Laissez Faire Books
"It was F.A. Hayek who inspired Friedman to try influencing public policy for liberty, and he excelled as a popularizer. Nobody was a more effective champion of liberty in a debate. He was charming, he was quick, and he displayed an awesome command of the facts. He expressed his views through a Newsweek column which he wrote for 18 years. He produced op-eds for major newspapers, articles for major magazines, and he was interviewed by Playboy."
Milton Friedman - Biographical: Nobelprize.org
Autobiography, originally written in 1976 for the Nobel award, published in 1992 in Nobel Lectures in Economic Sciences: 1969-1980
; selection is from a May 2005 addendum
"... not long after we arrived in California, Bob Chitester persuaded us to join him in producing a major television program presenting my economic and social philosophy. The resulting effort, spread over three years, proved the most exciting adventure of our lives. The end result was Free to Choose, ten one-hour programs, each consisting of a half-hour documentary and a half-hour discussion."
Milton Friedman | Hoover Institution
"In addition to his scientific work, Friedman also wrote extensively on public policy, always with a primary emphasis on the preservation and extension of individual freedom. His most important books in this field are (with Rose D. Friedman) Capitalism and Freedom ... ; Bright Promises, Dismal Performance ... which consists mostly of reprints of columns he wrote for Newsweek from 1966 to 1983; (with Rose D. Friedman) Free to Choose ..., and (with Rose D. Friedman) Tyranny of the Status Quo ..."
Milton Friedman - Libertarianism.org
Short profile and links to essays, columns and other resources about Friedman
"Economist Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was one of the most recognizable and influential proponents of liberty and markets in the 20th century, and leader of the Chicago School of economics."
Milton Friedman - Online Library of Liberty
Includes picture, short profile and links to some podcasts about Friedman and some of his writings
"Milton Friedman (1912-2007) is the author of many books and articles in economics, including A Theory of the Consumption Function, The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays, and (with A. J. Schwartz) A Monetary History of the United States, Monetary Statistics of the United States, and Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom. Friedman has also written extensively on public policy, always with a primary emphasis on the preservation and extension of individual freedom."
Milton Friedman - The Advocates
Biography, picture and quotes
"Milton Friedman was not just one of the world's most distinguished economists -- he may have also been America's most famous and influential libertarian. Writing in Liberty magazine (February 2007), Bruce Ramsey made the argument that 'Milton Friedman was not just a figure in the libertarian movement. He was, to Americans generally, a figure emblematic of freedom.'"
35 Heroes of Freedom: Celebrating the people who have made the world groovier and groovier since 1968
, by Reason
, Dec 2003
"Eclectic, irreverent" list of individuals who, according to Reason
editors, "have made the world a freer, better, and more libertarian place by example, invention, or action" (includes the unknown martyr of Tiananmen Square and "The Yuppie")
"The 91-year-old Nobel Prize-winning economist didn't just co-author Free to Choose, the book that pumped up Arnold Schwarzenegger's mind. He's brought libertarian ideas both to a mass audience and to the elite ranks of policy makers, helped to end the draft and discredit wage and price controls, popularized the privatization of schooling and pensions, and made criticism of the war on drugs respectable."
Related Topics: Norman Borlaug
, Barry Goldwater
, Friedrich Hayek
, Robert A. Heinlein
, Jane Jacobs
, Richard Nixon
, Ron Paul
, Ayn Rand
, Julian Simon
, Thomas Szasz
, Rose Wilder Lane
A Man, a Plan, a Flop
, by David Gordon, Mises Daily
, 23 Apr 2006
Critical review of Murray's In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State
"[Murray] cannot then imagine himself a Milton Friedman and say, e.g., 'Ideally government should play no role in education. But the public will not accept this. Instead, educational vouchers are the closest to the free market that we can in practice attain.' Friedman thought that his proposals were realistic; and however much one may disagree with them — would not vouchers lead to more government control, rather than less? — one can grant that he had a case worth presenting."
