Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 1-5
Hi, I am Arnold Schwarzenegger. I would like a moment of your time because I wanted you to know something. I wanted you to know about Dr. Milton Friedman’s TV series, Free to Choose. I truly believe that the series has changed my life. When you have such a powerful experience as that, I think you shouldn’t keep it to yourself, I wanted to share it with you.
Being free to choose for me means being free to make your own decisions; free to live your own life; pursue your own goals; chase your own rainbow; without the government breathing down on your neck or standing on your shoes. For me that meant coming here to America. Because I came from a socialistic country in which the government controls the economy. It is a place where you can hear 18 year old kids already talking about their pension. But me __ I wanted more. I wanted to be the best __ individualism like that is incompatible with socialism. So I felt I had to come to America. I had no money in my pocket, but here I had the freedom to get it. I have been able to parlay my big muscles into big business and a big movie career. Along the way I was able to save and invest and I watched America change and I noticed this __ that the more the government interfered and intervened and inserted itself into the free market, the worse the country did. But when the government stepped back and let the free enterprise system do its work, then the better we did, the more robust our economy grew, the better I did, and the better my business grew, and the more I was able to hire and help others.
Okay. So there I was in Palm Springs, waiting for Maria to get ready so we could go out for a game of mixed doubles. I started flipping through the television dial and I caught a glimpse of Nobel Prize winner, Economist Dr. Milton Friedman. I recognized him from the studying of my own degree of economics in business, but I didn’t know I was watching Free to Choose __ it knocked me out. Dr. Friedman expressed, validated and explained everything I ever thought or experienced or observed about the way the economy works. I guess I was really ready to hear it. He said, the economic race should not be arranged so that everyone ends at the finish line at the same time, but so that everyone starts at the starting line at the same time. Wow! I would like to write that one home to Austria. He said, that society that puts equality before freedom winds up with neither, but that society puts freedom before equality, we will end up with a great measure of both. Boy, if I would have come up with that one myself, I maybe wouldn’t have had to get into body building.
When I did beef up my body building, at business school, of course it started with what Thomas Jefferson believed and what Adam Smith thought, even what Milton Friedman had to say __ I would be free to choose __ it all came together. Their economic thought with my own personal experience, and in a way I felt that I had come home. I sought out Dr. Friedman and had great pleasure and privilege of meeting him and his economist wife, Rose, and we have all become friends, and now I call him Milton. Then I became a big pain in the neck about Free to Choose.
All my friends and acquaintances got the tapes and the books for Christmas after Christmas, all the way through the Reagan years when I was able to tell them all __ you see, Milton is right. And I think it’s crucial that we all keep moving in the same direction, away from socialism and to its greater freedom and opportunity. That is why I am so excited that Milton Friedman is updating Free to Choose, bringing it into the 90’s by discussing how to deal with the drug disaster, the chabain phenomenon, and of course, the miserable failure of communism. By the way, there are plans now to translate Free to Choose into the languages of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. And you know, they really need it to guide them through it __ to take the first walk toward freedom. But we need it too.
I commend to you the new television series Free to Choose and encourage you to walk into the 21st century in freedom, in opportunity and in success, with Dr. Milton Friedman.
Thanks for listening.