Special guest columnist report: Anna Nicole who?
Anna Nicole, Milton Friedman and Joan Collins who?
By Craig J. Cantoni
When the media announced the death of Anna Nicole Smith, I had to ask my wife who she was. In retrospect, it would have been better not to know. And when I learned the same week that hundreds of Scottsdale women had lined up at the Barnes & Noble near my house for a book signing by Joan Collins, I had to ask who she was, and again regretted asking.
Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman died recently. There were tributes to him in the media, but nothing like the incessant coverage of Anna Nicole Smith, whose claim to fame was posing naked, mooching off an old guy, taking drugs, gaining weight, losing weight, wearing so much mascara that she looked like a raccoon, and having the intelligence of a -- well, never mind.
By contrast, Friedman’s claim to fame was developing an economics theory and a libertarian political philosophy that lifted countless millions of people out of poverty.
I wonder how many Scottsdale women would have shown up if Friedman had held a book signing for his masterpiece, Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, which he co-authored with Anna Jacobsen Schwartz, whose first name and gender were the only things the brilliant woman had in common with the other Anna. The book showed that government monetary policy is what actually triggered the Great Depression.
I also wonder how many Scottsdale women would have shown up if Friedman and his equally brilliant wife Rose had held a book signing for the insightful book they co-authored, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement. For sure, few public school teachers would have shown up -- given their animus towards Friedman, who was the father of school vouchers.
His book gives example after example of how free markets and free choice help mankind, and how government control and restricted choice hurt mankind, a lesson that city councils and most of Congress haven’t learned -- to the detriment of us all.
Yes, free markets and free choice allow people to spend their time and money watching inane coverage of Anna Nicole Smith and buying a fluff book by Joan Collins. But they also allow smart, industrious, creative and entrepreneurial people to be successful and thus raise the standard of living for everyone else.
Thank goodness we live in a country where there are enough of the second kind of people to compensate for the first kind of people.
An author and consultant, Mr. Cantoni can be reached at email@example.com.