Milton Friedman was an extraordinary Nobel Prize-winning economist whose ideas helped underpin modern conservative economic theory. His contributions to economics and the conservative movement cannot be underestimated. Sadly, Milton Friedman passed away a little more than five years ago at the ripe old age of 94. Although Friedman is no longer with us, his words, his ideas, and his legacy live on. In honor of Friedman, here are some of his best quotations.
10) "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."
9) "I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible."
8) "The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit."
7) "When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union -- like public housing in the United States -- look decrepit within a year or two of their construction..."
6) "There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent -- William Graham Sumner's famous example of B and C decided what D shall do for A. The first may be wise or unwise, an effective or ineffective way to help the disadvantaged -- but it is consistent with belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. The second seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty."
5) "When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it's down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn't really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products."