Thursday, November 16, 2006

Free To Oversimplify

Economist Milton Friedman dead at 94

Interesting timing -- Atrios has been talking about the mischief done by the pat answers gleaned by many policy makers and pundits in their Econ 101 classes. Uncle Milton was thrilled by the effects of that superficiality, and his TV series functioned as Cliff Notes for those unwilling to invest a even a semester.

When I was in college, "Free to Choose" was on the telly. For about a year, I was convinced the the free market was a hammer, and the whole world was a nail. I went on to major in Economics, and (just as Duncan described) with more study, realized what a crock most of it is, at least as it is taught in the intro class. (Someday perhaps I will explain in a longer piece my Unified Field Theory of Externalities.)

Anyway, Friedman's complete faith in unfettered markets made him the economic standard bearer of a flavor of selfishness that continues to do great harm. His voice will be missed, but not by those who really understood his subject.

1 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Bloor said...

When I was in college, "Free to Choose" was on the telly. For about a year, I was convinced the the free market was a hammer, and the whole world was a nail.

As one of the "nails" you exercised free-market economics on when levying premiums for package-store runs that year, I'm glad you've moved on.

As for economics generally, it's my favorite social science. By comparison, it makes psychology look like physics.

4:45 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home




see web stats