David Frum

03.02.12

Even Obama's Economist Loves Milton Friedman

Christina Romer served as chair of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2009 to 2010 and was one of the most important members of the Obama economic team. In an interview with The Browser, she gives an overview of the most important books about the Great Depression. Whose book is number one on her list? The Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz classic, A Monetary History of the United States. Even more remarkably, she selected Friedman over Keynes:

When you asked me for my list of books, I debated about whether to put The General Theory by John Maynard Keynes on the list. The General Theory is an incredibly important book, but it's basically a theoretical explanation of how aggregate demand could affect output. It was Friedman and Schwartz who provided the empirical evidence that supported the theory. That's why A Monetary History went to the top of my list.

It is a testament to Friedman's scholarship that his work holds up so well.

Now if only conservatives can admit that if Friedman was alive, he would support having the Federal Reserve be much more active in working to speed up the economic recovery.