Aside from the disappointment of someone so brilliant and influential as Milton Friedman not taking a moral stand alongside the issues he could easily and clearly demonstrate with sound economic theory, he did teach me a thing or two and I’m glad for that.
So I was bouncing around, here and there, noticed how fast Wikipedia got updated, then I went over to Wikiquote and recalled this from the past.
There are four ways in which you can spend money.
1. You can spend your
own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out
what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.
2. Then you
can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a
birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the
content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.
3. Then, I
can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody
else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch!
I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend
somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how
much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s
government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.
It’s also stealing, and I just wish he’d have made that point, at least some of the time.
Update II: Here’s David Friedman’s entry. This is the comment I posted:
Heartfelt condolences from San Jose. I learned a lot
from the man, almost as much as I learned from you back in the day, on
APO and HPO.
You have never for an instant tried to ride your
dad’s coattails, and to me, that has always said a great deal about
your own character.
Your modest entry, today, is no different.
Update III: Here’s his grandson’s entry.