Kudlow’s Money Politics

The Hand of Friedman

Ideas matter.

So it is with great sadness to report and mourn the passing of Milton Friedman, whose lifelong writings on the paramount significance of freedom, free-market capitalism, and liberty helped overturn the evil tide of communism and socialism in the 20th century.

His great books Capitalism and Freedom in 1962, which was morphed into Free to Choose in 1980, and subsequently serialized on public television, reached literally tens of millions of people and influenced events in the U.S. and across the world.

He explained to us the failures and flaws in government interference in the economy through overspending, over-regulation and over-taxation.

He extolled the virtues of free trade.

He explained that the root cause of inflation is excess money creation.

Rather than Keynesian state planning, Milton’s mantra of free markets, free prices, consumer choice and economic liberty is responsible for the global prosperity we enjoy today.

In fact, we take it for granted nowadays, but Friedman’s was a long, uphill battle, fought over decades to persuade politicians and business people that government is the problem, not the solution.

He was a senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan who put these ideas into play during his transformative presidency.

When you look around the world, at newly capitalist economies sprouting up in Russia, Eastern Europe, China and India, you can’t help but see the hand of Friedman.

When you review twenty-five years of virtually uninterrupted prosperity and near zero inflation in the U.S, you can’t help but see the hand of Friedman.

Milton Friedman is one of those few people about whom it can be said that he truly left the world a better place.

May he rest in peace.

Larry Kudlow is the author of JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity, written with Brian Domitrovic.

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