Category Archives: Milton Friedman

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Listing of transcripts and videos of “Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market on www.theDailyHatch.org

Milton Friedman’s books and film series really helped form my conservative views. Take a look at one of my favorite films of his:

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“FREE TO CHOOSE” 1: The Power of the Market (Milton Friedman)
Free to Choose ^ | 1980 | Milton Friedman

Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 4:20:46 PM by Choose Ye This Day

FREE TO CHOOSE: The Power of the Market

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Friedman: Once all of this was a swamp, covered with forest. The Canarce Indians who lived here traded the 22 square miles of soggy Manhattan Island to the Dutch for $24.00 worth of cloth and trinkets. The newcomers founded a city, New Amsterdam at the edge of an empty continent. In the years that followed, it proved a magnet for millions of people from across the Atlantic; people who were driven by fear and poverty; who were attracted by the promise of freedom and plenty. They fanned out over the continent and built a new nation with their sweat, their enterprise and their vision of a better future.

For the first time in their lives, many were truly free to pursue their own objectives. That freedom released the human energies which created the United States. For the immigrants who were welcomed by this statue, America was truly a land of opportunity.

They poured ashore in their best clothes, eager and expectant, carrying what little they owned. They were poor, but they all had a great deal of hope. Once they arrived, they found, as my parents did, not an easy life, but a very hard life. But for many there were friends and relatives to help them get started __ to help them make a home, get a job, settle down in the new country. There were many rewards for hard work, enterprise and ability. Life was hard, but opportunity was real. There were few government programs to turn to and nobody expected them. But also, there were few rules and regulations. There were no licenses, no permits, no red tape to restrict them. They found in fact, a free market, and most of them thrived on it.

Many people still come to the United States driven by the same pressures and attracted by the same promise. You can find them in places like this. It’s China Town in New York, one of the centers of the garment industry __ a place where hundreds of thousands of newcomers have had their first taste of life in the new country. The people who live and work here are like the early settlers. They want to better their lot and they are prepared to work hard to do so.

Although I haven’t often been in factories like this, it’s all very familiar to me because this is exactly the same kind of a factory that my mother worked in when she came to this country for the first time at the age of 14, almost 90 years ago. And if there had not been factories like this here then at which she could have started to work and earn a little money, she wouldn’t have been able to come. And if I existed at all, I’d be a Russian or Hungarian today, instead of an American. Of course she didn’t stay here a long time, she stayed here while she learned the language, while she developed some feeling for the country, and gradually she was able to make a better life for herself.

Similarly, the people who are here now, they are like my mother. Most of the immigrants from the distant countries __ they came here because they liked it here better and had more opportunities. A place like this gives them a chance to get started. They are not going to stay here very long or forever. On the contrary, they and their children will make a better life for themselves as they take advantage of the opportunities that a free market provides to them.

The irony is that this place violates many of the standards that we now regard as every worker’s right. It is poorly ventilated, it is overcrowded, the workers accept less than union rate __ it breaks every rule in the book. But if it were closed down, who would benefit? Certainly not the people here. Their life may seem pretty tough compared to our own, but that is only because our parents or grandparents went through that stage for us. We have been able to start at a higher point.

Frank Visalli’s father was 12 years old when he arrived all alone in the United States. He had come from Sicily. That was 53 years ago. Frank is a successful dentist with a wife and family. They live in Lexington, Massachusetts. There is no doubt in Frank’s mind what freedom combined with opportunity meant to his father and then to him, or what his Italian grandparents would think if they could see how he lives now.

Frank Visalli: They would not believe what they would see __ that a person could immigrate from a small island and make such success out of their life because to them they were mostly related to the fields, working in the field as a peasant. My father came over, he made something for himself and then he tried to build a family structure. Whatever he did was for his family. It was for a better life for his family. And I can always remember him telling me that the number one thing in life is that you should get an education to become a professional person.

Friedman: The Visalli family, like all of us who live in the United States today, owe much to the climate of freedom we inherited from the founders of our country. The climate that gave full scope to the poor from other lands who came here and were able to make better lives for themselves and their children.

But in the past 50 years, we’ve been squandering that inheritance by allowing government to control more and more of our lives, instead of relying on ourselves. We need to rediscover the old truths that the immigrants knew in their bones; what economic freedom is and the role it plays in preserving personal freedom.

