Famed economist and YAF ally Dr. Milton Friedman was born 108 years ago today. Dr. Friedman was an adamant defender of the free market and enriched many YAF students throughout the years with his wisdom and wit.

Despite his short stature (at only five feet tall), Dr. Friedman towered over the field of economics in the twentieth century. He taught economics at the prestigious University of Chicago for 30 years, and is one of the leaders of the ‘Chicago School’ of macroeconomic theory. Among other achievements, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics in 1976 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, he also had a direct impact on public policy. Throughout the 1980s he would advise fellow YAF allies President Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on economic policy. His influence helped push the free market policies in both the U.S. and the UK which led to prosperity and growth in both countries.

For all of these reasons and more, YAF was thrilled to work with Dr. Friedman for almost 40 years. “No more effective comeuppance to the pretensions of our left-wing gurus than Young America’s Foundation,” Friedman once said.

In the early 2000s, YAF had the opportunity to sit down and interview Dr. Friedman. His thoughts can be found in a series of videos uploaded to YAF’s YouTube page here. During the interview, Dr. Friedman reflects on his life and hits on key economic points that students should remember. He looks at free enterprise’s tremendous success worldwide, analyzes some of the problems with relying on the government to fix everything, and highlights the surprising anti-free market attitudes of many businesses.

YAF is grateful to have been able to partner with Dr. Friedman for many decades and is thankful for all of his work defending freedom. Happy birthday to a truly remarkable man!


Karl Stahlfeld is the Associate Director of YAF’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise