Economics in Turbulent Times: 'The Age of Uncertainty' and 'Free to Choose'
The latter half of the 1970s was a time of turmoil in the developed world as an Arab oil embargo and quadrupling in oil prices in 1973/74 had pushed the Irish consumer price index up to 21% in 1975 from 8.6% in 1972. The US consumer inflation rate was 3.3% in 1972 and 13.5% in 1980. The two leading American economists at the time were John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006), a liberal Harvard economist; US ambassador to India during the Kennedy Administration; and a witty wordsmith who had authored popular books such as: The Great Crash: 1929, The Affluent Society, and The New Industrial State, and Milton Friedman (1912-2006), a conservative University of Chicago economist who was renowned for his focus on the money supply as a key economic indicator and who was known to the public as a columnist at Newsweek magazine. Robert Solow, a fellow winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, once said: "Everything reminds Milton Friedman of the money supply. Everything reminds me of sex, but I try to keep it out of my papers."
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