Why Milton Friedman was wrong

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

The Godfather of modern capitalism, Milton Friedman, believed that unregulated markets were the key to economic growth. Any interference by the government would be a distortion to the purity of the market, and a sure route to economic catastrophe. Friedman argued with religious passion that capitalism was the best system we had, and his influence has molded economic policy in the U.S and Britain for the last 30 years.

The experiment
led to huge economic growth for a minute percentage of the population,
and stagnation for the rest. As financial regulation was tossed aside,
Wall Street got rich while Main Street left to rot. Spiraling gas, food
and mortgage bills meant that loans could not be repaid, and the
chickens finally came home to roost. In order to avert a catastrophe,
Big Government has stepped in to re-regulate the financial industry, relying on proven Keynesian principles to correct a system gone completely out of control.

It is thankfully, as Jeff Madrick puts it, 'The End of the Age of Milton Friedman'.
How long it will take to redress the economic inequality (or whether it
ever will be) is not clear, but the action by the Fed is a step in the
right direction. Now, publicly, the government has finally accepted
that Milton Friedman was wrong.