Interview with Gary Becker
, by Gary Becker
, The Region
, Jun 2002
Topics include the economics of crime, economics and law, banking discrimination, economic education, social security, behavioral economics, sociology, career choices and moral hazards
"I decided to go to graduate school, came to Chicago, and by far the biggest influence on me was Milton Friedman. He is known as a monetary economist and so on, but that was not the main influence he had on me. Milton Friedman was, and is—he is still going strong—a great economist, who saw the power of economics as a tool of analysis to discuss real problems."
Milton and Rose Friedman: Capitalism's Greatest Living Champions: Eight ways you can learn from their success
, by Jim Powell
, Jul 1992
Written on occasion of Milton Friedman's 80th birthday; discusses eight techniques used by the Friedmans to reach and persuade others with their message of freedom and free markets
"More than anyone else, Milton and Rose Friedman took a compelling case for free markets to the world. Ayn Rand has sold more books, but the Friedmans reached millions who probably never read a good book about freedom--through countless lectures, TV appearances and, of course, their Free to Choose TV series. ... Smuggled versions of their work helped keep the torch of liberty burning in brutal police states."
Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
, by Richard Ebeling
, Sheldon Richman
, 17 Nov 2006
Memorial tribute, highlighting Friedman's role in opposing Keynesianism, and his books and other public activities
"As influential as Friedman's academic work was among professional economists, he had as profound an impact on non-economists' thinking about the virtues of free markets and limited government. At a time when popular writing that went against the collectivist grain had few mass outlets, Friedman managed to reach a wide audience with his clear and good natured-style. He accomplished this through many books, a long-running Newsweek column, and his 1980 television series, 'Free to Choose,' based on his bestselling book of the same title."
Milton Friedman, 1912-2006
, by Hans Sennholz
, 7 Dec 2006
Memorial essay, but critical of professor Friedman's advocacy of monetary policies which would leave money issuance in hands of the government
"Few American economists have wielded as much influence on economic thought and policy as the late Milton Friedman. He was an articulate and ardent advocate of free markets and personal liberty. In 1962, his Capitalism and Freedom ... pointed the way not only to economic but also political freedom. ... He was a passionate critic of all versions of socialism and a fervent censor of Keynesian economics which stands as the most influential economic formulation of the 20th century. One of the most prolific writers of his time, Professor Friedman wrote many pertinent economic columns in Newsweek. "
Milton Friedman at 90
, by Thomas Sowell
, 29 Jul 2002
Recounts some of Sowell's experiences as Friedman's student and later as friend and admirer
"John Maynard Keynes was the reigning demi-god among economists when Friedman's career began, and Friedman himself was at first a follower of Keynesian doctrines and liberal politics. Yet no one did more to dismantle both Keynesian economics and liberal welfare-state thinking. As late as the 1950s, those with the prevailing Keynesian orthodoxy were still able to depict Milton Friedman as a fringe figure ... But the intellectual power of his ideas, the fortitude with which he persevered, and the ever more apparent failures of Keynesian analyses and policies, began to change all that ..."
Milton Friedman RIP
, by Walter Block
, Mises Daily
, 16 Nov 2006
In memoriam, focusing on Friedman's positives and including several personal recollections
"Milton was a beacon of light on issues such as the minimum wage law, free trade, and rent control. ... Milton's valiant, witty, wise, eloquent and yes, I'll say it, inspirational analysis on this issue must stand out as an example to us all. Another of the high points of his career, for me, was his 'Open Letter' to then drug czar Bill Bennett ... I was amazed and delighted at his pugnaciousness in defense of liberty. He would engage seemingly everyone in debate on libertarian issues: waitresses, cameramen, the person placing the microphone on his lapel. He was tireless, humorous, enthusiastic."
Milton Friedman, R.I.P.
