Milton Friedman let off far too lightly (letter)by Jim ManwaringNews Weekly
, February 17, 2007
Milton Friedman's death last year deserved a more critical appraisal than that given in your article ("Free-market capitalism's champion dies", News Weekly
, December 9, 2006).
We would be remiss to allow his death to pass without highlighting the upheaval and destruction his ideas have wrought on this nation.
The fundamentalist economic ideology that has dominated Australia since the early 1980s was the brainchild of the Nobel Prize-winning economists, Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek.
Thousands of Australian economists have accepted their ideas and applied them throughout the nation. The major political parties, key government departments and much of the media have had their minds programmed by Friedman and Hayek.
In an American lecture in 1991, Friedman went so far as to advocate the destruction of Medicare, welfare, the postal system, Social Security and public education, as William Greider alleged in his article, "Friedman's cruel legacy" (The Nation
, December 11, 2006).
A disappearing manufacturing sector, an agriculture in dire financial straits, some inland regions in depression, unprecedented problems in public infrastructure and our universities, and a range of "employment difficulties" are just a part of what Friedman's ideas have done to Australia.
Today, there are hundreds of thousands of Aussies ruined financially by Friedman-style government policy. Sadly, many fellow Australians are unaware of their plight.
However, a recognition of the continuing devastation of industry, agriculture and much of the inland cannot be kept from the populace much longer; people will not swallow government "good news" propaganda for much longer.
No wonder Greider calls Friedman "the most destructive public intellectual of our time". No wonder B.A. Santamaria was indefatigable in opposing his ideas.Jim Manwaring,
NSW State President,
National Civic Council.