• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Missing Milton

Happy birthday to "the man who saved capitalism":

It's a tragedy that Milton Friedman—born 100 years ago on July 31—did not live long enough to combat the big-government ideas that have formed the core of Obamanomics. It's perhaps more tragic that our current president, who attended the University of Chicago where Friedman taught for decades, never fell under the influence of the world's greatest champion of the free market. Imagine how much better things would have turned out, for Mr. Obama and the country.

Amen. Obama and Friedman occupied the same university, but not the same planet.



Rebecca Mallroy
Tue, 07/31/2012 - 1:51pm

I attended a Friedman lecture where he discussed the Fed's error of shrinking M2 which contributed to the Great Depression. Dr. Friedman remarked "They wont make that mistake again. Next time they will make a different mistake."

Tremendous sense of humor and a man of keen intellect.

Kudos to his colleague, Anna Schwartz, who died recently.

Harl Delos
Tue, 07/31/2012 - 3:21pm

Harry Truman said that if you lined up every economist in the country, head to toe. they still couldn't reach a cinclusion.

Engineers take a lot of bad data, decide which factors are important. try to get the best estimates on the data which does matter, then theu do their calculations and then they apply a fudge factor so thar they err on the safe side.  Scientists never throw away data - and economics is a science.

How oul is is relic, the museum visitor asks the docent.  It's 5003 1/2 years old.  The visitor asks how they know so preciswlu.  The docent says, well, i've been doing this for 3 1/2 years, and it was 4,000 years when I started. That's how most scientists work.

When they start pointing out that 90% of all engineers believe in global warming, i'm gonna buy a houseboat.  Until then, I'll stay where I am.

It's not capitalism that will save us.  It's free enterprise.  There's a vey big diffeence.

Rebecca Mallory
Tue, 07/31/2012 - 5:51pm

Mr. Delos,

President Truman was right, and as an economist that pains me.  I also find some truth in John Kenneth Galbraith's witticism that the study of economics is largely good only for the employment of economists.

But I also believe in Hayek's statement that the role of economics is to show people how little they really know about systems they imagine they can create, so there is an important function.

Friedman believed in "competitive capitalism" which he saw as a voluntary exchange that benefitted both parties. He defined "competitive capitalism" as a "free private enterprise economy."

Friedman, Hayek, Hazlit, and Rand were brilliant defenders of the most productive economic system ever created.

tim zank
Wed, 08/01/2012 - 11:23am

One must remember, Milton was from an era wherein 2+2 was still 4, unlike today's eonomic "experts" and "advisors" who are nothing more than "creative accountants"...



Harl Delos
Wed, 08/01/2012 - 8:56pm

Tim, economics is only valid when it models real kife.


Two quarts of water and two quarts of cotton candy makes a little over two quarts of sweet water.

Twoi quarts if pure water and two quarts of absolute ethyl alcohol makes lrss than four quarts of liquid.

If you can't deal with reality, you're going to have trouble making ANY kibd of well-considered decision.

tim zank
Thu, 08/02/2012 - 1:37pm


2=2 is still 4. If I make $300 a week and spend $500 a week, I have basic misunderstanding of simple math and will hit a fiscal cliff correct? , however if I have a degree in Economics, I can show on paper how that formula will fly for a long long time by borrowing and artful accounting...

trouble for the economists is, eventually they have to admit 2+2=4 after all....

Harl Delos
Thu, 08/02/2012 - 7:09pm
In mose modern computer languages, "2=2" has a value of 1.   If you give mt 300 dollars US, and I give you 500 Belize dollars in exchange, you lose.    You seem to have the notion that the dollar has a fixed value.  In fact, it has no value at all.  In the 1950s, you could buy a three-bedroom all-electric house with attached gaeage on an acre of land for $7,000.  If you sold that house today for twice the money, you'd be taking a loss, because newspapers are no longer 7c, and a steak dinner no longer is $1.   Trouble for the folks that don't undersand ebenomics is that 2 1960 and 2 1980 dollars better bring more like $21.07 today, not $4.