Milton Friedman: A Joke and Some Serious Stuff

One day an economist looked up and saw a little girl being attacked by a vicious dog, just down the street. He rushed over and saved the girl by strangling the dog.

A reporter interviews him and says, “Sir, this is a wonderful thing you have done. Did you say you are an economist?”

“Yes, I am,” says the economist.

“Very good, sir,” says the reporter, “this will be our lead story tomorrow, and the headline will be ‘Radical libertarian economist saves little girl from vicious dog.

“Well, I’m not that radical,” says the economist. “I’m really more of a classical liberal.”

The reporter scratches his head and says, “Well, we’ll come up with something. Whose views would you say you are closest to?”

“Oh, I suppose it would be Milton Friedman,” says the economist.

Next day, the economist buys the paper. Across the front page is splashed: “CHICAGOITE KILLS FAMILY PET!”

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Ideas on the Road to Development

Last Thursday I hitched a ride from Pune to Mumbai in a friend’s car. Don’t be dismayed; this is not one of those personal blog posts “What I had for breakfast last week Thursday” types.

We set off bright and early in Nitin’s Mahindra Scorpio, a largish SUV-type car. The car is alright on a well-paved road but you get bounced around like crazy on badly paved pot-holed roads, especially if you elected to ride in the back seat like I did. For nearly 200 kms, we bounced along with only minor stretches of adequately-paved level road. Around half of the journey was on what is called the Pune-Mumbai “expressway.” You can maintain speeds of up to 120 kmph on that stretch, except for those bits that wind through the mountainous Western Ghats around Lonavla.
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Tubular Belle

Tubular Belle

Last month, while waiting at San Francisco International airport for my flight back to India, I was tickled to see a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 which was named Tubular Belle taxi into the next parking bay. It had Richard Branson’s zany sense of humor written all over it. Mike Oldfield’s album Tubular Bells is one of my old-time favorites and, as it happened, I had it in my MP3 player (a new Creative Vision M, I will have you know). Clever name for a 747, I thought to myself. But I did not know the connection between Virgin and Mike Oldfield until this afternoon when I picked up and read Richard Branson’s book Screw it, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life. (Virgin Books (C) 2006).
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