That’s why I came here to the South China Sea. It’s a place where there is an almost laboratory experiment in what happens when government is limited to its proper function and leaves people free to pursue their own objectives. If you want to see how the free market really works this is the place to come. Hong Kong, a place with hardly any natural resources. About the only one you can name is a great harbor, yet the absence of natural resources hasn’t prevented rapid economic development. Ships from all nations come here to trade because there are no duties, no tariffs on imports or exports. The power of the free market has enabled the industrious people of Hong Kong to transform what was once barren rock into one of the most thriving and successful places in Asia.

If you enjoyed that then take a look at the other segments:

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 6 of 7)

PETERSON: Well, let me ask you how you would cope with this problem, Dr. Friedman. The people decided that they wanted cool air, and there was tremendous need, and so we built a huge industry, the air conditioning industry, hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous earnings opportunities and nearly all of us now have air […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 5 of 7)

Part 5 Milton Friedman: I do not believe it’s proper to put the situation in terms of industrialist versus government. On the contrary, one of the reasons why I am in favor of less government is because when you have more government industrialists take it over, and the two together form a coalition against the ordinary […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 4 of 7)

The fundamental principal of the free society is voluntary cooperation. The economic market, buying and selling, is one example. But it’s only one example. Voluntary cooperation is far broader than that. To take an example that at first sight seems about as far away as you can get __ the language we speak; the words […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 3 of 7)

  _________________________   Pt3  Nowadays there’s a considerable amount of traffic at this border. People cross a little more freely than they use to. Many people from Hong Kong trade in China and the market has helped bring the two countries closer together, but the barriers between them are still very real. On this side […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 2 of 7)

  Aside from its harbor, the only other important resource of Hong Kong is people __ over 4_ million of them. Like America a century ago, Hong Kong in the past few decades has been a haven for people who sought the freedom to make the most of their own abilities. Many of them are […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 1of 7)

“FREE TO CHOOSE” 1: The Power of the Market (Milton Friedman) Free to Choose ^ | 1980 | Milton Friedman Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 4:20:46 PM by Choose Ye This Day FREE TO CHOOSE: The Power of the Market Friedman: Once all of this was a swamp, covered with forest. The Canarce Indians […]

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman on Donahue – 1980 (First Appearance)

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I am moving the FRIEDMAN FRIDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Milton Friedman on Donahue – 1980 (First Appearance)

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“Friedman Friday,” EPISODE “The Failure of Socialism” of Free to Choose in 1990 by Milton Friedman (Part 1)

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Milton and Rose Friedman “Two Lucky People”

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 2 of 2 Uploaded by PenguinProseMedia on Oct 26, 2011 2nd half of 1994 interview. ________________ I have a lot of respect for the Friedmans.Two Lucky People by Milton and Rose Friedman reviewed by David Frum — October 1998. However, I liked this review below better. It […]

Video clip:Milton Friedman discusses his view of numerous political figures and policy issues in (Part 2)

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MILTON FRIEDMAN: THE MIND BEHIND THE REPUBLICAN TAX REVOLT Jack Roberts | Jul 22, 2011 | 0 comments

I am moving the FRIEDMAN FRIDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

MILTON FRIEDMAN: THE MIND BEHIND THE REPUBLICAN TAX REVOLT

| Jul 22, 2011 | 0 comments

The on-going debate over raising the debt ceiling has focused on many areas of disagreement between Democrats and Republicans but none bigger than the Republican determination not to raise taxes.  Many pundits credit this to the political power of Grover Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform who have spent years collecting “No Tax Increase” pledges from Republican candidates.  Others attribute Republican intransigence on taxes to a near religious belief in supply side economics, a school of thought founded by economist Arthur Laffer and journalist Jude Wanniski in the late 1970s.

The true seeds of this attitude toward tax increases, in my view, actually go back farther and can be traced to an even nobler pedigree.  The real inspiration for this conviction comes from the late Nobel prize-winning economist, Milton Friedman.  It is only by understanding Friedman’s reasoning and his values that one can fully understand why Republican refuse to see spending cuts and tax increases as simply two sides of the same budget-balancing coin.

This was not always the Republican, or even the conservative, position.  During the 1950s, it was Democrats who advocated tax cuts to stimulate the economy and President Eisenhower who insisted “we can never justify going further into debt to give ourselves a tax cut at the expense of our children.”

In 1964, the eventual Republican nominee for president, Senator Barry Goldwater, voted against the so-called Kennedy tax cuts (actually passed after Kennedy’s assassination the previous year) because he was convinced the resulting deficits would be inflationary.  Even after losing the presidential election to President Lyndon Johnson in a landslide later that year, Goldwater predicted a Republican comeback, telling U.S. News & World Report that a no-win war in Vietnam and high inflation would prompt a backlash against the Democrats two years later (he was right on both counts).

