Rose Friedman, Economist And Popular Writer, Dies At 98
Rose Friedman, an economist who co-authored a number of influential books with her late husband Milton Friedman, died on Tuesday, according to the Friedman Foundation. While her birth date is uncertain, she is believed to have been 98 years old.
(University of Chicago)
The most important book that Rose and Milton wrote together was probably Free to Choose, which extolled the libertarian principles of maximizing individual liberty, and inspired a generation of Americans to question conventional wisdom about welfare and the Great Depression.
Free to Choose became a best-seller and then a PBS series. You can watch the original 1980 version and the updated 1990 version (featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about the merits of, ah, a meritocracy) at ideachannel.tv.
Rose was a "significant economist in her own right," Gary Becker, University Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, said in a statement. "In her early years she wrote important articles on consumer behavior and other subjects... She had an excellent command of how competition and markets should influence important policy questions."
Rose and Milton's legacy can be found in the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, which they founded to end the public school monopoly by advocating school choice. Its argument: "Studies show that school choice leads to better test scores for all students and higher graduation rates. They show that parents are more satisfied and involved with their child's school, and that school choice saves taxpayers millions of dollars. And they show that public schools respond positively to competition." (The foundation has posted its own statement about Rose's death.)
A March 2007 article by Reason magazine's Brian Doherty has more on the Friedmans' legacy.
My condolences to David, Patri, and the rest of their family.
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