In the late 1970s, Hayek and Friedman were both at the top of their game but Hazlitt, even back then, saw more long lasting influence for Hayek---which, at the present time, seems to be an accurate forecast.
LR: You also know Hayek's fellow free marketeer and Nobel Laureate, Milton Friedman. How would you contrast their approaches?
Hazlitt: Well, Milton has always been very sure of himself. He's a very clear writer, a very easily readable writer. He has a very vigorous mind. But Hayek's has always been more an exploring mind, more a mind that is not certain that he knows all the answers and in fact changes his answers frequently. He's also a much more subtle writer, and a much more difficult writer to read partly because of stylistic reasons. His sentences are sometimes endless. I think that Hayek's influence will be felt much longer than Milton's though, because although Milton is .a beautifully lucid writer, and a first-rate debater, what he's contributed to economics is more questionable. In his monetary theories, he is, curiously enough, a statist. In spite of the fact that in everything else he is for the free market, when he comes to money, he's a complete statist. He believes that control of the supply of money should be left entirely in the hands of the state ..And his theory keeps changing all the time.
Sometimes he's advocated zero increase in the money supply, sometimes 2% , sometimes 4-5-6%-1 think 6% is the highest he's openly gone-and in one essay, he even said, "well, I really think I'm coming back to 2%. 2 % for the long run will be good. But on the other hand, I would advocate 5 % ." I think that Hayek's influence will be more deep seated and longer lasting than Milton's.