Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize–winning economist, may have been the first modern-day Tea Partyer. In Capitalism and Freedom, published in 1962, Friedman makes his most important contribution to his profession: the argument that the best medicine for curing a recession and stabilizing economies is for a nation’s central bank (the Federal Reserve for the U.S.) to be slowly but constantly increasing the amount banks are allowed to lend and therefore increasing the supply of money — but only in brief. Instead of economic proofs, Friedman spends much of the book urging government restraint; he starts off by condemning John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ask not what your country can do for you” inaugural address, saying it reduces the individual to a serf with the government as his master. Friedman always thought it should be the other way around.
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