Tribute to Friedman

By The Madison County Record | Nov 26, 2006

To the editor:

To the editor:

We have lost a great American hero, thinker and teacher. Milton Friedman was the greatest economist of the 20th Century.

He won a Nobel Prize in economics, wrote many books and advised presidents since Franklin Roosevelt. His 94 years were exceptionally productive.

Three books: There is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, Capitalism and Freedom, and Free To Choose were especially for non-economists in lay language and are compelling reading.

Free To Choose had the widest circulation and was made into a 12-part series on PBS, Friedman championed free markets and competitive capitalism as the greatest engine of human prosperity.

Economic freedom is a necessary condition for political freedom. Friedman originated the idea of educational vouchers to promote excellence in schools by letting individuals spend their voucher where they chose.

The greatest threat to human freedom is the concentration of power, whether in the hands of government or anyone else.

He promoted low taxes and wanted to limit government while enabling it to perform its essential functions of defending the nation from foreign enemies, protecting each of us from coercion by our fellow citizens, adjudicating our disputes, and enabling us to agree on the rules that we shall follow.

Milton Friedman will be missed. I can strongly recommend his excellent book, Free To Choose.

Edward Ragsdale, M.D.

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