top of page

Milton Friedman: The rebel voice unleashing the Power of the Market

Milton Friedman - Capitalism is about creating value, not just working hard.

In an era when government was expanding its control over the economy, Milton Friedman stood as a dissenting voice. This American economist, born in Brooklyn in 1912, passionately championed the freedom of the market as the best means to allocate resources and foster economic growth.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a doctorate from the University of Chicago, Friedman embarked on his career as a professor at the latter institution, becoming a prominent figure in the Chicago School of Economics, which advocated for the free market.

In 1976, Friedman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in recognition of his contributions to economic theory. His impact extended globally, shaping economic policies that endure to this day.

Throughout his career, Friedman developed a series of revolutionary and challenging economic theories that stood in contrast to the prevailing thought of his time.

One of Friedman's most prominent ideas was his advocacy for monetarism, a theory asserting that the quantity of money in circulation and its rapid production are the primary determinants of inflation and unemployment rates.

Friedman also strongly advocated for economic deregulation, arguing that government restrictions in the market were counterproductive and limited economic growth.

Advisor to giants

Friedman excelled as a political advisor to world leaders such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, contributing to the design of economic policies based on the free market and tax reduction.

Capitalism goes beyond effort: Creating value

Friedman was a passionate communicator. His anecdote about the canal in Asia, where he questioned the efficiency of a jobs program, embodies his insight and clarity of thought.

Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained:

"You don't understand; this is a jobs program." To which he responded, "Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels."

In conclusion

Milton Friedman, an economic giant, has left an enduring legacy. His ideas continue to guide advocates of the free market and economic freedom in a world seeking balance between state intervention and market autonomy. Do you know other anecdotes of Milton Friedman? Share them with us on X (Twitter)!


bottom of page