Somewhere I have a photograph of me and Milton Friedman. The plan was we were going to count to three and then just as the photographer snapped the picture we were going to put our heads together and make the funniest faces we knew how. Milton made it through; he looks a little like Bugs Bunny . I cracked up, and I look pretty ridiculous.
We were working on a documentary on free market economics. I knew absolutely nothing about the subject. But I knew genius when I heard it. Genius, I had realized way back in college, was not the ability to give long, complicated speeches, or to drop lots of long words, or hold forth on any given subject until the cows came home. Genius was the ability to take the very complicated and make it very clear and simple, in ten words or less. MiltonFriedman could do that. He could sit down with an ignoramus like me and in less time than it takes to order dinner make the truth about what money really is and what it really does plain as the dawn.
Milton Friedman was a genius, a Nobel Prize winner, an intellectual who knew how to make a girl laugh at a silly joke and go home feeling like maybe she wasn't such a dope after all. He was a nice man. He died today at the age of 94. Another person the world will miss.