Was just watching a memorial service for Milton Friedman held at the
To me, more than any specific idea, Milton Friedman's lasting contribution was to emphasize that people can't be totally free unless they have economic as well as political freedom. In practice, communism inevitably leads to totalitarianism, but advocates of statism like to kid themselves into believing that the government can exert control over the economy while maintaining political freedom. Friedman convincingly argued that individuals cannot be considered free if they are restricted from engaging in mutually beneficial voluntary exchange with one another.
For more on Friedman, you can also watch PBS tonight, which is airing a documentary, "The Power of Choice: The Life and Ideas of Milton Friedman."