Today, on what would have been Milton Friedman’s 101st birthday, we celebrate the enduring insights of an economist and thinker whose ideas have served as the guiding light for visionary leaders around the world.
The practical policies inspired by Friedman have allowed countless individuals to realize their dreams through participation in the free-market capitalist system. Friedman advocated for “the role of competitive capitalism—the organization of the bulk of economic activity through private enterprise operating in a free market—as a system of economic freedom.”
Indeed, many around the world are indebted to Friedman’s role in championing economic freedom. That effort lives on in The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal’s annual Index of Economic Freedom.
Friedman’s monumental Capitalism and Freedom was highlighted in The Economist magazine as “ideal reading for politicians of either party in this country, not because it would convince them, but because it challenges the reader to sort out his own ideas more fundamentally.”
Friedman’s legacy will only endure as long as we as a people remain committed “to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.” As Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint has reminded us:
It is our job to make [conservative] ideas…irresistible to the politicians.… Milton Friedman explained it this way when he said: “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or, if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”
As we celebrate Friedman’s 101st birthday, it is time to renew America’s commitment to the principles of economic freedom that have been, throughout our history, the proven path to prosperity.