“Friedman Friday” T. Kurt Jaros book review of Free to Choose (Part 2)

I have enjoyed reading this series of reviews by T. Kurt Jaros on Milton and Rose Friedman’s book “Free to Choose.” I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I have posted several transcripts and videos of the FREE TO CHOOSE film series on my blog. My favorite episodes are the “Failure of Socialism” and  “Power of the Market.” (This is the 1990 version but the 1980 version is good too.) Today with the increase of the welfare state maybe people should take a long look again at the episode “From Cradle to Grave.” 

Milton Friedman’s  view on vouchers for the schools needs to be heeded now more than ever too. “Created Equal” is probably the episode that I want  President Obama to see the most and I wrote several letters to him suggesting that.

T. Kurt Jaros is currently a Master’s student studying Systematic Theology at King’s College in London.  He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science cum laude and an M.A. in Christian Apologetics high honors from Biola University, an evangelical Christian university outside of Los Angeles.

He enjoys learning and thinking about theology, specifically historical theology, philosophical theology and philosophy of religion, and issues pertaining to monergism and synergism.  Additionally, he enjoys learning and thinking about political philosophy, economics, American political history, and campaigns.

Cradle to Grave: Part 2

T. Kurt Jaros on Economics

This is part of a series on Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose.”

In my previous post I began to discuss the shift of public perception about the role of government in America from one that merely protects the individuals to one that also provides for the individuals.

Although he does not use the term, Friedman considers Social Security to be a Ponzi scheme. He writes that if Social Security were a private company “that engaged in such labeling and advertising would doubtless be severely castigated by the Federal Trade Commission.” It is “Orwellian doublethink” to actually believe that people receive the “benefits” from their own labor during their time in the workforce. The fact that, today, we speak of the “trust fund” running out by the 2030s illustrates this truth. If Social Security was what it advertised itself to be, it would mean that the trust fund is continually replenished from people’s own labor for their own retirement. There would never actually be even the talk of it running out. Yet here we are, having to address that issue.

Three other topics that Friedman picks apart are the public assistance programs, housing subsidies and medical care. All three are instances where the government is ultimately doing more harm than good. So why have all of these well-intentioned programs been failures? Friedman points to four ways you can spend money. You can A) spend your own money on yourself, B) spend your money on someone else, C) spend someone else’s money on yourself, and D) spend someone else’s money on someone else. The order of efficiency is A, B, C and D. Watch this clip for Friedman’s explanation:

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