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Repartees, debates and conversations November 18, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in economics, videos.

Friedman, circa 1970. Circa 1980. Circa 2005.

I have seldom seen such brilliant conversationalists and debaters. Why am I saying this – but I really wish sometimes there was someone I turn to for stimulation and/or advice, someone I knew who would have such insight, wealth of experience and intellectual integrity. Yeah I know, asking for Nobel Laureate who is a personal friend is tad too presumptuous.

Thats Former US Secretary of State George Schultz on Nobel Laureate Economist Friedman.

“Everybody loves to argue with Milton, particularly when he isn’t there.”

Here is an example of the above.

Gen. William Westmoreland, testifying before President Nixon’s Commission on an All-Volunteer [Military] Force, denounced the idea of phasing out the draft and putting only volunteers in uniform, saying that he did not want to command “an army of mercenaries.” Friedman, a member of the 15-person commission, interrupted him. “General,” Friedman asked, “would you rather command an army of slaves?” Westmoreland got angry: “I don’t like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves.” And Friedman got rolling: “I don’t like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries.” And he did not stop: ” If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general. We are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher.”



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