November 16, 2006

MILTON FRIEDMAN HAS DIED. It’s hard to say that someone has been plucked untimely at the age of 94, but it feels that way. His Free to Choose won over many people to the cause of liberty — as did his Capitalism and Freedom. So, for that matter, did his Free to Choose documentary.

Here’s a good Friedman interview by Tunku Varadarajan, from last summer. And there’s a lot more over at The Corner and at Reason. He did a great interview on Charlie Rose less than a year ago, but I can’t find it anywhere online.

UPDATE: Ah, here it is! Thanks to reader Tom Blumer for the pointer.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The interview is available on DVD, too.

And be sure to read Friedman on the “war on drugs.”

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Much, much more on Friedman here.

Still more Friedman video here and here.

And Fausta writes: “If it weren’t for Milton Friedman, I wouldn’t be a blogger today.” High praise, considering the source!

Virginia Postrel: “He was a great social scientist, a brilliant popularizer and polemicist, and a mensch. His intellectual influence, on both scholarly economics and the revival of classical liberalism, can hardly be overstated. And, more than any other single person, we can thank him for ending the scourges of the 1970s: inflation and the draft.”

But nobody’s perfect: “Somewhat unfortunately, Friedman (at that time still a left-winger) also invented the idea of income tax withholding while working as an economist for the the Treasury Department during World War II. Although Friedman intended it to be a temporary wartime measure, it soon turned into a permanent expansion of government power – a result that the later, libertarian Friedman would surely have predicted:)!”

Here’s the New York Times obituary. And Megan McArdle draws some distinctions.

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