Sample Text for a Proclamation of Milton Friedman Day, January 29, 2007
The Heartland Institute encourages state and local elected officials to consider the following language in proclaiming January 29, 2007 to be Milton Friedman Day. Friedman passed away on November 16, 2006 at the age of 94.
Milton Friedman Day, 2007
Milton Friedman is the economist whose work has gained him an extensive list of honors including the John Bates Clark Medal honoring economists under age forty (1951); the Nobel Prize in economics (1976); the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1988); and the National Medal of Science (1988). On Milton Friedman Day, we honor a man whose influence is felt in the daily lives of nearly every American, and we recognize the power of choice that Friedman champions to this day.
Milton Friedman’s story is wholly American. He was born into an immigrant household, in which his parents struggled to ensure he had a start in life. He put himself through college during the depression, and his single-minded devotion to explaining the causes of the Great Depression led him to the Economics Department of the University of Chicago. It was here, in the atmosphere of intense intellectual activity, that Friedman would begin to synthesize his theories of economics, which not only transformed the landscape of economics around the world, but also leant powerful support to the benefits of free markets and limited government.
Though his embrace of free-market economics was very unpopular at the time, Friedman was tireless in championing his ideas. He knew that free markets were the answer, not only to allowing broad prosperity, but also to ensuring political freedom, both at home and abroad. “The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither,” Dr. Friedman once wrote. “The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.”
Today, the work and ideas of this once outrageous, yet innovative thinker are now part of the fabric of everyday life. Instrumental in ending the U.S. Army’s use of the draft, and serving as economic advisor to several presidents, Milton Friedman and his ideas are validated again and again, and his influence only grows. His television series “Free to Choose” aired on PBS in early 1980. It became a widely read book, co-authored with his wife, Rose Friedman. His columns for Newsweek magazine influenced a generation. As Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan once said of Dr. Friedman, “There are very few people over the generations who have ideas that are sufficiently original to materially alter the direction of civilization. Milton is one of those very few people.”
WHEREAS, Milton Friedman’s work has served to advance America’s economy, and
WHEREAS, Milton Friedman has applied his vision of America to help abolish the draft, create jobs, advance the course and positive effects of American business, and spread the economic, political and social benefits of free-market economics the world over,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, _______________, do hereby proclaim January 29, 2007, as Milton Friedman Day. I call upon citizens to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor the significant contributions Milton Friedman has made to our City, State, and Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this _________day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.