In the Genesis account God speaks the world into existence-the first recorded proof of the fact that “ideas have consequences.” In mankind’s steady advance since, many ideas have been spoken into existence but rarely with such beneficial effect.
Legendary economist Milton Friedman was one of the exceptions. His lifelong effort to champion human freedom through economics has inspired increased prosperity and freedom for hundreds of millions of people from Chile to China, Estonia to the Czech Republic, from England to the United States.
My first exposure to Friedman was at community college. I had just withdrawn from Western Washington University because I was convinced that while the scholarship I had offered me free attendance, I wasn’t getting my money’s worth. Time and again I was hearing of the sins of capitalism, free markets and tradition, but had no grounding that would enlighten me as to where to look to combat these falsehoods. So I decided to enroll at Hillsdale College. It was the only conservative college I knew of, and information about their events suggested engaged, lively debate and world-class speakers. But I couldn’t go there until the fall, so I took some courses from the local community college and met Milton Friedman for the first time.
I didn’t meet him personally of course. It was an online course (one of the first) in economics and the course material was Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose” series. I was enthralled. I wondered, “Why don’t more people listen to this guy?”
I still wonder the same thing.
Wednesday, July 31st would have been Milton’s 101st birthday. Raise a glass remember, then share his work with a friend!
[Originally posted at MyNorthwest.com]