Thursday, March 10, 2011

Classic Milton Friedman Greed Lecture on CNBC



In this classic 1979 video, Milton Friedman famously “schooled” talk-show host Phil Donahue on the nature of greed and the virtues of capitalism.  Portions of this Friedman video are currently being featured on CNBC commercials.  I'll never get tired of watching this - it's Friedman at his best, and in his prime.  

21 Comments:

At 3/11/2011 12:02 AM, Blogger Evergreen Libertarian said...

I learned a lot from Dr. Friedman, but I stopped using the word capitalism years ago. Free trade does it for me.

 
At 3/11/2011 12:06 AM, Blogger Klockarman said...

...or free enterprise.

 
At 3/11/2011 6:38 AM, Blogger cluemeister said...

Where is today's Milton Friedman?

 
At 3/11/2011 10:55 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Where is today's Milton Friedman?"

eastern europe?

 
At 3/11/2011 11:28 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Less often noticed is that Milton Friedman wanted to get rid of the home mortgage interest tax deduction, he wanted to tax pollution, he favored a progressive consumption tax to finance the smallest military possible, and he wanted to end rural subsidies.

The real Milton Friedman is often obscured by fevered right-wing cherry-picking of his principles, 99 percent of which are sound.

 
At 3/11/2011 11:29 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Oh, and he favored aggressive use of quantitative easing in economies where zero bound had been reached but growth was anemic. The Bank of Japan did not fully listen to MF, and Japan is still stuck (for 20 years) in perma-deflation-recession.

People assume Milton Friedman always wanted tight money--not so. In Japan he told them to keep printing until they had some real inflation.

 
At 3/11/2011 12:55 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Benjamin - so are you saying that if you believe in the accuracy of one thing someone said, or even a dozen things, that you then have to believe and defend every single thing they ever said?

 
At 3/11/2011 1:34 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3/11/2011 1:36 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Fair trade, not free trade.

One reason Friedman wanted to tax polluton was to level the playing field.

 
At 3/11/2011 1:37 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"The real Milton Friedman is often obscured by fevered right-wing cherry-picking of his principles, 99 percent of which are sound."

Benji, on this very blog you advocate socialist health care, protectionism, and the minimum wage. You're the last person to be lecturing about "cherry picking" Friedman's principles.

Also, aren't you disappointed your boyfriend and the Democrats are rejecting GOP budget cuts?

Now run away, like you always do.

 
At 3/11/2011 1:52 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Hydra, free trade is by definition fair trade.

 
At 3/11/2011 2:39 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Benji, you assume a lot of things which no one who has ever read Milton's corresponding works, assumes.

 
At 3/11/2011 4:34 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Marko/AIG-
Also to my #1 fan, the TX subsidy man, Paul--

Everything I said about MF is true. Blog "Hoover, Friedman" for QE, while his views about taxes and pollution are well known. He authored a piece for American Economic Review advocating a progressive consumption tax to finance military outlays.

As for the home mortgage interest tax deduction, he favored no special gimmicks in the tax code, and especially the subsidization of consumption.

You three raise an interesting point: Do we have to subscribe to everything MF said? Well, if we don't, do we have a principled stand?

MF based his stand on classic economics, and maximizing private freedom of choice. His views are principled.

It is true, sometimes I endorse a non-Friedman viewpoint, not strictly as I want to, but because I think it is practical.

For example, Americans do not want to pull the plug on patients, even a Terri Schiavo (the R-Party held a special session of Congress, and Bush jr, cancelled a vacation to to to stop Schiavo's body being taken off machines). So, I recommend a top down control. limiting health care outlays to 10 percent of GDP. What we have now is 16 percent and growing. I would be happy to have this system in private-sector hands,

On the minimum wage, I support it for practical and political reasons. Better people feel good about working, than taking welfare, and also people vote. If you make less than minimum wage, I can imagine how you will vote.

I do not endorse protectionism--I have only wondered why China prospers following none of the precepts of free traders. Indeed, open borders are fine with me.

What does annoy me is right-wingers hypocritically cheering Friedman, and acting like they are making a principled stand--when in fact they wallow in many things Friedman detested, such as the mortgage interest tax deduction, and untaxed pollution. And I have never heard any Republican call for a progressive consumption tax to finance our endless military mobilization.

 
At 3/11/2011 4:49 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Benji, the assertion you make is that no one here has actually read any of Milton's books. Why would you think so?

Second, your assertions of what he said and didn't say, are too simplistic. Yes he favored a consumption tax...but ONLY if it replaced other forms of taxation.

Yes he favored a pollution tax, and even mentioned a cap and trade system. Problem is, even he admitted such a system would likely not work if left to political bodies. And furthermore, taxing an actually "pollutant" with measurable effects, is different than taxing an imaginary pollutant. In this stance...I think he was wrong.

Third, tax credits for homes, subsidies for farms etc etc; none of that particularly contradicts with ANY free-market proponent.