, by Jacob Hornberger
, 17 Nov 2006
In memoriam, relates three personal interactions with Friedman
"At an evening outdoor barbecue, I just happened to bump into Friedman and introduced myself. He spent the next 20 minutes or so talking with me as if he and I were equals. In fact, if I hadn't known differently, I would have never known he was a Nobel Prize winning economist or even that he was a major intellectual force in the world of economics. He displayed absolutely no pretentiousness whatsoever ..."
Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 24: Milton Friedman's Framework for Economic Stability
, by Richard Ebeling
, Future of Freedom
, Dec 1998
Describes Friedman's criticisms of Keynesian policies and examines Friedman's own proposals for government intervention in the economy
"In the post-World War II period in the United States, there have been few voices as important for the defense of the free market as that of Milton Friedman. In his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, he forcefully challenged the trend towards increasing government control over economic life. ... Whether it was his intention or not, Friedman's proposed 'monetary and fiscal framework for economic stability' legitimated the Keynesian arguments for government intervention in the market economy."
Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 25: Milton Friedman and the Demand for Money
, by Richard Ebeling
, Future of Freedom
, Jan 1999
Describes the role of money according to Keynesians and contrasts it with Friedman's monetary theories
"The most thoroughgoing criticism of this Keynesian conception in the decade after the Second World War was made by Milton Friedman. In 1956, Friedman edited a collection of essays entitled Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money, for which he wrote the introductory essay, entitled 'The Quantity Theory of Money – A Restatement.' ... Friedman's conclusion, therefore, was that if the demand for money was far more stable than the Keynesians had assumed, then significant short-run fluctuations in economywide output and employment, as well as price inflations and deflations, had to have their source in changes in the supply of money."
Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 26: Milton Friedman and the Monetary "Rule" for Economic Stability
, by Richard Ebeling
, Future of Freedom
, Feb 1999
Examines Friedman's arguments, in a 1967 speech, about what monetary policy could not accomplish and his defense of a paper money standard in the 1960 book A Program for Monetary Stability
"His theme was 'The Role of Monetary Policy.' He argued that there was 'wide agreement about the major goals of economic policy: high employment, stable prices, and rapid growth.' ... Friedman emphasized what he believed an active monetary policy could not succeed in permanently doing. First, monetary policy could not permanently lower interest rates below the level that the market forces of supply and demand would tend to establish. ... Second, Friedman argued, monetary policy could not permanently push unemployment below a market-determined 'natural rate.'"
Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 27: Milton Friedman's Second Thoughts on the Costs of Paper Money
, by Richard Ebeling
, Future of Freedom
, Mar 1999
Discusses how Friedman changed his mind about the advisability of a paper money standard
"The costs of a paper money standard to the society as a whole, Friedman argued, arose precisely from the uncertainty of future monetary policy under government monetary discretion and the inflationary bias that always tended to persist under government control of paper money. During inflationary times, people often tied up real resources that otherwise could have been applied for productive activities in the accumulation of gold and silver hoards as a hedge against rising prices."
Money and Banking
, by Lawrence H. White, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
Discusses some of the issues regarding money, whether state- or privately issued, and banking, including central banks, such as the Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking and free (fully unregulated) banking
"The well-known monetary historian and free-market economist Milton Friedman had argued early in his career that negative external effects associated with free banking justified a state monopoly of coin and paper currency. ... Later in his career, Friedman reconsidered and endorsed competitive note issue in light of new findings by Hugh Rockoff and others that bad results under so-called free banking in the United States were due to poorly conceived regulations, whereas a relatively free market in other countries showed good results."
Mont Pelerin: 1947-1978, The Road to Libertarianism
, by Ralph Raico
, Libertarian Review
, Dec 1979
Reviews the presentations and discussions at the 1978 meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society, with an overview of the Society's history and particularly the 1958 meeting which had similar themes
"Friedman said that he was tired of trying to define money, that he believed government intervention in money was inevitable, and that therefore, the proper role of an economist was to advocate sensible interventions. He was enthusiastic about the tax-revolt in the United States, and advocated a constitutional amendment which would establish the rules that the monetary authority should follow. Friedman insisted that 'We are doomed' if we believe that de-statizing money is the only answer."
