Category Archives: Milton Friedman

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

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

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

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 7of 7)

TEMIN: We don’t think the big capital arose before the government did? VON HOFFMAN: Listen, what are we doing here? I mean __ defending big government is like defending death and taxes. When was the last time you met anybody that was in favor of big government? FRIEDMAN: Today, today I met Bob Lekachman, I […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 6of 7)

worked pretty well for a whole generation. Now anything that works well for a whole generation isn’t entirely bad. From the fact __ from that fact, and the undeniable fact that things are working poorly now, are we to conclude that the Keynesian sort of mixed regulation was wrong __ FRIEDMAN: Yes. LEKACHMAN: __ or […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 5 of 7)

MCKENZIE: Ah, well, that’s not on our agenda actually. (Laughter) VOICE OFF SCREEN: Why not? MCKENZIE: I boldly repeat the question, though, the expectation having been __ having been raised in the public mind, can you reverse this process where government is expected to produce the happy result? LEKACHMAN: Oh, no way. And it would […]

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 4 of 7)

The massive growth of central government that started after the depression has continued ever since. If anything, it has even speeded up in recent years. Each year there are more buildings in Washington occupied by more bureaucrats administering more laws. The Great Depression persuaded the public that private enterprise was a fundamentally unstable system. That […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 3 of 7)

Worse still, America’s depression was to become worldwide because of what lies behind these doors. This is the vault of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Inside is the largest horde of gold in the world. Because the world was on a gold standard in 1929, these vaults, where the U.S. gold was stored, […]

“Friedman Friday” (Part 16) (“Free to Choose” episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 2 of 7)

  George Eccles: Well, then we called all our employees together. And we told them to be at the bank at their place at 8:00 a.m. and just act as if nothing was happening, just have a smile on their face, if they could, and me too. And we have four savings windows and we […]

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 1of 7)

Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980), episode 3 – Anatomy of a Crisis. part 1 FREE TO CHOOSE: Anatomy of Crisis Friedman Delancy Street in New York’s lower east side, hardly one of the city’s best known sites, yet what happened in this street nearly 50 years ago continues to effect all of us today. […]

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman – The Negative Income Tax

 

Milton Friedman – The Negative Income Tax

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

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

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2 Uploaded by PenguinProseMedia on Oct 25, 2011 Says Federal Reserve should be abolished, criticizes Keynes. One of Friedman’s best interviews, discussion spans Friedman’s career and his view of numerous political figures and public policy issues. ___________________ Here is a review of “Two Lucky People.” […]

Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

Charlie Rose interview of Milton Friedman My favorite economist: Milton Friedman : A Great Champion of Liberty  by V. Sundaram   Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three US Presidents – Nixon, Ford and Reagan – died last Thursday (16 November, 2006 ) in San Francisco […]

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

Milton Friedman: Free To Choose – The Failure Of Socialism With Ronald Reagan (Full) Published on Mar 19, 2012 by NoNationalityNeeded Milton Friedman’s writings affected me greatly when I first discovered them and I wanted to share with you. We must not head down the path of socialism like Greece has done. Abstract: Ronald Reagan […]

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman: There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Milton Friedman: There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 7 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [7/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 6 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [6/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

“Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 5 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [5/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 4 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [4/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video)

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video) Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video) Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 1 of transcript and video)

 Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan Liberals like President Obama (and John Brummett) want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman Can Help Trump Make America Grow Again GLENN HUBBARD and JON HARTLEY 11/25/2016

 

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Milton Friedman Can Help Trump Make America Grow Again

This month marks 10 years since the death of Milton Friedman, the famous free-market economist who became one of the 20th century’s greatest economists. Since his death, the world has witnessed the worst recession since the Great Depression along with a massive expansion of federal regulations on commerce, government spending and taxation under President Obama.

This period of time has also marked one of the weakest economic recoveries measured by GDP growth, something Milton Friedman would argue is no coincidence. Real GDP growth has stalled between 1% and 2% in recent years, below its postwar, pre-crisis trend of 3%. Not to mention that wage growth among the poorest Americans has remained stagnant and labor force participation remains close to all-time lows among prime working age individuals.

As President-elect Trump and a stronger Republican majority will take office in January, they are presented with a substantial opportunity to carry on Milton Friedman’s free-market, pro-growth legacy in designing what American economic policy will look like over the coming years.

First, helping “the forgotten man and woman,” a chief message in the 2016 Trump-Pence presidential campaign, can best be accomplished by promoting faster economic growth. Doing so requires putting tax reform first, including expanding the earned income tax credit and lowering the corporate tax rate.

Some unfounded ideas about economic policy arose during the recent election cycle, such as doubting the net benefits of free trade and blaming the 2003 tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush for the 2008-2009 Great Recession. We hope that as political rhetoric settles after the election, policymakers can turn to the more rigorous data-driven policy analysis that was championed by Friedman.

While we would discourage the use of tariffs or renegotiating trade agreements, which could send consumer prices skyrocketing (and which would disproportionately hurt the poorest Americans), there can and should be a role for tax credits, wage subsidies and retraining programs targeted at those who have had their jobs displaced by globalization or automation.

