Tributes have been paid to Milton Friedman, one of the most influential economists of the past century, who has died aged 94. The winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize for economics, Friedman preached free enterprise in the face of government regulation. The American’s ideas played pivotal roles in the governing philosophies of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and ex-US President Ronald Reagan.
Current US leader George W.Bush said Friedman “helped advance human dignity and human freedom.” But he was not without controversy. His work was not initially popular and his Nobel ceremony mobilised demonstrators who criticised him for economic advice he provided to the government of Augusto Pinochet, who led Chile’s 17-year dictatorship in which some 3,000 leftists were killed.