International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

an additional series of videotaped lectures, which included question-and-answer sessions.


Criticisms of Milton Friedman

Friedman has detractors who decry his popular writings as ideological, simplistic, and cavalier of public administration and of social, political, and economic history. His work has been denounced as one-sided. Friedman is known for his short, dramatic statements, which he sometimes admits are partially wrong but have basic truths. His style of speaking makes him an inspiring debater and hard to pin down, and it infuriates his opponents. He was called a "paper tiger" by economist Joan Robinson. Paul Samuelson has said of him, "Now I don't think Milton is a charlatan. . . . He believes what he says at any time he says it" (quoted in Silk 1976, p. 52). Others have noted that despite his argument for freedom, the free market, and capitalism, Friedman has defended repressive regimes, such as that of the former apartheid government in South Africa and Augusto Pinochet's oppressive government in Chile, while attacking socialist planning in India, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The irony is that many capitalist strongholds, such as Taiwan, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, and Spain, whose systems of price indexing Friedman admires, are themselves restrictive governments, where civil liberties are daily infringed upon.


Summary

Friedman, now in his eighties, continues to teach, write, and influence public administration. Because he strongly inspired economic policy in the Reagan and Bush administrations, Friedman's views are fiercely harbored by many in the Republican Congress, who argue for the free market system and, like him, are against employer-paid medical care, Medicare, and Medicaid. Thus, one can see that this man, who has been called everything from a poet to an ideologue to a "brilliant economist" ( Rayack, 1986, p. 8) continues to have a vital and enduring impact on public administration in the United States and, indeed, around the world.

BREENA E. COATES AND JEFFERY K. GUILER


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Friedman, Milton, 1962, Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Friedman, Milton, and Rose D. Friedman, 1981. Free to Choose: A Personal Statement. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Friedman, Milton, and Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. A Monetarg History of the United States, 1867-1960. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Interviews with Milton Friedman, New York Times, 14 December 1976, pp. 55, 59, and 2 December 1977, p. 16.

Jordan, Jerry, et al., 1993, "Milton, Money, and Mischief". Economic Inquiry, vol. 31, no. 2: 197-212.

Oi, Walter Y, "Milton Friedman, Starting His Ninth Decade". Economic Inquiry, vol. 31, no. 2: 194-196.

Rayack, Elton, 1986. Not So Free To Choose: The Political Economy of Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan. New York: Praeger.

Sheehan, Paul, 1993. "Friedman's Fundamentals". Australian Business Monthly, vol. 13, no. 12: 52-55.

Silk, Leonard, 1976. The Economists. New York: Basic Books.

FRIEDRICH, CARL JOACHIM (1901-1984).

Prominent German-American political theorist; professor of government at Harvard University for nearly 50 years. Although Friedrich's scholarly works ranged from an examination of the baroque period to the philosophy of law, he is best known in the field of American public administration for his debate with the British scholar Herman Finer concerning the issue of administrative responsibility.


Personal Background and Career

Carl Joachim Friedrich was born 5 June 1901, in Leipzig, Germany. The son of Paul Leopold Friedrich, a prominent physician, and Charlotte (Baroness von Buelow) Friedrich, he was one of the most influential political theorists of the United States. Friedrich received his formal education from the University of Marburg, the University of Frankfurt, the University of Vienna, and the University of Heidelberg -- where he obtained a doctorate degree in 1925.

Friedrich first came to the United States as an exchange student in 1923. After completing his doctorate degree in Germany, he returned to the United States a year later to teach at Harvard as a lecturer in government at the Graduate School of Public Administration. Friedrich became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1938.

A prolific scholar and demanding teacher, Friedrich rapidly progressed through the academic ranks. At the youthful age of 36, he attained the rank of full professor. In 1955, Friedrich became the Dorman B. Eaton professor of Science of Government, a position he held until retirement in 1971. He was a professor emeritus at Harvard ( 1971-1984) and at the University of Heidelberg ( 1966- 1984). Friedrich received honorary degrees from the University of Heidelberg ( Germany) (U.J.D.), Harvard University (A.M.), Grinnell College ( Iowa) (LL.D.), Washington University, St. Louis University (LL.D.), Columbia University (L.H.D.), Colby College ( Maine) (L.H.D.), University of Cologne ( Germany) (Dr. rer. pol.), and the University of Padua ( Italy) (Dr. rer. pol.). In 1967 Friedrich received the prestigious Knight Commander's Cross with Star, German Order of Merit award, given by the Federal Republic of Germany.

Although Friedrich spent his entire teaching career at Harvard, he did hold several prestigious appointments

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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2
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