Party makes bid for Silicon Valley support
, Libertarian Party News
, Jan 1999
Describes the visit by LP leaders and other libertarians to a Cato Institute conference in Silicon Valley
"The conference attracted a flock of high-tech executives, research professionals, politicians, and authors -- including ... Milton Friedman (Nobel-prize-winning free-market economist) ... Many of Fylstra's themes were echoed by Nobel-laureate Milton Friedman, who warned in his speech about 'the suicidal impulse of business' and its proclivity to cozy up to the political establishment."
Reading the Literature of Liberty
, by Roy Childs
, May 1987
Childs' selection of "great books", including works by Hazlitt, Bastiat, Rose Wilder Lane, Nock, Ayn Rand, Friedman, Hayek, Rothbard, Mises and Nozick
"Probably the only libertarian whose public visibility is even greater than Ayn Rand is the ubiquitous Milton Friedman, the most respected advocate of capitalism of our time. His 1962 work Capitalism and Freedom is in my view the best statement of his viewpoint. Here you'll see a great mind at work, and appreciate the power of quiet eloquence. And if you ever get the chance, don't pass up an opportunity to witness Milton Friedman's genius is all its glory: the ten hour PBS series Free to Choose."
Related Topics: Frédéric Bastiat
, Friedrich Hayek
, Henry Hazlitt
, Man, Economy, and State
, Ludwig von Mises
, Albert Jay Nock
, Ayn Rand
, Murray Rothbard
Speaking of Inflation
, by Stu Pritchard, Future of Freedom
, Jan 2006
Discusses the common misunderstanding of inflation as rising prices as opposed to the monetary phenomenon
"About 25 years ago, Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman hosted a weekly series on TV titled Free to Choose. In one segment he asked, 'How can inflation be stopped?' Then, with money printing presses shown churning out paper money, he punched the stop button. 'That's how,' he said with emphasis."
Thank You, Milton Friedman
, by Sheldon Richman
, 20 Nov 2006
In memoriam highlighting the many contributions of Milton Friedman
"... he opposed discretionary power, understanding that politicians and bureaucrats could never know enough to run an economy. He also understood that inflation was purely a government creation. ... Friedman was an indispensable part of the effort to end the military draft in the 1970s. At the height of the Vietnam War, when the government was forcing young men to fight, kill, and die thousands of miles from home ..., Friedman put his prestige on the line and demanded that conscription be stopped."
The Early History of FEE
, by Henry Hazlitt
, The Freeman
, Mar 1984
Excerpted from Hazlitt's remarks at the Leonard E. Read Memorial Conference on Freedom, November 1983
"A month later [September 1946] came a 22-page pamphlet called Roofs or Ceilings?, an attack on rent control, sent in by two young fellows from the University of Chicago, Milton Friedman and George J. Stigler, both destined to become future recipients of the Nobel prize in economics. FEE distributed 36,000 of these, plus a special condensed version of 500,000 copies for the National Association of Real Estate Boards."
The Power of Persuasion
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, Mises Daily
, 20 May 2011
Historical account of the Persuasion
magazine, edited by Joan Kennedy Taylor between Sept 1964 and May 1968
"Milton Friedman never went quite that far. But he did tell the New York Times Magazine for May 14, 1967, that in a time of 'total war,' if military and civilian authorities decreed that 'there would be time and reason to expand the armed forces manifold, either universal military training to provide a trained reserve force, or stand-by provisions for conscription could be justified.'"
The Reagan Record On Trade: Rhetoric Vs. Reality
[PDF], by Sheldon Richman
, Policy Analysis
, 30 May 1988
Analysis of Reagan's stance on free trade and protectionism, contrasting what he and those in his administration said with a lengthy list of actual quotas, tariffs and trade negotiation results
"This record also prompted Milton Friedman to write that the Reagan administration has been 'making Smoot-Hawley look positively benign.' Of course, the administration sometimes claims that it adopted mild restrictions to head off a rabidly protectionist Congress. But, as Friedman put it, 'Poor excuse. The president retains his veto power. While Congress might have overridden some of his vetoes, it would have been clear where the blame lay. As it is, the administration has given members of Congress—of both parties—a free ride. They enjoy the luxury of supporting special interests ... while avoiding the responsibility ...'"
