We’re all deeply saddened by the passing of Milton Friedman, but remembering our fondest recollections of the man at the same time. Obviously, his contributions to economics were his singular achievement (I even remember being puzzled at how much I enjoyed reading Money Mischief, not exactly a general-appeal book), but the man was a hardcore libertarian all around.
I recalled reading this passage in the San Francisco Chronicle on June 5, 2005:
Friedman supported Bush’s first-term candidacy, but he is more accurately libertarian than conservative and not a reliable Bush ally.
Progress in his goal of rolling back the role of government, he said, is “being greatly threatened, unfortunately, by this notion that the U.S. has a mission to promote democracy around the world,” a big Bush objective.
“War is a friend of the state,” Friedman said. It is always expensive, requiring higher taxes, and, “In time of war, government will take powers and do things that it would not ordinarily do.”
Worth remembering. We will all miss Friedman’s contributions: not just to economics, but to libertarian thought generally.