Milton Friedman was born on July 31, 1912. He was a recognized economist and an advocate of monetarism. He was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in the year of 1976. At 94-years-old he passed away on November 16, 2006.
In the following paragraphs, you will get to know 11 facts about this contributor to the world economy.
Milton Friedman Facts
1. Milton Friedman believed in monetarism
As an economist, he was an advocate of monetarism. This is a theory that says that the amount of money a government prints each year has a large effect on the country’s economy. His position regarding this was that it is better to print the same low rates of money every year instead of a different amount.2. He received many awards, including a Nobel Prize
Milton Friedman was awarded in 1988 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That same year, he received the National Medal of Science. He is also considered as the greatest leader of the Chicago School of modern economics.
Additionally, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1976, an interesting fact about Milton Friedman. This prize was in recognition of his work and achievements in consumption analysis, monetary theory, monetary history and stabilization policy.
3. Milton was an advisor to President Ronald Reagan
Friedman’s theory of monetarism became more popular during the decade of the 1970s. This led him to become one of President Ronald Reagan’s economic advisors.
He also believed that the government should not have too much control over the economy, that there should be a limit. Friedman also thought it was positive to cut taxes, to lower the government’s spending and eliminate any rules that limited the economy.
In addition, he served informally as an economic adviser to Senator Goldwater while he was running for President in 1964. He played the same role for Richard Nixon in 1968 and also for Ronald Reagan in 1980.
4. Friedman became famous for his Theory of the Consumption Function
In 1957, he developed the Theory of the Consumption Function. This idea said that decisions related to consumption and savings were influenced by a permanent change to income. According to the theory, short-term tax increases would decrease savings.
An interesting fact about Milton Friedman is that he also challenged the view of economics Keynesians had. They stated that fiscal policies should always prevail over monetary policies. With the theory of free-market monetarism, Friedman offered a different view on the subject.
5. He wrote many books emphasizing on individual freedom
Professor Friedman wrote several books on public policy. He mainly focused on individual freedom and its preservation and extension. Some of his most important books on this subject are: Capitalism and Freedom; Bright Promises, Dismal Performance; Free to Choose; and Tyranny of the Status Quo.
Among his other books that are also worth mentioning are: A Theory of the Consumption Function; The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays; A Monetary History of the United States; Monetary Statistics of the United States; and Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom.
6. Professor Friedman was president of several economic associations
His numerous achievements in the field of economics allowed him to be considered for the presidency of several economic associations, such as the American Economic Association. He was also president of the Western Economic Association and also of the Mont Pelerin Society. Additionally, he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society.
7. Friedman believed in an all-volunteer Armed Force
Milton did not support people being forced into the Armed Forces, instead, he believed that it should be voluntary. He is considered the father of the all-volunteer military, an interesting Milton Friedman fact. He became a member of the President’s Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force between 1969 and 1970.
His idea of a completely voluntary Armed Forces was given to then-Secretary of Defense, Melvin Laid. According to Friedman, an all-volunteer Armed Forces was more representative of the people than the draft was.
8. He received honorary degrees by several universities in the world
Friedman was a bachelor in Business Administration from Rutgers University, a degree he obtained in 1932. Then, in 1933, he received an M.A. from the University of Chicago. Finally, he obtained his Ph.D. in 1946 from the University of Columbia.
However, for his numerous achievements, he was granted honorary degrees by universities in other countries, as well as in the United States. Japan, Guatemala and Israel were some of those countries. He also was given the Grand Cordon of the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure by the government of Japan in 1986.
9. Friedman and his wife promoted school choice
The professor and his wife, Rose, created the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation. An interesting fact about Milton Friedman is that T]this organization promoted the parental choice of the schools their children attended. It is based in Indianapolis and led by Gordon St Angelo.
10. He was an agnostic
Milton married Rose Director in the year 1938 and they had a daughter and a son together. He was an agnostic, who is a person who claims they neither believe nor deny the existence of God.
He passed away as a consequence of heart failure in San Francisco, California. He was cremated and his remains were scattered over the San Francisco Bay.
11. To him, economics does not have to be confusing
Some of the lessons that can be taken from Milton Friedman’s theories are: Policies should not be judged by their intentions, but by their results; Economics does not have to be confusing and can be communicated to the masses; Inflation is a monetary phenomenon; The government should not intervene into the economy; and that when a government fails, it can be as bad or worse than a market failure.
Milton Friedman was an expert in the field of economics and his knowledge helped him work with many individuals and organizations, among several public officers and Presidents. His theories are still used and studied today all over the world.
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