So if Eisenhower and Goldwater represented Republican orthodoxy in the 1950s and ‘60s, what happened?  In large part, it was an intellectual revolution in conservative/libertarian thought prompted by economist Milton Friedman.  While Friedman rejected the simplistic Keynesian (and later supply-side) notion that tax cuts automatically stimulate the economy, he believed that higher taxes were bad because they led to more and bigger government, which he was convinced at best led to waste and at worse to greater government control over our economy, our lives and our freedoms.

In 1967, three year’s after the Kennedy tax cuts, the Johnson Administration was already running huge deficits thanks to the a combination of Great Society social programs and the Vietnam War.  Writing in his regular Newsweek column on August 7, 1967, Friedman expresseded his concern that this would soon lead to higher taxes, using an analysis that would become familiar to his readers over the years:

“.If we adopt such programs, does not fiscal responsibility at least call for imposing taxes to pay for them?  The answer is that postwar experience has demonstrated two things. First, that Congress will spend whatever the tax system will raise—plus a little (and recently, a lot) more.  Second, that, surprising as it seems, it has proved difficult to get taxes down once they are raised.  The special interests created by government spending have proved more potent than the general interest in tax reduction.

“If taxes are raised in order to keep down the deficit, the result is likely to be a higher norm for government spending. Deficits will again mount and the process will be repeated.”

Sure enough, a year later a 10% income tax surcharge was enacted by Congress to cut the deficit and fight inflation.  His prediction having been confirmed, Friedman returned to the subject in another Newsweek column dated July 15, 1968.  He now described a familiar pattern of how Democrats used the traditional view of fiscal conservatism to convince Republicans to help pay for the Democrats’ own profligate spending:

“The standard scenario has been that the Democrats—in the name of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, or the Great Society—push through large spending programs . . . generally against the opposition of the Republican leadership.  The spending programs not only absorb the increased tax yield generated by the ‘fiscal drag,’ they go farther and produce deficits.

“The Democrats then appeal to the Republicans’ sense of fiscal responsibility to refrain from cutting tax rates or, as in this case, to raise them.  The Republicans cooperate, thereby establishing a new higher revenue base for further spending.  The Democrats get the ‘credit’ for the spending; the Republicans, the ‘blame’ for the taxes; and you and I pay the bill.”

Fast forward seven years, when Republican President Gerald Ford was proposing a tax cut to stimulate the economy during a brief recession.  As an economist who believed monetary, not fiscal, policy was the best way to keep the economy on a stable path to growth, Friedman did not believe the proposed tax cut would have its intended stimulatory effect.  He explained why in another Newseek column on July 15, 1975 but went on to say:

“Yet I must confess that I favor tax cuts—not as a cure for recession but for a very different reason.  Our basic long-term need is to stop the explosive growth in government spending.  I am persuaded that the only effective way to do so is by cutting taxes—at any time for any excuse in any way.

“The reason is that government will spend whatever the tax system raises plus a good deal more—but not an indefinite amount more.  The most effective way to force each of us to economize is to reduce our income.  The restraint is less rigid on government, but it is there and seems to be the only one we have.

“So hail the tax cut—but let’s do it for the right reason.”

Another six years went by and now it was the newly-elected president, Ronald Reagan, who was proposing a large, multi-year tax cut to get the economy moving. At the time, he was also proposing off-setting spending cuts (which we all know didn’t happen).  Friedman wrote yet another Newsweek column dated July 27, 1981, refuting objections to the plan by liberal economists while also discounting many of the claims of supply-siders in the Reagan Administration.  Friedman still supported the tax cuts, of course, and explained why liberals were suddenly worried about deficits:

“The analysis so far treats government spending and taxes as if they were two independent entities.  They clearly are not.  We know full well that Congress will spend every penny—and more—that is yielded by taxes.  A cut in taxes will mean a cut in government spending.  And there is no other way to get a cut in spending.

“That is the real reason why the big spenders and the big inflationists of the past have suddenly been converted to fiscal conservatism and to preaching the virtues of fighting inflation.  They know that a multi-year tax cut will force multi-year spending reductions.  They hope that a one-year tax cut will quiet public agitation and allow them to revert next year to their high-spending ways.”

Taken as a whole, these excerpts from columns written for a popular magazine by a Nobel laureate economist between 1967 and 1981—44 to 30 years ago—spell out precisely the philosophy that today motivates many Republicans in and out of Congress to firmly oppose any tax increase as part of a deficit reduction or budget-balancing plan proposed by Democrats.

