(Nov. 16, 2006) -- We are saddened to report the passing of one of the great minds and gifted communicators of our age.
Prof. Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winning economist whose brilliantly-written 1979 book, Free To Choose, stressed inherent links between economic and political freedoms, changed attitudes toward government in America and abroad, has died.
Prof. Friedman's Free To Choose (co-authored with his wife Rose) became a worldwide best seller that gained additional attention as a PBS series. The book had a near-revolutionary impact on public discourse, targeting conventional assumptions by applying economic truths, urging non-government, market-based approaches to problems that Friedman argued were frequently the result of government actions.
In unambiguous, declarative Free To Choose challenged political and media cliches in chapters including, "The Power of the Market," "The Tyranny of Controls," "Who Protects The Consumer?" "Who Protects The Worker?" "What's Wrong With Our Schools?"
In the books's introduction, the Friedmans wrote in part:
"Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom. By enabling people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction, it reduces the area over which political power is exercised. In addition, by dispersing political power, the free market provides an offset to whatever concentration of political power may arise. The combination of economic and political power in the same hands is a sure recipe for tyranny."
In our view, Free to Choose should be required reading every high school and college student...and for LB Councilmembers who too often think the cure for city problems (often City Hall-invited) is in "public-private partnerships."
Prof. Milton Friedman was 94.