Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman
Today we celebrate the memory of Milton Friedman, a champion of free market economics. Friedman is widely regarded as one of the most revolutionary economists in modern history, and his book Capitalism and Freedom, which makes a case for free markets, was arguably the most influential book of the 1960s.
Friedman filled many roles during his lifetime—chief among them was teacher. He was the Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, for nearly forty years. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and was on the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.
Friedman was a pioneer for school choice, and was the first to recommend the voucher system. In 1996, he and his wife Rose founded the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice to advance school choice nationwide.
Among his many achievements he won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 1976, and was awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in 1988.
Friedman served on President Reagan’s Policy Advisory Board in the 1980s as one of his most trusted advisors. Though notably libertarian in philosophy, he identified as a Republican for the sake of “expediency,” in his own words. Because of his influence as an advisor Friedman was the architect of many of Reagan’s economic policies that transformed the Republican Party.
Milton Friedman passed away in 2006 at the age of 94, leaving behind a legacy that has had a lasting impact on free market economic policy.