August 01, 2002
Belated Birthday Anecdote

In honor of Milton Friedman's 90th birthday, some may find this little anecdote amusing:

In the fall of 1975, he came to the University of Chicago bookstore to sign copies of a new book. One of the local leftists stationed himself just a few feet away and kept up a constant flow of shouted and even screamed insults about 'Fascist oppression in Chile', which he blamed on Friedman. The bookstore management did not try to throw the bum out. Someone asked Friedman what he thought about having his own personal heckler. Being an economist, he gave an economic answer. After all these years, I can't recall the exact words, but here's the gist:

When the product you're trying to sell can't attract a market of its own, you have to try to borrow someone else's market.

Perhaps he said "steal", not "borrow". I wish I could remember.

The birthday was yesterday, but I was too busy driving from Maine to Baltimore to blog this until now. Better late than never: Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman!

Posted by Dr. Weevil at August 01, 2002 11:22 PM