According to Cato:
The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom.
Friedman was widely regarded as the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics, which stresses the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation.
I will avoid the secondary shortcomings when it comes to marrying the words “Friedman” and “liberty.” Anyone who advocates government control and central planning of money (the single most important commodity) and credit (the single most important price) cannot possibly serve to “advance human freedom.”
Cato writes “an instrument of government policy” without a blink. That instrument is one of two most important means of control that a government has over its people (the other being the public funding of education, which Friedman also supported via his voucher scheme).
Perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century was a founding member of Cato. It turned out that Cato didn’t really want to associate with any champions of liberty. Here is what he had to say about Friedman.
Support for central planning and control of the single most important commodity in the market – utilized as one side of every single transaction in a division-of-labor economy. This doesn’t sound much like “liberty,” unless you are “an instrument of government policy”Cato.