Like Milton Friedman, they are firmly convinced that any taxes they raise will ultimately result in increased government spending.  They believe government spending necessarily translates into more and bigger government.  They believe the federal government is already too big, threatening not just the health of the economy but their freedom and way of life as well.

One can argue with Friedman’s assumptions as well as the conclusions he draws from them.  But until those on the other side—including the President, Democratic congressional leaders and the media—understand the reasoning and motivations behind the anti-tax sentiments of Republicans from Capitol Hill to the Tea Party activists, it’s hard to imagine anything more than a temporary truce in the battle being waged over the budget.

Low State Taxes help States grow and

Just like with nations, there are many factors that determine whether a state is hindering or enabling economic growth.

But I’m very drawn to one variable, which is whether there’s a state income tax. If the answer is no, then it’s quite likely that it will enjoy better-than-average economic performance (and if a state makes the mistake of having an income tax, then a flat tax will be considerably less destructive than a so-called progressive tax).

Which explains my two main lessons for state tax policy.

Anyhow, I’ve always included Tennessee in the list of no-income-tax states, but that’s not completely accurate because (like New Hampshire) there is a tax on capital income.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Associated Press reports that Tennessee is getting rid of this last vestige of  income taxation.

The Tennessee Legislature has passed a measure that would reduce and eventually eliminate the Hall tax on investment income. The Hall tax imposes a general levy of 6 percent on investment income, with some exceptions. Lawmakers agreed to reduce it down to 5 percent before eliminating it completely by 2022.

It’s not completely clear if the GOP Governor of the state will allow the measure to become law, so this isn’t a done deal.

That being said, it’s a very positive sign that the state legislature wants to get rid of this invidious tax, which is a punitive form of double taxation.

Advocates are right that this will make the Volunteer State more attractive to investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

Keep in mind that this positive step follows the recent repeal of the state’s death tax, as noted in a column for the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Following a four-year phase out, Tennessee’s inheritance tax finally expires on Jan. 1 and one advocacy group is hailing the demise of what it calls the “death tax.” “Tennessee taxpayers can finally breath a sigh of relief,” said Justin Owen, head of the free-market group, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, which successfully advocated for the taxes abolishment in 2012.

On the other hand, New York seems determined to make itself even less attractive. Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute writes for Market Watch about legislation that would make the state prohibitively unappealing for many investors.

New York, home to many investment partnerships, now wants to increase state taxes on capital gains… New York already taxes capital gains and ordinary income equally, but apparently that’s not good enough. …The New York legislators want to raise the taxes on carried interest to federal ordinary income tax rates, not just for New York residents, but for everyone all over the world who get returns from partnerships with a business connection to the Empire State. Bills in the New York State Assembly and Senate would increase taxes on profits earned by venture capital, private equity and other investment partnerships by imposing a 19% additional tax.

Diana correctly explains this would be a monumentally foolish step.

If the bill became law, New York would likely see part of its financial sector leave for other states, because many investors nationwide would become subject to taxes that were 19 percentage points higher….No one is going to pick an investment that is taxed at 43% when they could choose one that is taxed at 24%.

Interestingly, even the state’s grasping politicians recognize this reality. The legislation wouldn’t take effect until certain other states made the same mistake.

The sponsors of the legislation appear to acknowledge that by delaying the implementation of the provisions until Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts enact “legislation having an identical effect.”

Given this condition, hopefully this bad idea will never get beyond the stage of being a feel-good gesture for the hate-n-envy crowd.

But it’s always important to reinforce why it would be economically misguided since those other states are not exactly strongholds for economic liberty. This video has everything you need to know about the taxation of carried interest in particular andthis video has the key facts about capital gains taxation in general

Not let’s take a look at the big picture. Moody’s just released a “stress test” to see which states were well positioned to deal with an economic downturn.

Is anybody surprised, as reported by theSacramento Bee, that low-tax Texas ranked at the top and high-tax California and Illinois were at the bottom of the heap?

California, whose state budget is highly dependent on volatile income taxes, is the least able big state to withstand a recession, according to a “stress test” conducted by Moody’s Investor Service. Arch-rival Texas, meanwhile, scores the highest on the test because of “lower revenue volatility, healthier reserves relative to a potential revenue decline scenario and greater revenue and spending flexibility,” Moody’s, a major credit rating organization, says. …California not only suffers in comparison to the other large states, but in a broader survey of the 20 most populous states. Missouri, Texas and Washington score highest, while California and Illinois are at the bottom in their ability to withstand a recession.

