I have had some great feedback from readers about this series on capitalism and freedom - and some have picked up on a very strong hint of Milton Friedman in some of my views - and lets face it, many of the actual sentences. Well sure, I'm not embarrassed to say I am a fan of Friedman - and here's an example of why:
August 20 1991 will be remembered as the day when Estonians achieved independence from the Soviet Union. Soon after independence, Estonian Prime Minister, Mart Laar inherited leadership of a country with 1,000 percent inflation, 30 percent unemployment, and disastrously inefficient government-owned businesses. Laar's government removed price controls, cut regulations and welfare programs, sold state-owned businesses, introduced a new currency, and instituted a flat-rate income tax.
Inflation in Estonia has fallen below 3 percent, unemployment has plunged below 6 percent. Estonia has enjoyed the greatest growth in real per-capita income of any of the former Soviet states. Today the country is a member of NATO, the European Union, and the World Trade Organisation and rated 12th in the world for economic freedom.
On taking the Prime Ministership, the first book that Laar read was Milton Friedman's Free to Choose. Says Laar: "The first time I heard the name Milton Friedman, it was in propaganda newsletters that said there is one very bad and very dangerous economist, and his name is Milton Friedman. I was quite sure, when he is so dangerous for the Communists to be telling me this, he must be a good man."
Happy Estonian Independence Day to all readers of the ShadowLands.