Barron’s editorial page editor dubs Milton Friedman an ‘American Hero’

The latest Barron’s includes Thomas G. Donlan‘s paean to the late economist Milton Friedman. It carries the headline “American Hero.”

Macroeconomists and future economic historians may create a new theory of why the Fed is not the be-all and end-all of economic power. They may decide to blame Friedman for [Fed chairman Ben] Bernanke’s errors. But Friedman offered a clue about what’s gone wrong when he said that the Fed could never know how to adjust the money supply because the economy is too complex. He advised the Fed to accept its lack of perfect knowledge, increase the money supply steadily and moderately in good times and bad, and let the money market set interest rates.

Donlan praises other elements of what he labels Friedman’s “to-do list”:

Unilateral free trade. School choice with vouchers redeemable at the parents’ choice of school, whether public, private, or religious. Ending the war on drugs. Eliminating licensing requirements for physicians, lawyers, and other sco-called professionals. Stopping government control of broadcasting, pharmaceuticals, and energy production. Abolition of (at least) the Federal Reserve, the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Housing and Urba Development, Interior, Labor, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, and most of their programs and regulations with them. Termination of farm subsidies, rent control, the minimum wage, antitrust laws, and Social Security.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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