Of course, an ability to survive a fiscal stress test is actually a proxy for having decent policies.

And having decent policies leads to something even more important, which is faster growth, increased competitiveness, and more job creation.

Though perhaps this coyote joke does an even better job of capturing the difference between the two states.

 

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman PBS Free to Choose 1980 Vol 1 of 10 Power of the Market

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I am moving the FRIEDMAN FRIDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

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Milton Friedman PBS Free to Choose 1980 Vol 1 of 10 Power of the Market

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1973 Classic: Milton Friedman’s “Barking Cats”

Free market economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006) won the Nobel Peace Prize for economics in 1976.

Milton FriedmanFriedman published more than 800 columns and articles in his career.  From 1966 to 1984, he wrote a series of more than 300 columns for Newsweek on economics, often alternated with other columnists holding opposing views in order to foster the vigorous debate he relished.  Here is an interesting 1983 quotefrom Friedman, looking back on his Newsweek experience:

(photo credit)

“The task has been challenging and highly rewarding. It has forced me to try … to express technical economics in language accessible to all. It has forced me also to stick my neck out in public…. Best of all, it has produced a stream of reactions from readers – sometimes flattering, sometimes abusive, but always instructive. I have learned in the process how easy it is to be misunderstood or – to say the same thing – how hard it is to be crystal clear. I have learned also how numerous are the perspectives from which any issue can be viewed. There is no such thing as a purely economic issue.”

In a 1973 Newsweek column, Friedman boldly made the assertion that ever since its charter was revised in 1962, the Food and Drug Administration had caused more harm than good.  The letters of response Newsweek received from its readers then gave Friedman the opportunity six weeks later to publish a follow-up column with one of his patented philosophical lessons about the nature of government bureaucracies

Let me show you, with some excerpts from both columns…

.

From Frustrating Drug Advancement, 8 Jan 1973

“Put yourself in the position of an FDA official charged with approving or disapproving a new drug. You can make two very different kinds of serious mistakes:

1. Approve a drug that turns out to have unanticipated side effects resulting in death or serious impairment of a sizable number of persons.

2. Refuse approval to a drug that is capable of saving many lives or relieving great distress and has no untoward side effects.

If you make the first mistake, the results will be emblazoned on the front pages of the newspapers. The finger of disapproval, perhaps even of disgrace, will point straight to you.

If you make the second mistake, who will know it? The pharmaceutical firm promoting the new drug…will be dismissed as greedy businessmen with hearts of stone…. The people whose lives might have been saved will not be around to protest. Their families will have no way of knowing that their loved ones lost their lives when they did only because of the [in]action of an unknown FDA official.

…The 1962 [Kefauver] amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act should be repealed. They are doing vastly more harm than good. To comply with them, FDA officials must condemn innocent people to death. In the present climate of opinion, this conclusion will seem shocking to most of you—better attack motherhood or even apple pie. Shocking it is—but that does not keep it from also being correct. Indeed, further studies may well justify the even more shocking conclusion that the FDA itself should be abolished.”

From Barking Cats, 19 Feb 1973

“In a recent column I pointed out that approval of drugs by the FDA delays and prevents the introduction of useful as well as harmful drugs. …I summarized a fascinating study by Prof. Sam Peltzman of UCLA of experience before and after 1962, when standards were stiffened. His study decisively confirmed the expectation that the bad effects would much outweigh the good.

The column evoked letters from a number of persons in pharmaceutical work offering tales of woe to confirm my allegation that the FDA was indeed “Frustrating Drug Advancement….” But most also said something like, “In contrast to your opinion, I do not believe that the FDA should be abolished, but I do believe that its power should be” changed in such and such a way—to quote from a typical letter.

I replied as follows: “What would you think of someone who said, ‘I would like to have a cat, provided it barked’? Yet your statement that you favor an FDA, provided it behaves as you believe desirable is precisely equivalent. The biological laws that specify the characteristics of cats are no more rigid than the political laws that specify the behavior of governmental agencies once they are established. The way the FDA now behaves, and the adverse consequences, are not an accident, not a result of some easily corrected human mistake, but a consequence of its constitution in precisely the same way that a meow is related to the constitution of a cat. As a natural scientist, you recognize that you cannot assign characteristics at will to chemical and biological entities, cannot demand that cats bark or water burn. Why do you suppose that the situation is different in the social sciences?”

The error of supposing that the behavior of social organisms can be shaped at will is widespread. It is the fundamental error of most so-called reformers. It explains why they so often believe that the fault lies in the man, not the “system,” that the way to solve problems is to “throw the rascals out” and put well-meaning people in charge. It explains why their reforms, when ostensibly achieved, so often go astray.