Milton Friedman was not opposed to ideas like wage subsidies, which resemble the “negative income tax” he endorsed in his best-selling 1962 book “Capitalism and Freedom.”

An expansion of the earned-income tax credit (EITC), a form of wage subsidy, could dramatically assist those who have taken low-paying jobs, after being displaced by the phenomena of globalization and automation, in addition to helping strengthen labor-force participation

Similarly, lowering the corporate tax rate from 35%, currently the highest rate among OECD countries, is arguably the biggest economic policy opportunity to foster job creation, particularly among low-wage workers. Such an action could help stem the tide of tax inversions whereby companies reincorporate abroad through acquisition —  taking jobs and tax dollars with them.

Furthermore, the gains from lowering tax rates for small businesses and simplifying the regulatory costs of entrepreneurship could reinvigorate the small business economy which comprises the largest number of American jobs.

Second, there is ample opportunity to spur labor market activity and efficiency through reforming the regulatory state.

One instance is the ability to overhaul the new Obama mandatory overtime rules that will raise the salary threshold from $23,600 to about $47,476 to qualify for overtime pay, which, if still implemented, could have a distortionary impact on businesses, incentivizing employers to reduce hours and reclassify salaried workers to hourly workers.

Moreover, the Obama White House further estimates that 81.8% of workers affected by expanding the mandatory overtime threshold to $47,476 would have some college, a bachelor’s degree or some advanced degree.

Such an initiative is welfare for wealthier educated individuals, who could better be assisted through middle class individual tax relief which does not interfere directly with businesses.

Reforming occupational licensing, a topic to which Milton Friedman dedicated an entire chapter in “Capitalism and Freedom,” could help improve the labor market efficiency of thousands of jobs, from those spending unnecessary hours training to be hair stylists to nurse practitioners who are outlawed from doing routine low-risk procedures in primary care.

Easily the greatest example of relaxed occupational licensing laws is the growth of Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies, which have rapidly grown and created thousands of jobs and billions in consumer surplus following the relaxation of taxicab licensing laws.

Finally, a long-run pro-growth agenda could be fostered by the newfound ability for Republican policymakers to temper government spending through reforming the Affordable Care Act and other entitlement spending.

There are huge opportunities to restore fiscal balance by increasing the retirement age, reducing Social Security benefit growth for nonpoor individuals, transforming Medicare into premium support, and reducing the burden of the health care law on businesses, such as relaxing the ObamaCare employer mandates which encourage reductions in labor hours.

Education reform that improves the efficiency of our public investments in education is another fix that could help promote long-run economic growth. The idea that educational attainment could be improved through a voucher system was championed by Friedman throughout his lifetime and has been embodied in the continued work of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, which Friedman and his wife, Rose Friedman, co-founded in 1996.

Thanks to their work, voucher systems have successfully been implemented in Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee, with strong positive results.

In the wake of the recession and the absence of Friedman’s intellectual presence, there have been several new trends in economic thinking that have strayed from the rigorous level of policy that Friedman applied in analyzing the economy and policy prescriptions.

We hope that President-elect Trump, his economic team and the Republican Congress look to the ideas of Milton Friedman and his intellectual descendants who have applied such rigor in their thinking. We believe that could very well be the best path to “make America grow again” and promote inclusive economic growth.

  • Hartley is an economics contributor for Forbes and a co-founder of Real Time Macroeconomics.
  • Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush.

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Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 7 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [7/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 6 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [6/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

“Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 5 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [5/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 4 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [4/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video)

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video) Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video) Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 1 of transcript and video)

 Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan Liberals like President Obama (and John Brummett) want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. […]

Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

Milton Friedman Friday:(“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 7 of 7)

I am currently going through his film series “Free to Choose” which is one the most powerful film series I have ever seen. TEMIN: We don’t think the big capital arose before the government did? VON HOFFMAN: Listen, what are we doing here? I mean __ defending big government is like defending death and taxes. […]

Milton Friedman Friday:(“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 6 of 7)

I am currently going through his film series “Free to Choose” which is one the most powerful film series I have ever seen worked pretty well for a whole generation. Now anything that works well for a whole generation isn’t entirely bad. From the fact __ from that fact, and the undeniable fact that things […]

Milton Friedman Friday:(“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 5 of 7)

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Milton Friedman Friday: (“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 3 of 7)

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Milton Friedman Friday:(“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 2 of 7)

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Friedman Friday:(“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 1 of 7)

Friedman Friday:(“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 1 of 7) Volume 4 – From Cradle to Grave Abstract: Since the Depression years of the 1930s, there has been almost continuous expansion of governmental efforts to provide for people’s welfare. First, there was a tremendous expansion of public works. The Social Security Act […]

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Paddy Cosgrave Sep 7, 2016 Trump and the Risk of Doing Nothing

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Over 200 years ago, just as the excesses of British aristocracy were being banished from Boston’s shores, one of America’s founding fathers Thomas Jefferson warned of a “new aristocracy” which might one day come to control America under the name of democracy.

For those interested in the 2016 US election, and bemused in particular by the rise of Donald Trump, Jefferson’s warnings make for fascinating reading.

