John Stossel

Monday is Milton Friedman Day.

At 2 p.m. a memorial service will be held at the University of Chicago, where Friedman taught for so many years.

In New York City I'll join a Manhattan Institute seminar to celebrate the man The Economist called "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th Century ... possibly of all of it."

That magazine will host a web discussion on Friedman's contributions to economics beginning tomorrow and going through Monday.

A "Day of National Debate" about Friedman's work will be held at universities, and free-market think tanks throughout America will hold events.

There will even be a "Challenge the Status Quo" video contest in honor of Friedman on YouTube.

Finally, on Monday evening, PBS will premier a documentary about Friedman titled "The Power of Choice," produced by Free to Choose Media.

It's a fitting tribute to a man who did more than anyone to remind the world that individual freedom matters.

Friedman won the Nobel Prize in 1976 for his technical work in consumption analysis and monetary theory. But his real impact came through his popular writings in books and magazines. The consummate public intellectual -- clear, concise, and congenial -- Friedman taught millions worldwide about the virtues of the free market and individual liberty. When communism fell in the Soviet bloc, a new generation of Friedman-inspired activists and intellectuals were ready to implement his message of less government and more freedom.

As you'll see in the documentary, Friedman was the furthest thing from a stuffy academic. With his impish smile and sparking eyes, he lucidly debunked the once-reigning idea that government regulators know best.

His interests were not narrowly focused on economics. He pointed out the folly of the government's so-called "war on drugs." His ideas helped create the school-voucher movement. And when the Vietnam war raged in the 1960s and early 1970s, no one argued more eloquently for ending the draft, and he helped bring about the all-volunteer army.

But you probably know all that. You may be less aware of how brilliantly Milton Friedman made the case for freedom in plain English. Here are samples from Reason magazine:

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate