Now Friedman, who died last week, definitely has his intellectual cred. He's got a Nobel Prize fer crissakes. And he's definitely been a figure of major influence over the years. His economic viewpoints have been the basis of American fiscal policy for almost twenty years and third-world economic development for the past twenty or so. Which is also the main problem-- people here tend not to like either of those things. In fact, it was Friedman who gave us such wonderful things as Reagonomics and monetarism, two things that don't scream "San Francisco."
All of which is why the last thing we expect this city to do is mention the guy, Even if he did live in Russian Hill. Oh, maybe we could give a proclamation but oh that'll never fly either. We can just see the 'Bay Guardian" rumination against it. Leonard Peltier maybe, but Friedman no. Even if it were argued that he was the fun, libertarian, kind of conservative who hated the war on drugs and was somewhat an old-school San Francisco kind of cat. And renaming "Market Street" "Free Market Street" well, that's just plain funny. In fact, one could question what the hell the editor's were smoking when they wrote this (and that little crack about John Kerry-- nice touch). We mean, Friedman is more important to this city than Allen Ginsberg or Jack Kerouac? Sure, Friedman probably had more influence on the world, but people don't travel all the way from Japan to hang out in bars that Milton Friedman supposedly puked at now do they?