Friday, November 17, 2006

My Favorite Milton Friedman Quotes

1. There is nothing as permanent as a temporary government program.

2. Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.

3. Inflation is caused by too much money chasing after too few goods.

4. Sloppy writing reflects sloppy thinking.

5. All learning is ultimately self-learning.

6. I'm in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.

7. Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.

8. The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.

9. The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.

10. The high rate of unemployment among teenagers, and especially black teenagers, is both a scandal and a serious source of social unrest. Yet it is largely a result of minimum wage laws. We regard the minimum wage law as one of the most, if not the most, antiblack laws on the statute books.

11. Industrial progress, mechanical improvement, all of the great wonders of the modern era have meant relatively little to the wealthy. The rich in Ancient Greece would have benefited hardly at all from modern plumbing : running servants replaced running water. Television and radio? The Patricians of Rome could enjoy the leading musicians and actors in their home, could have the leading actors as domestic retainers. Ready-to-wear clothing, supermarkets - all these and many other modern developments would have added little to their life. The great achievements of Western Capitalism have redounded primarily to the benefit of the ordinary person. These achievements have made available to the masses conveniences and amenities that were previously the exclusive prerogative of the rich and powerful.

12. President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."... Neither half of that statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. "What your country can do for you" implies that the government is the patron, the citizen the ward. "What you can do for your country" assumes that the government is the master, the citizen the servant.

13. On the difference between public vs. private education: "Try talking French with someone who studied it in public school. Then with a Berlitz graduate."


At 11/21/2006 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Issue with number 11 - its incorrect.

That vast majority of our technical advancements, those that have been most useful to humanity, have been medical.

Rich or not, there were very few 60 year olds in ancient Greece. No Antibiotics.

At 6/26/2007 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That has at least as much to do with nutrition (agricultural practices, chemistry, etc.) and sanitation and a slew of other things as it does with medicine.

On top of that, I think you're missing the spirit of the quote; citing specific examples like antibiotics doesn't make any sense.

At 8/16/2008 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I am a fan a Milton Friedman, has the free market served Flint, MI well?

No doubt it is fun to scapegoat the UAW, but clearly the power of private sector collectivism pales in comparison (thank god) to market forces. Friedman seems a weird hero for someone in Flint.

At 6/12/2009 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There weren't very few 60 year olds in ancient Greece, just like Milton said free markets add more to the lives of the poor, modern medicine adds more to the life expectancy of the young. Low life expectancy is caused by high mortality among children! The change in life expectancy for adults due to modern medicine is quite marginal by comparison!

At 8/10/2009 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Flint MI question: All you have to do is ask GM mgt how free their choices were when the union guys came into their offices

At 7/31/2012 6:25 PM, Blogger Ed R said...

"All you have to do is ask GM mgt how free their choices were when the union guys came into their offices."

Give us a break, please!! Ford has its contracts with the same unions and it has done relatively well. It did not need a govt bailout.


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