The Story of a Movement
, by Peter Boettke
, The Freeman
, May 1995
Reflects on the growth of Austrian economics from a set of lectures in South Royalton, Vermont in June 1974 to the current spread through several scholars and institutions, and discusses a Karen Vaughn book on the school and its debates
"In June of 1974 in the little town of South Royalton, Vermont, the modern resurgence of Austrian economics began. ... Even Milton Friedman dropped by for one evening–though Friedman never bought the idea of a unique Austrian economics independent from other schools of neoclassical economics. ... Milton Friedman stated at that South Royalton conference that there was no such thing as Austrian economics–only good economics and bad economics. Well, Friedman was right to an extent. But it turns out that Austrian economics ... provides the foundation for a humanistic, logically sound, and policy-relevant economics."
The War On Drugs Is Lost
, by William F. Buckley Jr., Steven B. Duke, Joseph D. McNamara, Ethan A. Nadelmann, Kurt Schmoke, Robert W. Sweet, Thomas Szasz
, National Review
, 12 Feb 1996
Symposium with essays from William F. Buckley Jr., drug policy researcher Ethan A. Nadelmann, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, former chief of police Joseph D. McNamara, judge Robert W. Sweet, psychiatrist Thomas Szasz and law professor Steven B. Duke
"Under the circumstances, I said, it can reasonably be held that drug-taking is a contagious disease and, accordingly, subject to the conventional restrictions employed to shield the innocent from Typhoid Mary. Some sport was made of my position by libertarians, including Professor Milton Friedman, who asked whether the police might legitimately be summoned if it were established that keeping company with me was a contagious activity."
An Open Letter to Bill Bennett
, The Wall Street Journal
, 7 Sep 1989
Addressed to then Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and beseeching him and President George H. W. Bush to discontinue their efforts to fight drugs
"Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; ... illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault. Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages."
, by Milton Friedman (afterword), Leonard Read
, Lawrence Reed
(introduction), The Freeman
, Dec 1958
Read's most famous essay; resource page at FEE website includes PDF, MOBI and ePub versions, and MP3 recording
"We used Leonard's story in our television show, 'Free to Choose,' and in the accompanying book of the same title to illustrate 'the power of the market' (the title of both the first segment of the TV show and of chapter one of the book). ... 'I, Pencil' is a typical Leonard Read product: imaginative, simple yet subtle, breathing the love of freedom that imbued everything Leonard wrote or did. As in the rest of his work, he was not trying to tell people what to do or how to conduct themselves. He was simply trying to enhance individuals’ understanding of themselves and of the system they live in."
The Case for Free Trade
, by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman, Hoover Digest
, 30 Oct 1997
Discusses various arguments made about tariffs, protectionism and foreign exchange intervention, concluding with advocating completely free trade
"Ever since Adam Smith there has been virtual unanimity among economists, whatever their ideological position on other issues, that international free trade is in the best interests of trading countries and of the world. Yet tariffs have been the rule. The only major exceptions are nearly a century of free trade in Great Britain after the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, thirty years of free trade in Japan after the Meiji Restoration, and free trade in Hong Kong under British rule."
The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise
, 16 Nov 1991
From keynote address at Fifth International Conference on Drug Policy Reform; examines why, 20 years after Friedman's admonition against Nixon's drug war, the government continues its attempts at enforcement, in spite of the observable, predicted results
"Here it is almost twenty years later. ... drug prohibition has not reduced the number of addicts appreciably if at all and has promoted crime and corruption. Why is it that the only observable effect on policy ... has been that the government digs itself deeper and deeper into a bigger and bigger hole and spends more and more of your and my money doing harm? ... In our private lives, if we try something and it goes awry, we don't just continue and do it on a bigger and bigger scale. We may for a while, but sooner or later we stop and change. Why does not the same thing happen in governments policy?"