The harm done by the FDA does not result from defects in the men in charge—unless it be a defect to be human. Most are and have been able, devoted and public-spirited civil servants. What reformers so often fail to recognize is that social, political and economic pressures determine the behavior of the men supposedly in charge of a governmental agency to a far greater extent than they determine its behavior. No doubt there are exceptions, but they are exceedingly rare—about as rare as barking cats.”

If you wish to watch Milton Friedman make many of these points in an interview, here’s an 8-minute video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZL25NSLhEA

Illustration of Milton Friedman by Jocelyne Leger

(portrait credit)

 

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman on Donahue – 1979

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I am moving the FRIEDMAN FRIDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been in recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Milton Friedman on Donahue – 1979

Uploaded on Aug 26, 2009

Dr. Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate, promoting “Free to Choose” on the show Donahue.

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980), episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 1

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I am moving the FRIEDMAN FRIDAY to a monthly feature on http://www.thedailyhatch.org. My passion has been recent years to emphasize the works of Francis Schaeffer in my apologetic efforts and most of those posts are either on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980), episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 1

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Milton Friedman – A Conversation On Minimum Wage

 

 

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Milton Friedman – A Conversation On Minimum Wage

 

Milton Friedman – A Conversation On Minimum Wage

 

Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980), episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 1

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Volume 1: Power of the Market Volume 2: The Tyranny of Control
Volume 3: Anatomy of a Crisis
Volume 4: From Cradle to Grave
Volume 5: Created Equal
Volume 6: What’s Wrong With Our Schools?
Volume 7: Who Protects the Consumer?
Volume 8: Who Protects the Worker?
Volume 9: How to Cure Inflation
Volume 10: How to Stay Free

Updated 1990 Series:
Volume 1: The Power of the Market
Volume 2: The Tyranny of Control
Volume 3: Freedom & Prosperity
Volume 4: The Failure of Socialism
Volume 5: Created Equal

_____________________

________

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994

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Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 2 of 2

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Volume 1: Power of the Market Volume 2: The Tyranny of Control
Volume 3: Anatomy of a Crisis
Volume 4: From Cradle to Grave
Volume 5: Created Equal
Volume 6: What’s Wrong With Our Schools?
Volume 7: Who Protects the Consumer?
Volume 8: Who Protects the Worker?
Volume 9: How to Cure Inflation
Volume 10: How to Stay Free

Updated 1990 Series:
Volume 1: The Power of the Market
Volume 2: The Tyranny of Control
Volume 3: Freedom & Prosperity
Volume 4: The Failure of Socialism
Volume 5: Created Equal

_____________________

________

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman on Self-Interest and the Profit Motive

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Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

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Milton Friedman on Self-Interest and the Profit Motive 1of2

Milton Friedman on Self-Interest and the Profit Motive 2of2

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Volume 1: Power of the Market Volume 2: The Tyranny of Control
Volume 3: Anatomy of a Crisis
Volume 4: From Cradle to Grave
Volume 5: Created Equal
Volume 6: What’s Wrong With Our Schools?
Volume 7: Who Protects the Consumer?
Volume 8: Who Protects the Worker?
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Volume 10: How to Stay Free

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Volume 3: Freedom & Prosperity
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Volume 5: Created Equal

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_

Milton Friedman and Francis Schaeffer and Dan Mitchell on Communism

Milton Friedman – Greed not in Communism?

Communism catches the attention of the young at heart but it has always brought repression wherever it is tried (“Schaeffer Sundays” Part 1)
Francis Schaeffer is a hero of mine and I want to honor him with a series of posts on Sundays called “Schaeffer Sundays” which will include his writings and clips from his film series. I have posted many times in the past using his material.
Communism has never been tried is something I was told just a few months ago by a well meaning young person who was impressed with the ideas of Karl Marx. I responded that there are only 5 communist countries in the world today and they lack political, economic and religious freedom.
Communism has always failed because of its materialist base.  Francis Schaeffer does a great job of showing that in this clip below. Also Schaeffer shows that there were lots of similar things about the basis for both the French and Russia revolutions and he exposes the materialist and humanist basis of both revolutions.

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 5

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HowShouldweThenLive Episode 6

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Similarities between French Revolution and Communist Revolution

Schaeffer compares communism with French Revolution and Napoleon.

1. Lenin took charge in Russia much as Napoleon took charge in France – when people get desperate enough, they’ll take a dictator.

