In 1980, the economist Friedman was asked to produce a series for PBS about laissez-faire economics called Free to Choose. At the time, Friedman was a well-known economist and had won the Nobel Prize, but his ideas were considered radical if not downright weird. He believed that the government shouldn’t regulate pharmaceuticals and that the post office should be abolished. Friedman’s ideas gained traction when he correctly predicted “stagflation.”
Now his ideas have made it from the fringes of economic thought to mainstream political discourse. They’ve influenced every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan — and have contributed to skyrocketing income inequality and the destruction of the American middle class.
F.D Signifier breaks down the most notorious right-wing economist and how he broke our economy, in this latest episode of The Class Room by More Perfect Union.