The Corner

Milton Friedman’s Legacy

A number of the remembrances of Friedman are, oddly, glossing over his main scholarly achievement: changing the accepted explanation for the Great Depression. Anna Schwartz and he persuaded the economics profession that it was the Federal Reserve’s complicity in the reduction of the money supply that made the depression great. The fault lay in a governmental mistake, not the inherent instability of free markets.

Some of today’s op-eds are reducing Friedman’s monetary thought to the banality that in the long run, increases in the money supply cannot increase real economic output, and are implying or outright saying that he would have been among those who, in recent years, have warned of higher inflation. David Beckworth presents the counter-evidence. At the very least it should be remembered that Friedman was as concerned about government policies that undersupplied the medium of exchange as he was about policies that oversupplied it–and it was his illumination of an awful example of the former type of mistake that was his main scholarly claim to fame.

P.S. See also Timothy Lee’s post at Forbes.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit. Reviews of American Factory, a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Capital versus Tucker Carlson

Advertisers do not advertise on Tucker Carlson’s show to endorse the views of Tucker Carlson. They advertise on his show for the same reason they advertise elsewhere: a captive audience — in Tucker’s case, the second-largest one in cable news — might spare thirty seconds of attention that will, they hope, ... Read More
Natural Law

Are Your Sexual Preferences Transphobic?

Last year, a study exploring “transgender exclusion from the world of dating” was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Of nearly 1,000 participants, the overwhelming majority, 87.5 percent, irrespective of their sexual preference, said they would not consider dating a trans person, ... Read More