Few people have had such a dramatic impact on shaping the views of the American public as Milton Friedman. His influence has shaped politics, academics and
popular culture. A brilliant, world renowned statistician, Friedman was recognized around the globe for his role in shaping international and domestic economics and was an outspoken activist for smaller government and the individual’s right for personal responsibility. He has been internationally recognized for his achievements and was the recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, The Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science, among countless other awards. Friedman helped bridge the political gap and was respected by democrats and republicans alike. Although he never held a political position, his influence on American economics can hardly be rivaled by any elected official.
Friedman identified and predicted what was later to be coined “stagflation”. The terms refers to an occurrence where inflation rises as economic growth decrease and unemployment rises. Friedman understood the massive impact the Federal Reserve has on stagflation. His theory is simple: When too much money is allowed to circulate in the economy, inflation is inevitable. The government put Friedman’s theory into action in 1979, during the threat of another depression. They raised interest rates, which cut off monetary flow into the economy. Initially, this action cased further job loss. But Friedman’s prediction proved groundbreaking, and in the early 1980’s, inflation ceased to excel at such a rapid rate and the economy stabilized, staving off another Great Depression.
Friedman was a devoted scholar. He taught at the University of Chicago for over 30 years, fostering a community of independent thinkers among his colleagues and students. During his residency, the school was a breeding ground for economic genius, and produced more Noble Prize laureates and winners, as well as John Bates Clark medalists, than any other university. The University of Chicago Economics Department’s renowned collective intelligence, known as the Chicago School of Economics, was contributed in no small part to the influence of Milton Friedman.
As an educator, Friedman had found his calling. He had a gift for explaining extremely complicated theories and ideas to laypeople in a clear and concise manner. A skill which served him well over the years. Friedman’s collective writings are quite extensive and include dozens of books, newspaper columns, magazine articles, television series, essays and speeches.
An active libertarian, Friedman opposed federal and state government interference in almost all areas of public life. He was an advocate for the legalization of drugs and believed the government should not play a role in licensing doctors and other public servants. In his book Free To Choose, he states “Reliance on the freedom of people to control their own lives in accordance with their own values is the surest way to achieve the full potential of a great society.”
http://www.raptisrarebooks.com currently offers some very fine, rare and collectable books by Milton Friedman, including a first edition, signed copy of A Theory of Consumption Function, which is in near-fine condition, with a near-fine dust jacket.
Written for Raptis Rare Books, www.raptisrarebooks.com