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View Diary: Milton Friedman: Madam of an Intellectual Whorehouse (36 comments)

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  •  Tips (16+ / 0-)

    I hope this wasn't too long.  I like my diaries short and sweet, but the topic was complex and I had a lot to say.

    I think that the task of discrediting Friedman and his stable of intellectual whores is going to be the major undertaking of this generation.  But we simply cannot go on with his fucked-up ideas running loose in our government.  They don't work.  They never have.

    Olaf(upon what were once knees) does almost ceaselessly repeat "there is some shit I will not eat"

    by slippytoad on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 07:04:34 PM PDT

    •  I'm off to bed (4+ / 0-)
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      shpilk, ChapiNation386, lams712, Newzie

      Unfortunately economics prescribes a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call for me.  I realize I've put a ton of chaff up here to devour.  If I'm in the right mood after my morning run I'll try to respond to comments.

      Olaf(upon what were once knees) does almost ceaselessly repeat "there is some shit I will not eat"

      by slippytoad on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 07:14:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks to Naomi Klein Im losing some ignorance (2+ / 0-)
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      ChapiNation386, lams712

      on these matters.

      I am horrified and sickened

      And to think this dispicable Friedman won a Nobel prize

      I straddle the thin line between Holistic and Assholistic

      by Goodbye Kitty on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 07:15:59 PM PDT

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      •  I'm not going to respond to this diary (1+ / 0-)
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        point by point, but there's at least one issue where I can offer the diarist some solace.  The theory absolutely does not state

        that, left to itself, any market would provide us more efficient healthcare than any government

        there is an extensive literature, both theoretical and empirical, documenting exactly what conditions have to hold for the market to achieve an efficient outcome.  The reason you don't hear about it more often is because the literature is so extensive it gets very technical very quickly.  

        Since Friedman's passing, George Akerlof is considered (at least among the Berkeley Econ Department) the greatest living economist.  I never met Friedman, but I've spend hours sitting in Akerlof's office, and I can tell you 1) he fits in in Berkeley, and 2) he treats Friedman as an authority.

        This is all my way of saying: we disagreed with the guy on a lot of issues, but Friedman was intellectually honest, he was brilliant, and he deserves our respect.

        •  Im sure that the families of the million or so (3+ / 0-)
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          slippytoad, lams712, willb48

          People who disappeared in Chile, Argentina and Brazil, countries being directly guided by Friedman and his economic 'liberation',would have LOVED to have had the opportunity to show Friedman the respect he deserves.

          With a rope

          I straddle the thin line between Holistic and Assholistic

          by Goodbye Kitty on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:03:36 PM PDT

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        •  What about Shock Doctrine? (1+ / 0-)
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          I know two things about M Friedman:
          that my son thinks he's a genius (said son has been steadily employed & NEVER lived at home since finishing college; Friedman's influence can't be all bad)

          and that Naomi Klein wrote a book about Friedmanite policies applied by Bremer in Iraq and planned by HR1400 etc for Iran.  

          My son amazes me.
          What I understand from Klein terrifies me.  Ed Royce, R-CA, explained why the House passed HR1400 in terms that seemed to have been pulled right out of "Shock Doctrine."  In an Aug. 2003 appearance on Lehrer's News Hour, John Mearsheimer, himself a U of Chicago prof, predicted that Iraqis would seethe with resentment at US taking over the reconstruction of their country. Facts on the ground validate Mearsheimer's prediction and the  fundamental betrayal that Klein points out but Friedman ignores: that when the power of self-determination is stripped from people, they become enraged and they don't get over it, they get even.  

          Friedman is said to have been "in love" with mathematics.  He may not have been so good in the human nature department.

          When a coward sees a man he thinks he can beat he becomes hungry for a fight. -Chinhua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

          by BughouseWW on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:15:23 PM PDT

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        •  You're free to defend his ideas (0+ / 0-)

          But do not think that simply telling me you know a guy who knew him and he's one hell of a great guy constitutes a defense.  I could give a shit about that.

          Defend the ideas.  And "greatest living economist" doesn't carry a lot of weight with me, as you must realize.  I don't think economists know what they're talking about anymore.

          Olaf(upon what were once knees) does almost ceaselessly repeat "there is some shit I will not eat"

          by slippytoad on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 05:00:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Just a philosophical thought about science, (1+ / 0-)
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      and that it is the nearest thing that we have to fortune-telling.  Now, please no torches and pitchforks, I am a professional scientist.  I find it the highest return on intellectual investment when I can look at a new set of facts and, by using sound theory, predict how that system will behave under carefully-defined conditions.  That is what science DOES.  One quick example:

      When Fermi in Chicago assembled the first (actually, Oklo was first, but it was natural, I would love to hear from anyone familiar with the Oklo event) "atomic pile", his team had no way to be certain that it would operate as thought.

      They had observations, lots of them, and a pretty darned good grasp of basic theory.  And it worked.  It did not blow up, and it did not no nothing.  That team predicted the future, and got it pretty much correct.

      That is what science if for, not to defend pet ideas, not to prove others wrong for the sake of it, but to foster an understanding of basic, or advanced, principles that in fact come to pass.  If the predictions do not pan out, either the data, the theoretical framework, or both are faulty.  Then it time to give a second or third look.  Regards, Doc.

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