Milton Friedman Then and Now

Here’s a comment I posted to Huffington Post, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of economist Milton Friedman …

The Chicago School of Economics was always conservative. More than any other economist, Milton Friedman made it synonymous with ultraconservative. Friedman was a brilliant advocate of free-market economics, but he was no ideologue. With elimination of controls, laissez-faire thinkers like Friedman (and Greenspan) envisioned increased competition, a healthy business and social environment, more jobs, a higher standard of living, and lower prices. That was the theory.

What we got was “too big to fail” mega-mergers, corrupt business practice, decreased competition, layoffs and mortgage defaults, a thrust-fault slippage of the standard of living, higher prices, and the biggest global economic catastrophe since 1929. As a consolation prize, we got Citizens United to remind us what a monumental achievement this was.

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