The Commonwealth Blog

Milton Friedman at The Commonwealth Club: A Reader, Part I

Nov 30, 2010 @ 8:06 AM
When conservative political satirist P.J. O'Rourke spoke at The Commonwealth Club of California in February 2007, he was asked who he thought was the modern equivalent of Adam Smith. O'Rourke replied, "Unfortunately, he just died. Milton Friedman was the guy."

More recently, a request for information about famed economist Milton Friedman's appearances here set us off on a mission to find all of his speeches at The Club, and we found he had spoken at The Commonwealth Club 12 times between 1977 and 1998.

We decided to make them all available on this blog for anyone interested in what this guru of the modern market economists had to say. We think that, even if you disagree with his politics and theories, you will find him to be an engaging speaker, and it might help people understand how Friedman's many acolytes in free-market circles think.

The speeches are presented here as scans of the published speeches and question-and-answer sessions from The Commonwealth, the official publication of The Commonwealth Club. We apologize if some of the quality of the scans are not the greatest; we did the best we could without doing damage to the bound copies of the publication. Unfortunately, we do not have audio or video files of these speeches, or we would gladly link to them here.

Click on the images to view them in larger sizes.

November 1, 1977: "Liberal McCarthyism: A Personal Experience"



October 31, 1980: "America: It's Economy and Government"





April 15, 1983: "The Real Threat to the U.S. Security"





July 27, 1984: "The Economy: Where Are We Headed?"




June 28, 1985: "Is Hyper-Inflation Necessary?"





June 13, 1986: "What We Know That Ain't So About Economic Policy"





See the second part of this Milton Friedman reader here.