Related Topics: Chile
, War on Drugs
, Compulsory Education
, Free Market
, Health Care
, Richard Nixon
, No Free Lunch
, Ronald Reagan
, United States
A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960
Partial contents: The Greenback Period - Silver Politics and the Secular Decline in Prices, 1879-97 - Gold Inflation and Banking Reform, 1897-1914 - Early Years of the Federal Reserve System, 1914-21 - The High Tide of the Reserve System, 1921-29
Capitalism and Freedom
Partial contents: The Relation Between Economic Freedom and Political Freedom - The Role of Government in a Free Society - The Control of Money - International Financial and Trade Arrangements - Fiscal Policy - The Role of Government in Education
- ISBN 0786100494: Audio cassette, Blackstone Audiobooks, 1993
- ISBN 0226264203: Hardcover, University Of Chicago Press, 40th anniv edition, 2002
- ISBN 0226264017: Paperback, University Of Chicago Press, 2nd edition, 1982
- ISBN 0226264211: Paperback, University Of Chicago Press, 40th anniv edition, 2002
Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman (Contributor), 1979
Contents: The Power of the Market - The Tyranny of Controls - The Anatomy of Crisis - Cradle to Grave - Created Equal - What's Wrong with Our Schools? - Who Protects the Consumer? - Who Protects the Worker? - Cure for Inflation - The Tide is Turning
Friedman and Szasz on Liberty and Drugs: Essays on the Free Market and Prohibition
by Milton Friedman, Thomas Szasz
Includes excerpts from Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
and The Tyranny of the Status Quo
by Milton Friedman and Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers
by Thomas Szasz
I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read
, by Donald J. Boudreaux
(afterword), Milton Friedman (introduction), Leonard Read
, Foundation for Economic Education
Read's most famous essay, in pamphlet form; electronic version at the Library of Economics and Liberty
"Leonard Read's delightful story, 'I, Pencil,' has become a classic, and deservedly so. I know of no other piece of literature that so succinctly, persuasively, and effectively illustrates the meaning of both Adam Smith's invisible hand—the possibility of cooperation without coercion—and Friedrich Hayek's emphasis on the importance of dispersed knowledge and the role of the price system in communicating information that 'will make the individuals do the desirable things without anyone having to tell them what to do.'"
Free to Choose: The Updated and Revised Television Series
Recordings of television programs, originally broadcast in 1980 on PBS; participants included David Brooks, James Galbraith, Gary Becker, Thomas Sowell, Michael Kinsley, Gordon Tullock, and Samuel Bowles; with new introductions by Ronal Reagan and others
Rose and Milton Friedman on Mont Pelerin Society
, by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman, 15 Oct 2002
The Friedmans are interviewed at the time of the 2002 Mont Pelerin meeting in London which they were unable to attend; Milton reminisces about the first meeting and discusses the changes in the political and economic environment since its founding
Take It To The Limits: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism
, Uncommon Knowledge
, 10 Feb 1999
Friedman discusses with Peter Robinson about what is libertarianism, which government functions are legitimate and how libertarians look at issues of public safety, protecting the environment and the right size of government itself
The Economy's New Clothes: Milton Friedman on the New Economy
, Uncommon Knowledge
, 10 Mar 2000
Friedman discusses with Peter Robinson about the so-called "New Economy" of the late 1990's, comparing it to the economy of the Roaring Twenties that preceded the Great Depression
The High and the Mighty: The War on Drugs
, Uncommon Knowledge
A debate between Milton Friedman and Peter Wilson, former governor of California, about drug prohibition
The Power of the Market
Volume 1 of the PBS "Free to Choose" series. "Friedman explains how markets and voluntary exchange organize activity and enable people to improve their lives. He also explains the price system. Friedman visits Hong Kong, U.S. and Scotland."