Other examples: Hitler, Julius Caesar. It could happen again.

2. Communism is very repressive, stifling political and artistic freedom. Even allies have to be coerced. (Poland).

Communists say repression is temporary until utopia can be reached – yet there is no evidence of progress in that direction. Dictatorship appears to be permanent.

3. No ultimate basis for morality (right and wrong) – materialist base of communism is just as humanistic as French. Only have “arbitrary absolutes” no final basis for right and wrong.

How is Christianity different from both French Revolution and Communism?

Contrast N.T. Christianity – very positive government reform and great strides against injustice. (especially under Wesleyan revival).

Bible gives absolutes – standards of right and wrong. It shows the problems and why they exist (man’s fall and rebellion against God).

Is Christianity at all like Communism?

Sometimes Communism sounds very “Christian” – desirable goals of equality, justice, etc. Schaeffer elsewhere explains by saying Marxism is a Christian heresy – Karl Marx

borrowed some of the ideals of N.T.

Below is a great article. Free-lance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.

This article was published January 30, 2011 at 2:28 a.m. Here is a portion of that article below:
A final advantage is the mutation of socialism into so many variants over the past century or so. Precisely because Karl Marx was unclear as to how it would work in practice, socialism has always been something of an empty vessel into which would be revolutionaries seeking personal meaning and utopian causes to support can pour pretty much anything.
A desire to increase state power, soak the rich and expand the welfare state is about all that is left of the original vision. Socialism for young lefties these days means “social justice” and compassion for the poor, not the gulag and the NKVD.
In the end, the one argument that will never wash is that communismcan’t be said to have failed because it was never actually tried. This is a transparent intellectual dodge that ignores the fact that “people’s democracies” were established all over the place in the first three decades after World War II.
Such sophistry is resorted to only because communism in all of those places produced hell on earth rather than heaven.
That the attempts to build communism in a remarkable variety of different geographical regions led to only tyranny and mass bloodshed tells us only that it was never feasible in the first place, and that societies built on the socialist principle ironically suffer from the kind of “inner contradictions” that Marx mistakenly predicted would destroy capitalism.
Yes, all economies are mixed in nature, and one could plausibly argue that the socialist impulse took the rough edges off of capitalism by sponsoring the creation of welfare-state programs that command considerable public support.
But the fact remains that no society in history has been able to achieve sustained prosperity without respect for private property and market forces of supply and demand. Nations, therefore, retain their economic dynamism only to the extent that they resist the temptation to travel too far down the socialist road.

Just in case you didn’t realize, we’re “celebrating” an anniversary.

In 1917, at this time of year, the Bolshevik revolution was occurring in Russia. It resulted in the creation of the Soviet Union, followed in subsequent decades by enslavement of Eastern Europe and communist takeovers in a few other unfortunate nations.

This is a very evil and tragic anniversary, a milestone that merits sad reflection because communism is an evil ideology, and communist governments have butchered about 100 million people.

I’ve written about the horrors that communism has imposed on the people of CambodiaCuba, and North Korea, but let’s zoom out and look at this evil ideology from a macro perspective.

My view is that communism is “a disgusting system…that leads to starvation and suffering” and “produces Nazi-level horrors of brutality.”

But others have better summaries of this coercive and totalitarian ideology.

We’ll start with A. Barton Hinkle’s column in Reason.

…the Bolsheviks…seized power from the provisional government that had been installed in the final days of Russia’s Romanov dynasty. The revolution ushered in what would become a century of ghastly sadism. …it is hard even now to grasp the sheer scale of agony imposed by the brutal ideology of collectivism. …In 1997, a French publisher published “The Black Book of communism,” which tried to place a definitive figure on the number of people who died by communism’s hand: 65 million in China, 20 million in the Soviet Union, 2 million in Cambodia, 2 million in North Korea, and so on—more than 90 million lives, all told. …depravity was woven into the sinews of communism by its very nature. The history of the movement is a history of sadistic “struggle sessions” during the Cultural Revolution, of gulags and psychiatric wards in Russia, of the torture and murder of teachers, doctors, and other intellectuals in Cambodia, and on and on.

Here’s some of what Professor Ilya Somin wrote for the Washington Post.

May Day. Since 2007, I have defended the idea of using this date as an international Victims of Communism Day. …Our comparative neglect of communist crimes has serious costs. Victims of Communism Day can serve the dual purpose of appropriately commemorating the millions of victims, and diminishing the likelihood that such atrocities will recur. Just as Holocaust Memorial Day and other similar events help sensitize us to the dangers of racism, anti-Semitism, and radical nationalism, so Victims of Communism Day can increase awareness of the dangers of left-wing forms of totalitarianism, and government control of the economy and civil society.

