Saturday, June 21, 2008

Classic Milton Friedman; "Classic Liberal" Friedman

In this video from 1975 (the year before he was awarded the Nobel Prize), Milton Friedman explains at the beginning:

"I never characterize myself as a conservative economist. As I understand the English language, conservative means conserving, keeping things as they are. I don't want to keep things as they are. The true conservatives today are the people who are in favor of ever bigger government. The people who call themselves liberals today -- the New Dealers -- they are the true conservatives, because they want to keep going on the same path we're going on. I would like to dismantle that. I call myself a liberal in the true sense of liberal, in the sense in which it means of and pertaining to freedom."

Friedman goes on to explain: why the welfare state philosophy of doing good with other people's money always involves violence and coercion; why even good people lie to the American people once they become politiicians; why the mininum wage law forces employers to discriminate against unskilled workers, especially black teenagers; why government programs almost always have the exact opposite effect of the intended effect; why the harm done by trade unions was becoming patently obvious; why the Great Depression was not necessary and did not arise out of any natural flaw in the market but because of monetary mismanagement, etc.

Transcript here.

Hat tip to Vijay Boyapati.


At 6/21/2008 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6/21/2008 11:57 AM, Blogger Mike Skiles said...

Get your Milton shirts here:

At 6/21/2008 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wonderful thing about living in the communication age is that it is impossible to bury the ideas of Milton Friedman or any great thinker.

One of Milton Friedman's colleagues once quipped that people enjoyed debating Friedman's ideas most when he was not in the room. It is funny to watch Mr. Friedman's professional colleagues on the left try to debate him as he upends their arguments and points out the flaws in logic with good humor and grace. See Free to Choose now available on video.

Chances are pretty good that people will still be reading and listening to Milton Friedman hundreds of years from now long after his colleagues have been forgotten. The level of petty smallness was recently revealed when 101 of the faculty tried to prevent a centre from being named after Friedman at the University of Chicago in the name of preserving "diversity".

Diversity did not seem to matter when classical economics was completely marginalized and kept alive by only a handful of scholars including Friedman and Hayek. The introduction to Freedom and Capitalism gives some idea of how marginalized these ideas were.

Thanks for the recent postings of Milton Friedman. One cannot help but enjoy the brilliant logic, great sense of humor and enthusiasm for ideas and life.


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