971 when this criticism was made.Ebeling, Richard. M., In a 1995 interview in Reason magazine he said the "difference between me and people like Murray Rothbard is that, though I want to know what my ideal is, I think I also have to be willing to discuss changes that are less than ideal so long as they point me in that direction." He said he actually would "like to abolish the Fed," and points out that when he has written about the Fed it is simply his recommendations of how it should be run given that it exists.

Other criticism

In her book The Shock Doctrine, author and social activist Naomi Klein criticized Friedman’s ideology and the principles that guided the economic restructuring that followed the military coups in countries such as Chile and Indonesia, drawing analogies between the way that Friedman proposed using the social "shock" of the coups to create an economic "blank slate" with Ewen Cameron’s controversial medical experiments that used electroshock therapy to create a mental "blank slate" in patients with mental disorders.Naomi Klein (2007). The Shock Doctrine, Metropolitan Books, New York, ISBN 978-0676978001. Based on the extent to which the application of neoliberal policies has contributed to income disparities and inequality,Goldberg, P.K. and Pavcnik, N. (2007) Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association 45(1): 39–82 both Klein and Noam Chomsky have suggested that the primary role of neoliberalism was as an ideological cover for capital accumulation by multinational corporations.

Chilean economist Orlando Letelier asserted that Pinochet’s dictatorship resorted to oppression because of popular opposition to Chicago School policies in Chile.Orlando Letelier, , The Nation, August 28, 1976. After a 1991 speech on drug legalisation, Friedman answered a question on his involvement with the Pinochet regime, saying that he was never an advisor to Pinochet but that a group of his students at the University of Chicago were involved in Chile’s economic reforms. Friedman credited these reforms with high levels of growth and with the establishment of democracy in Chile., Milton Friedman, From: Friedman & Szasz on Liberty and Drugs, edited and with a Preface by Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese. Washington, D.C.: The Drug Policy Foundation, 1992.