Mart Laar

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... I was young and crazy, so I didn’t know what is possible and what's not, so I did impossible things.
... When I told her what I am planning to do, she looked at me with these big eyes and said “you are one brave young man.”... But I did not stop.

Mart Laar (born 22 April 1960) is an Estonian statesman, historian and economist. He was the Prime Minister of Estonia from 1992 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2002. A staunch follower of the economic policies of Milton Friedman, Laar is credited with having brought about Estonia’s rapid economic development and recovery in the 1990s.

Sourced[edit]

And when I became the prime minister then I decided, why not?
When you grow up in the Soviet society under the communists you heard about the one man who is especially dangerous, especially crazy, and absolutely mad, and which would destroy all the human beings and the economies and so on, and this man was called Milton Friedman.
  • My name is Mart Laar. I have been twice Prime Minister of Estonia, and I'm not an economist.
    • Interview with Stephen J. Dubner, for 'Freakonomics Radio' podcast (24 March 2010), as published in [1].
  • When you grow up in the Soviet society under the communists you heard about the one man who is especially dangerous, especially crazy, and absolutely mad, and which would destroy all the human beings and the economies and so on, and this man was called Milton Friedman.
  • The flat tax I got on my first meeting with Margaret Thatcher, who I admired very much and who was a great admirer of Milton Friedman. I met her first when I had been prime minister I think for some months and so on, and when I told her what I am planning to do, she looked at me with these big eyes and said “you are one brave young man.” And then a little bit introduced me on the realities of the Western world on which I was not very well informed. But I didn’t stop.
    • Interview with Stephen J. Dubner, for 'Freakonomics Radio' podcast (24 March 2010), when asked how he learned the fate of Friedman's policies in the Western world.
  • Within my first meeting when I proposed to introduce the flat tax in Estonia they looked on me as I am a little bit crazy. And asked “do you know something on the economy?” and I answer “economically, no not so much.” But I think this is a great idea because it looks to work. And I didn’t know then that I would be the first one to see this, but I introduced it. I was 32, I was young and crazy, so I didn’t know what is possible and what's not, so I did impossible things.


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