milton friedman

Milton Friedman



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Milton Friedman (1912- 2006), was an American economist whose controversial theories sparked widespread debate in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in economics.

Friedman argued against government intervention in the economy, claiming that the forces of a free market will efficiently solve most economic problems.

He rejected the theories of the British economist John Maynard Keynes and his followers. Keynesian economists call for short-term changes in government spending to control the economy.

Instead, Friedman urged a gradual, continuous increase in the money supply to promote economic growth. He set forth these theories in his book A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960 (1963).

Friedman and other economists who support such theories are called monetarists.

In his book Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Friedman proposed a negative income tax. Under this plan, families with incomes below a certain level would receive cash payments from the government.

Friedman was born in New York City and received a Ph.D. degree from Columbia University. He taught economics at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1977. He then moved to Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace.

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1. Everyone agreed with Milton Friedman’s ideas because he won the Nobel Prize. Yes or no?

2. What was his main idea or thesis? Did it contradict other economic theories?

3. In Friedman’s opinion, did the government have a role in the economy? What if any, role should the government have?

4. Friedman was a pure, complete capitalist. True or false?

5. Was Friedman directly involved in politics? Did he serve in the government, or was he an academic?


A. Do you agree with Friedman’s theories? I totally agree, I mostly agree, I both agree and disagree, in the middle, I disagree or I completely disagree?

B. Who are some influential economists in your country? What are their philosophies, beliefs and ideas?

C. What sort of economic policy does your country follow?

D. What are some economic problems or difficulties?

E. What are some solutions?

F. What will happen in the future?

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