Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
|Narrated By:||James Adams|
|Date:||31 December 2005|
All who listen to this masterful and lucid polemic for a free market economy will never question Milton Friedman's Nobel Prize in economics. Friedman and his wife Rose team to write a most convincing and readable guide that illustrates the crucial link between Adam Smith's capitalism and the free society.
Friedman's challenges to what he later called "naive Keynesian" theory began with his 1950s reinterpretation of the consumption function. In the 1960s, he became the main advocate opposing Keynesian government policies, and described his approach (along with mainstream economics) as using "Keynesian language and apparatus" yet rejecting its "initial" conclusions. He theorized that there existed a "natural" rate of unemployment, and argued that employment above this rate would cause inflation to accelerate. He argued that the Phillips curve was, in the long run, vertical at the "natural rate" and predicted what would come to be known as stagflation. Friedman promoted an alternative macroeconomic viewpoint known as "monetarism", and argued that a steady, small expansion of the money supply was the preferred policy. His ideas concerning monetary policy, taxation, privatization and deregulation influenced government policies, especially during the 1980s. His monetary theory influenced the Federal Reserve's response to the global financial crisis of 2007–08.
Friedman was an advisor to Republican U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His political philosophy extolled the virtues of a free market economic system with minimal intervention. He once stated that his role in eliminating U.S. conscription was his proudest accomplishment. In his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman advocated policies such as a volunteer military, freely floating exchange rates, abolition of medical licenses, a negative income tax, and school vouchers. His support for school choice led him to found the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, later renamed EdChoice.
Milton Friedman's works include monographs, books, scholarly articles, papers, magazine columns, television programs, and lectures, and cover a broad range of economic topics and public policy issues. His books and essays have had global influence, including in former communist states. A survey of economists ranked Friedman as the second-most popular economist of the twentieth century after John Maynard Keynes, and The Economist described him as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century ... possibly of all of it".