Getting ready for the evening, I was like a kid going on an exciting field trip. "Where's my camera?" I asked Maria. "Do I have on a nice enough tie?" Friedman had become one of my heroes...
One of the fascinating things Friedman told me was that he'd worked for the government during the New Deal, President Franklin D. Rossevelt's program in the 1930s for economic recovery and social reform. "There were no other jobs," he said. "It was a lifesaver." Even though he was against most regulation, I was impressed to hear that he favored government relief and government jobs during the mass unemployment because this could inspire the economy to grow.That evening with Friedman must have been quite a night, he also left Schwarzenegger with the impression that Leonard Read's brilliant essay, I Pencil, was his idea:
Like Reagan, he was wonderful at painting ideas in ways that everyone could understand. He used a pencil, for instance, to argue for the free market:
"The wood came from Washington State, the graphite came from South America, and the rubber came from Malaya---literally thousands of people on three different continents each contributed a few seconds of time to make this pencil. What brought them together and induced them to cooperate? There was no commissar sending out orders from central office. Because there was demand. When there's demand for something, markets find a way."
I used Friedman's idea when debating Sargent Shriver about the price of milk.