- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 25, 2007

Free legacy

“When Milton Friedman stepped forward on Dec. 10, 1976, to receive the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences from the King of Sweden, he needed bodyguards. …

“It was a telling moment in a controversial career. Despite being a professional academic, Friedman had never locked himself away in an ivory tower. Until his death at the age of 94 on Nov. 16, 2006, he remained an intellectual warrior for ideas in the day-to-day world, and he helped change that world in important and positive ways. Along the way he made a lot of enemies. …

“Milton Friedman’s relentless belief in the power of a free people and the justice of a free society had vivid real-world effects. …

“Milton Friedman was never a politician. He could never make things happen. He could only attempt to persuade his fellow citizens and their leaders, making himself an exemplar of the virtues of the truly liberal intellectual. Because of him, the world is a freer and better place.”

— Brian Doherty, writing on “The Life and Times of Milton Friedman,” in the March issue of Reason

Paying a price

“Women today are outpacing men in college degrees, earning 57 percent of all [bachelor’s degrees] and 58 percent of all master’s degrees today. If the trend continues, demographers predict there will be 156 women earning degrees for every 100 men by 2020. …

“Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson describe the view of school from the perspective of a little boy:

” ‘Grade school is largely a feminine environment populated predominantly by women teachers and authority figures that seems rigged against boys, against the higher activity level and lower level of impulse control that is normal for boys. … In this setting a boy’s experience of school is as a thorn among roses: He is a different, lesser and sometimes frowned-upon presence, and he knows it.’

” ‘We’ve tried to force this [learning] model that works so well for girls onto boys,’ says Mortenson. ‘And we’re paying a very steep price.’ ”

— Michelle Easton, writing on “Designed to teach girls, our schools promote failure for boys,” Feb. 13 in the Chicago Sun-Times


“[Under the communist dictatorship of Josip Broz Tito,] Yugoslavia faced a chronic surplus labor problem. To solve the problem … Tito came up with a simple, but ingenious, economic strategy: he opened the Yugoslav borders … and exported surplus labor. This unpublicized element of Titoism worked like a charm. At its peak in the early 1970s, there were over a million Yugoslavs, about 11 percent of the labor force, working in Western Europe. …

“Like Yugoslavia, Mexico’s economy is stuck in a variety of statist ruts. … It’s not surprising that Mexico is on a slow growth path and that it can’t produce enough jobs.

“Rather than modernize the economy, Mexico’s politicos have used Titoism’s safety valve: when incapable of fostering productive jobs, export the labor force. Last year, almost 30 percent of Mexico’s labor force was working in the United States, and these workers sent home an estimated $23 billion in remittances. …

“Dysfunctional labor markets, which uproot populations and dump them in alien lands and cultures, have been a boon for politicians on all sides during their acrimonious electoral debates. … Mexico [is] actively using the broom of Titoism, and both destabilizing neighboring countries, provoking frictions and even unnecessary conflicts.”

— Steve H. Hanke, writing on “The Broom of Titoism,” in the winter issue of the International Economy

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