On monetary policy, no one claims he favored a "tight" policy. He never claimed it, no one thinks he did. So whats your revelation here?

 
At 3/11/2011 4:59 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"Well, if we don't, do we have a principled stand? "

Whether one has a principled stance or not is not related to one particular person. No one has ever agreed with someone else, 100% of the time.

"So, I recommend a top down control. limiting health care outlays to 10 percent of GDP."

And that solves exactly what?

"Better people feel good about working, than taking welfare, and also people vote. If you make less than minimum wage, I can imagine how you will vote."

That is so ridiculous, it begs the question: do you know how a supply and demand curve works?

"I have only wondered why China prospers following none of the precepts of free traders"

China prospers due to selling to foreign markets. I'd say the only reason China prospers is because of free trade.

"when in fact they wallow in many things Friedman detested, such as the mortgage interest tax deduction, and untaxed pollution."

The "Republican Party" represents neither the right, nor conservatives, nor libertarians, nor free-market proponents.

"And I have never heard any Republican call for a progressive consumption tax to finance our endless military mobilization."

I've never heard Milton propose so either.

 
At 3/11/2011 5:04 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji boy,

"Also to my #1 fan, the TX subsidy man, Paul--"

And what subsidy do I get? Let me know, I must have some checks to cash.

I love this:

"It is true, sometimes I endorse a non-Friedman viewpoint, not strictly as I want to, but because I think it is practical."

and then..

"What does annoy me is right-wingers hypocritically cheering Friedman, and acting like they are making a principled stand--when in fact they wallow in many things Friedman detested.."

Yeah, things he detested like socialist health care, the minimum wage, and protectionism(which you definitely have voiced support for on this very blog.)

Only Benji is allowed to deviate from Milton Friedman's holy writ!! Only he is allowed to call himself a "true conservative" even while he helps elect socialist community organizers to the highest office in the land!

"And I have never heard any Republican call for a progressive consumption tax to finance our endless military mobilization."

As AIG points out, you only half understand Friedman's idea here. Big surprise! If you knew what you were talking about you would know there are numerous Republicans who want to replace the income tax with the consumption tax. Your boyfriend is not down with the idea, however.

Hey Benji, you still didn't tell us if you are disappointed your boyfriend and the Democrats rejected the GOP's budget cuts.

 
At 3/11/2011 5:45 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

AIG-

Your post is woefully off-course.

Do you seriously believe, "Third, tax credits for homes, subsidies for farms etc etc; none of that particularly contradicts with ANY free-market proponent."

You have drifted off into cloud-cuckoo land. Take a nap, drink soe strong coffee, and stop smoking pot.

Paul-

Despite your braying, I am not a Democrat. However, when I consider free-markets and budget deficits, neither am I a Republican.

The last R-Party president we had embroiled us in two unwinnable wars at a total costs of $3 trillion, ran huge deficits, seemed to take more vacations than he worked, loved ethanol, and watched the financial system wreck, all on his watch. Even 9/11 happened while he was sleeping.

Why do Texan presidents get us into wars? LBJ and Little Lord Faunterloy Bush jr. We would be several trillion ahead, except for those two Texas idiots.

 
At 3/11/2011 5:54 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

Once again, your boyfriend makes Bush look like an economic maestro. This past February's deficit alone is larger than the annual deficit of 2007.

Why is it you won't answer if you are disappointed your boyfriend and the Democrats reject GOP budget cuts?

 
At 3/11/2011 6:00 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Here's Benji the prescient ruminating about "Ryan Paul's" sincerity towards budget reduction:

"Mitch McConnell, Senator Minority leader, is from Kentucky, as is Ryan Paul, junior Senator and the new darling of the Tea Party crowd.

Oh sure, I think those two will suddenly cut the federal budget, including the flows of taxpayer money that keep their state fat and happy in subsidy land."

Rand Paul has since been elected and proposed slicing the budget by $500 billion, for starters. Meanwhile, Benji is gearing up to pull the lever again for his boyfriend in 2012.

 
At 3/11/2011 6:17 PM, Blogger juandos said...

You can always tell when the pseudo benny is here, dumb, factless comments delivered with the typical 'Gov. Jerry Brown inability to get a grip on reality' style...

 
At 3/22/2011 11:09 PM, Blogger Dave said...

As a native of Montana,a ranch brat, no less, Bill Gates 'psychobable' is more about his agenda to promote his global company than the common good..... He does not seem to realize that in the end...all will leave this world as they came..Bill,.....I dont care that you have a paved & heated driveway @ your Big Sky 'summer/winter home',in the end.... you and I,and all for that matter,will be held accountable.., it does'nt matter about your,[or my] belief system.To be sure, innovation is to be rewarded.... just look at the long term,and be aware of the eternal. Whether you 'believe' or not is not the issue.Just make peace with the Creator,after all,He gives all the very next breath,,,, there is little reason for anyone to be pumped up.

 

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