All posts tagged: bald economist

When Milton Friedman Ran the Show

When Milton Friedman Ran the Show

Well before Milton Friedman died in 2006 at 94, he was the rare economist who had become a household name. A longtime professor at the University of Chicago, he had been writing a column for Newsweek for a decade when he won the 1976 Nobel Prize in economics. Then, in 1980, his PBS series, Free to Choose—­a didactic, yet not at all dry, paean to the free market—­made the diminutive, bald economist something of a star. The weirdness of the show is hard to convey, but “Created Equal,” the fifth of 10 episodes, is representative of its blunt, unwonky approach. The episode opens with shots of wealth and poverty in India. Friedman’s voice-over reminds us that inequality has been a topic of human concern for hundreds of years, courtesy of do-gooders who claim that the wealth of the rich rests on the exploitation of the poor. “Life is unfair,” he says. The camera then zooms in on Friedman, sitting in a seminar room. “There’s nothing fair about Muhammad Ali having been born with a talent …