Columnist George Will was the speaker at the Cato Institute biennial Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty Dinner on May 13. He led off with this gem about Dr. Friedman:
Milton Friedman, whose name we honor tonight, was honored often for his recondite and subtle scholarship. But it was complemented by a sturdy common sense much in fashion nowhere now. About 40 years ago he found himself in an Asian country where the government was extremely eager to show off a public works project of which it was inordinately and excessively fond.
It was digging a canal.
They took Milton out to see this, and he was astonished because there were hordes of workers but no heavy equipment. He remarked on this to his government guide, who replied, "You don't understand, Mr. Friedman. This is a jobs program. That's why we only have men with shovels." To which Friedman said, "Well, if it's a jobs program, why don't they have spoons instead of shovels?"
On a related subject, here's our Vice President advocating that we begin making spoons instead of shovels, or, god forbid, draglines. And not just spoons, but green spoons. Think of the jobs created if we require everyone to use green spoons.
Won't that make it all better?