Capitalism and Freedom
Wherever one stands on the ideological continuum, Friedman's shunning of conventional wisdom and ability to think outside the box is to be commended. His offerings went from "far out" to "mainstream" over the course of his lifetime, and his legacy will live long after he departed the world he influenced so profoundly. Friedman's ability to communicate with non-economists cemented his legacy, speaking and writing in a style that made complex and bold ideas logical, offering common sense solutions to problems we face on a daily basis.
His central thesis in Capitalism and Freedom was that capitalism was the most efficient means of operating an economy. Within this model, producers and consumers are provided with a myriad of choices in each market transaction. Ultimimately, such choices will be desired in the political world, meaning that capitalism and freedom go hand-in-hand. China's experience over the last three decades is a fitting illustration.
Steve Chapman and Robert Samuelson offer fitting tributes to this intellectual giant and one of the three most influential economists of the 20th Century (Keynes and Galbraith are the others). Current policies and proposals modeled after his teachings are representative of the justice through free markets he so tirelessly advocated.