One regret of my high school and college education is that I never took a course in economics. If I could do it all over again, I'd at least sign up for a simple introduction to the concept. Instead, I've been learning on my own for the past fifteen years or so.

My favorite author/thinker on the subject would have been 103 years old today. That's the great Milton Friedman. Friedman died on November 16, 2006 when he was 94 years old. He taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades and received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research.

In honor of his legacy and birthday, I give you one of my Milton Friedman quotes:

The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from grinding poverty, the only cases in recorded history are where they’ve had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that, so that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear: that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

And a handful of my favorite videos featuring his wonderful thinking: