The Economic Theories of Milton Friedman

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THE ECONOMIC THEORIES OF MILTON FRIEDMAN

The Economic Theories of Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman was one of the top and most influential economists whose conservative economic theories became influential during the last part of the twentieth century. This paper will explore his economic theories and how his policies were embraced by some conservative politicians but are not as widely adopted today. Milton Friedman would famously say “there is no such thing as a free lunch” (Moore 2012). What he meant was that everything comes with an opportunity cost. If the government spends money then that money must come from the private economy. He was an advocate of capitalism and his views helped revive modern capitalism in the latter part of the twentieth century. He was a proponent of the free market economic system and was opposed to government interference in the economy. Many of his theories have become accepted and lauded by modern day conservative politicians. Milton Friedman was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1912 to immigrant parents. He was awarded a scholarship to Rutgers University where he majored in mathematics. While at Rutgers he became interested in economics due to the poor state of the economy during the Great Depression. After graduating from Rutgers University he went on to receive his master’s degree from the University of Chicago and then on to Columbia University for his doctoral work (Academy of Achievement, 2010). During the early years of his career, Friedman went to work for the Treasury Department. While there he helped implement the income withholding tax as a way to help finance World War II. At the time, taxes were paid in a lump sum one time per year. He later came to regret helping implement the withholding tax. Friedman remarked that: we concentrated…...

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