Business: The Intellectual Provocateur

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M.I.T.'s Paul Samuelson, a leading Keynesian economist, has complained that Friedman's students are "brainwashed" because they cannot stand up to their teacher in classroom discussion. But nobody questions Friedman's popularity on the campus; in addition to his 30 regular students, another 100 drop in to his classes to listen. Some of Friedman's followers do take too literally the ideas that Friedman states in extreme form partly for shock value. "That is an effective device to get people's attention," Friedman admits. It also adds zest to economic dialogue. Samuelson says: "To keep the fish that they carried on long journeys lively and fresh, sea captains used to introduce an eel into the barrel. In the economic profession, Milton Friedman is that eel."

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