Matt Laar became Prime Minister of Estonia when he was only 32 years old. He had read only one book on economics: Milton Friedman's Free to Choose. He naively believed the book merely reported economic reforms that had already been implemented in the West. Despite the fact that his economists told him his flat tax, free market moves to privatize an economy that had been almost completely state-run could only fail, he pushed ahead.
The result: Estonia achieved the largest real per capita income of any of the former Soviet states. His policies are now being copied in the former eastern bloc.
Now, he's being honored with the Cato Institute's $500,000 Milton Friedman Prize for Liberty. That prize is aptly named, friend, because economic liberty is a massive part of what liberty is all about.
Read more from the Cato Institute and Pejman Yousefzadeh.