Saturday, December 18, 2004

Friedman Summarizes

Milton Friedman, the 92-year-old Nobel economist, is one of those rare individuals--like, e.g., Thomas Sowell--who is able to say more in one column than most people can say in a multi-volume book, and can say it clearly, manifesting massive common sense. In this column for The Australian, he summarizes the intellectual opinion and practice of the US in the last six decades concerning the desirable role of government. Here's his summary:

To summarise: After World War II, opinion was socialist while practice was free market; currently, opinion is free market while practice is heavily socialist. We have largely won the battle of ideas; we have succeeded in stalling the progress of socialism, but we have not succeeded in reversing its course. We are still far from bringing practice into conformity with opinion. That is the overriding non-defence task for the second Bush term.

(Hat tip: Instapundit)