Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley, Jr.

I have been struggling to come up with what both of these men meant to me, and what their passing means for America. The following is by Mike Rosen, follow the link for the full story;

ROSEN: Two irreplaceable minds

Friday, March 28, 2008

It may be true that no one is indispensable. That is, people come and go, and the world goes on. Perhaps irreplaceable, then, is a better word. Individuals whose unique persona, contributions and impact on events make them one of a kind.

In the past several months, we’ve seen the passing of two such people, both of whom were my intellectual heroes and mentors. In November, Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman died, and earlier this month we lost William F. Buckley, Jr. Friedman described himself as a libertarian; Buckley was a conservative. Friedman was Jewish; Buckley, Catholic. They had different specialties, different agendas and different styles but had much in common and often overlapped on matters of policy and politics.

I read and was greatly influenced by their writings and ideas, and I had the distinct privilege of knowing them personally. They were kind enough to appear on my radio show on several occasions. Those interviews were always a treat. Friedman restored respectability and stature to free-market economics and had a rare gift for explaining economics in common-sense terms that laymen could understand. (My copy of Free to Choose has the unique distinction of being autographed by Milton and his wife and co-author, Rose).

From the comments about that article:

All thinking persons will miss the late Milton Friedman and William Buckley, Jr.

Great minds come by too infrequently and too many average minds pass as great minds because they offer utopian pipe dreams. Neither Friedman nor Buckley can be said to have offered uptopian pipe dreams.

“Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich.”

“I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”

“I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”

“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”

“Life can’t be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years.”

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

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