Milton Friedman (1912-2006) – täiendatud, veel kord ja veel kord
Kahju. Väga kahju. Kurvaks teeb.
Hayek suri mõned aastad enne kui tema ideed mulle tuttavaks said ja ma olen mõelnud, et mida ma oleks arvanud inimese surmast, kelle ideed, kelle kirjutised, on paljuski ka minu enda maailmavaadet mõjutanud. Nüüd ma vist tean.
Milton Friedman ei olnud ainult teooriad ja poliitka vaid idee, et avatud diskussioon ja vabadus tegutseda innustab inimesi paremini kui miski muu maailmas. Valmisolek enda mõtted lõpuni mõelda ja mitte häbeneda seda, kuhu välja jõutakse.
Mõned silma jäänud teised ja targemad Friedmanist:
Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, Virginia Postrel, Steve Titch, Johan Norberg enda kogemusest ja Rootsi meediakajastusest, Megan McArdle, Steven D. Levitt:
The first time I ever heard of Friedman was in junior high. I wan’t the type to watch PBS at that age, so I knew nothing of Free to Choose. One of my teachers (and still a good friend) named George Leiter had just returned from a cruise. George prided himself on being quite a good ping pong player. So he was quite surprised when a senior citizen barely tall enough to see over the table had repeatedly destroyed him in ping pong. Only after they were done playing did George figure out it was Milton Friedman on the other side of the table. That was my first introduction to Friedman.
ja Brad DeLong:
Gen. William Westmoreland, testifying before President Nixon’s Commission on an All-Volunteer [Military] Force, denounced the idea of phasing out the draft and putting only volunteers in uniform, saying that he did not want to command “an army of mercenaries.” Friedman, a member of the 15-person commission, interrupted him. “General,” Friedman asked, “would you rather command an army of slaves?” Westmoreland got angry: “I don’t like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves.” And Friedman got rolling: “I don’t like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries.” And he did not stop: ” If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general. We are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher.” As George Shultz liked to say: “Everybody loves to argue with Milton, particularly when he isn’t there.”
One of Mr. Friedman’s major impacts on economics was in establishing a basic worldview. Economics is not a game or an academic exercise, in that view. Economics is a powerful tool to understand how the world works. He used straightforward theory. He gathered data from anywhere he could get it. He wanted to see how well economics fitted the world. That view now holds sway throughout much of the profession.
Mr. Friedman loved to argue. They say he was the greatest debater in all of economics. As improbable as it sounds, given Mr. Friedman’s small frame and thick glasses, few who saw him would deny that he had an astounding amount of charisma. It probably explains why he was so successful on television. While being an academic powerhouse, he really could explain things clearly.
ja Samuel Brittan (Financial Times):
I was not impressed in my own student years by the claims to a belief in personal freedom of the pro-market British economists whom I first encountered. It was not until I came across Friedman, and learned that he had spent more time in lobbying against the US “draft” than on any other policy issue, that I began to take seriously the wider philosophic protestations of the pro-market economists.
Friedman’s iconoclasm endured. He regarded the anti-drugs laws as virtually a government subsidy for organised crime.
Kui Mart Laar tahab ennast jätkuvalt pidada Milton Friedmani õpilaseks, siis oleks tal viimane aeg tõsiselt kaaluda sundteenistusest loobumist.
I imagine that without the element of faith that I have been stressing, Friedman might have lacked the moral courage to propound his libertarian views in the chilly intellectual and political climate in which he first advanced them. So it should probably be reckoned on balance a good thing, though not to my personal taste. His advocacy of school vouchers, the volunteer army (in the era in which he advocated it–which we are still in), and the negative income tax demonstrates the fruitfulness of his master micreconomic insight that, in general, people know better than government how to manage their lives.
ja lõpetuseks Gary Becker:
After my first class with him a half-century ago, I recognized that I was fortunate to have an extraordinary economist as a teacher. During that class he asked a question, and I shot up my hand and was called on to provide an answer. I still remember what he said, “That is no answer, for you are only restating the question in other words.” I sat down humiliated, but I knew he was right. I decided on my way home after a very stimulating class that despite all the economics I had studied at Princeton, and the two economics articles I was in the process of publishing, I had to relearn economics from the ground up. I sat at Friedman’s feet for the next six years– three as an Assistant Professor at Chicago– learning economics from a fresh perspective. It was the most exciting intellectual period of my life.
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