In an article for National Review, John O’Sullivan explains the tyrannical failure of communism.

Those evil deeds…include the forced famine in Ukraine that murdered millions in a particularly horrible fashion; starting the Second World War jointly with Hitler by agreeing in the Nazi–Soviet Pact to invade Poland and the Baltic states; the Gulag in which millions more perished; and much more. …The Communist experiment failed above all because it was Communist. …Economically, the Soviet Union was a massive failure 70 years later to the point where Gorbachev complained to the Politburo that it exported less annually than Singapore. …it is a fantasy that the USSR compensated for these failures by making greater social gains than liberal capitalism: Doctors had to be bribed; patients had to take bandages and medicines into hospital with them; homelessness in Moscow was reduced by an internal passport system that kept people out of the city; and so on.

We’re just scratching the surface.

As an economist, I focus on the material failure of communism and I’ve tried to make that very clear with comparisons of living standards over time in Cuba and Hong Kong as well as in North Korea and South Korea.

But the evil of communism goes well beyond poverty and deprivation. It also is an ideology of mass murder.

Which is why this tweet from the Russian government is morally offensive.

Nazi Germany started  and killed 27 millions Soviet people. USSR ended  and saved the world from the Brown Plague

Yes, the Soviet Union helped defeat the National Socialists of Germany, but keep in mind that Stalin helped trigger the war by inking a secret agreement with Hitler to divide up Poland.

Moreover, the Soviet Union had its own version of the holocaust.

I don’t know who put together this video, but it captures the staggering human cost of communism.

Meanwhile, Dennis Prager lists 6 reasons why communism isn’t hated the same way Nazism is hated.

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The only thing I can add to these videos is that there has never been a benign communist regime.

Indeed, political repression and brutality seems to be the key difference between liberal socialism and Marxist socialism.

Let’s close with this chart from Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute.

All forms of totalitarianism are bad, oftentimes resulting in mass murder. As Dennis Prager noted in his video, both communism and Nazism are horrid ideologies. Yet for some bizarre reason, some so-called intellectuals still defendthe former.

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Milton Friedman and Dan Mitchell on the Post Office!!! Ep. 10 – How to Stay Free [3/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980) Pat Brennan became something of a celebrity in 1978 because she was delivering mail in competition with the United States Post Office. With her husband she set up business in a basement […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Hong Kong and the Miracle of Compounding Long-Run Growth March 11, 2016 by Dan Mitchell (with Milton Fri

Testing Milton Friedman: Free Markets – Full Video Hong Kong and the Miracle of Compounding Long-Run Growth March 11, 2016 by Dan Mitchell Hong Kong is a truly remarkable jurisdiction. Can you name, after all, another government in the world that brags about how little it spends on redistribution programs andhow few people are dependent on […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY America’s Government School System: Never Have so Many Paid so Much to Achieve so Little March 20, 2015 by Dan Mitchell (with Milton Friedman video)

Friedman & Sowell: Should Our School System Be Privatized? America’s Government School System: Never Have so Many Paid so Much to Achieve so Little March 20, 2015 by Dan Mitchell No other nation in the world spends as much on education as the United States. According to our leftist friends, who prefer to measure inputs rather […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY What if the NFL Was Run Like the Government School System? October 4, 2011 by Dan Mitchell (with video from Milton Friedman)

Friedman & Sowell: Should Our School System Be Privatized? What if the NFL Was Run Like the Government School System? October 4, 2011 by Dan Mitchell Regular readers know that the two things that get me most excited are the Georgia Bulldogs and the fight against a bloated public sector that is ineffective in the best […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Excellent Washington Post Editorial (Yes, Really) on School Choice September 3, 2013 by Dan Mitchell (with Milton Friedman video)

_ Friedman & Sowell: Should Our School System Be Privatized? Excellent Washington Post Editorial (Yes, Really) on School Choice September 3, 2013 by Dan Mitchell School choice should be a slam-dunk issue. There’s very powerful evidence that we can provide superior education for lower cost if we shift away from monopoly government schools to a system […]

Milton Friedman and Dan Mitchell on the Post Office!!!

Milton Friedman and Dan Mitchell on the Post Office!!! Ep. 10 – How to Stay Free [3/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980) Pat Brennan became something of a celebrity in 1978 because she was delivering mail in competition with the United States Post Office. With her husband she set up business in a basement […]