It Began With <i>Free to Choose</i>

A long time ago in a galaxy far away... or rather back when I was in college in the Rust Belt, I encountered Milton Friedman in some magazine or newspaper. I no longer recall what the article was about, but it was very interesting and I learned a thing or two.

When I find a writer that can both teach me something and can maintain my interest I tend to look for more by that writer. So, I went looking through the nearby libraries and bookstores seeing if there were any books by Milton Friedman. I soon came across Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton and Rose Friedman. What I found was a set of solid arguments against government involvement in most everything and more importantly, a love for economics. Here was a set of tools for understanding what is wrong with various policies and how to fix them, with both an "extreme" fix and a more pragmatic "politically feasible" approach.

Some of his ideas seemed crazy to me at the time, but I also recognized that he had sound arguments, and he not only maintained but cultivated my interest in his arguments. I was soon trying to read his more technical works and signing up for as many econ classes as would fit my schedule.

There can be no doubt that Milton Friedman has made me much better off, far more so than the few dollars I've spent on his books. If there is any argument to be made for a Pigovian subsidy, economists of Milton Friedman's caliber should be receiving such. Of course, I think Milton Friedman would have argued against it.


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