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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Three Cheers for Milton Friedman: Still Going Strong After All These Years

On April 4, 2012, Gordon Lloyd, professor of public policy, with support from the Koch Charitable Foundation, presented "Three Cheers for Milton Friedman: Still Going Strong After All These Years." Lloyd concentrated on the enduring contribution of Friedman to political economy on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth and the 50th anniversary of the publication of Capitalism and Freedom.

"What I find fascinating about Friedman's extensive work is just how straightforward it is. He has what I shall call a quantitative theory of freedom. That sounds complicated, but the test can be collapsed into a one-liner:  The more capitalism, the more freedom and vice versa.  Here is another simple test:  What is the percentage of national income attributable to government spending? Ten percent?—You are really free.  Forty percent?—You need the Reagan Revolution.  That brought us down to 35 percent, but you are still freer in 1988 than you were eight years before. How about 2012?  We are closing in on 50 percent. That's Hayek's 'Road to Serfdom.'" 

- Gordon Lloyd, Professor of Public Policy, School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University.

In 1977 shortly after being awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, Milton Friedman was the keynote speaker at the first annual Pepperdine Associates dinner. Below is the original audio recording of Friedman as he speaks on liberty and how Pepperdine, as a private university, better serves the public good:

Special thanks to the Friedman family for making this content available.