Thomas Jefferson was concerned by the rise of what he termed “our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country”. Jefferson hoped that his fellow democrats would “crush in its birth” this “new aristocracy”. He lamented that if they failed, then eventually this “new aristocracy” would rise to “rid[e] and rul[e] over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry” under the name of democracy.

But Jefferson was not alone.

Alexander Hamilton, another founding father, warned of a new “spirit of speculation”. It was a “dangerous tumour” he wrote that if allowed develop unchecked would one day “rob the industrious of the fruits of their labour and… enable the idle and rapacious to live in ease and comfort at the expense of the better part of the community”. He called it “popular despotism” and insisted that it’s rise “must be corrected”.

Another founding father, James Madison worried of a comparable future. In that future, democratic government would be found “substituting the motive of private interest in place of public duty”, leading to “a real domination of the few under an apparent liberty of the many”. The drivers of this change in Madison’s view would be “[t]he stock-jobbers” who he wrote “will become the praetorian band of the Government, at once its tool and its tyrant; bribed by its largesses and overawing it by its clamours and combinations”.

On the other side of the Atlantic, during a similar period, Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith was also sharing his predictions.

Smith’s words should carry weight for those interested in capitalism, freedom and democracy on all sides of the political spectrum. Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman, who is an ideological pillar of modern liberalism, begins one of his more seminal works, Free to Choose, with great praise for Adam Smith. Smith is, Friedman concludes, the “father of modern economics”, and his book The Wealth of Nations a “masterpiece”. For any classical, quasi or neoliberal, Adam Smith’s words in Wealth of Nations are therefore worth some consideration.

Smith believed the existence of what he called “joint stock companies” was unreasonable except in exceptional circumstances where they can demonstrate “with the clearest evidence that the undertaking is of greater and more general utility than the greater part of common trades”. However, Smith later concluded that while corporations “are established for the public-spirited purpose of promoting some particular manufacture” they “can in other respects scarce ever fail to do more harm than good”.

In the long run, Smith concluded that “the interested sophistry of merchants and manufactures”, might come to overwhelm the benevolent aspirations of democrats everywhere and turn civil government into “civil government… instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor”.

Some decades later Alexis de Tocqueville, whom another ideological pillar of modern liberalism Frederick von Hayek considered one “of the greatest political thinkers”, made similar observations. De Tocqueville urged in his chef-d’oeuvre Democracy in America that any “friends of democracy should keep their eyes anxiously fixed” on “the manufacturing aristocracy which is growing up under our eyes”. De Tocqueville understood it to be “one of the harshest which has ever existed in the world”. Moreover, if allowed develop, it could plausibly be expected to lead to “a permanent inequality of conditions”, leading to “a real domination of the few under an apparent liberty of the many”, to borrow Madison’s words once more.

Milton Friedman wrote at length about the “relation between economic freedom and political freedom”, and was adamant that “historical evidence speaks with a single voice”. The founding fathers of the United States and of modern economics are part of that single voice. While many of their predictions were for the most part theoretical, those theories perhaps pass Friedman’s ultimate test of validity when applied to our modern democracies. Writing in 1966 in The Methodology of Positive Economics Friedman concluded that:

[T]heory is to be judged by its predictive power for the class of phenomena which it is intended to “explain.” Only factual evidence can show whether it is “right” or “wrong” or, better, tentatively “accepted” as valid or “rejected.” …the only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of its predictions with experience.

The experience of many in the western world today, in particular the squeezed middle, is that Jefferson’s “new aristocracy” has truly “become the praetorian band of the Government”. Trump, Farage and many others across the western world, both on the right and left, are reshaping politics by articulating people’s fears in a new language. In place of Jefferson’s “new aristocracy” is the 1%. In place of Madison’s “stock jobbers” is Wall Street. In place of what Adam Smith termed “the interested sophistry of merchants and manufactures” are the lobbyists both in the United States and Europe.

However, implicit in much of the recent commentary about the rise of the 1% and their role in shaping policy is the assumption that this phenomenon is something new or recent. It’s not. As the documentary record shows it has been forever both a feature and concern of democrats on both sides of the Atlantic. The only difference today perhaps is the extent to which our “new aristocracy” influences decisions that impact on all of our lives.

The question then for those interested in maintaining the promise of the founding fathers of modern democracy is to what extent you believe Trump or Farage or similar political voices are the answer to this “dangerous tumour”, this “new aristocracy”. If you don’t, the challenge then is to build or support voices that are the answer. As to do nothing at a moment of so much tumultuous change is to tacitly acquiesce to whatever happens next.

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Some sources in particular order for those curious:

Friedman, Milton, “The Methodology of Positive Economics” In Essays In Positive Economics (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1966)

Friedman, Milton & Rose, Free To Choose, (Avon, 1981)

Friedman, Milton, Capitalism and Democracy, (University of Chicago Press, 2002)

Werhane, Patricia, Adam Smith and His Legacy for Modern Capitalism, (Oxford University Press, 1991)

Smith, Adam, The Wealth of Nations, (Aberdeen University Press, 1904)

Sellers, Charles, The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815–1846, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991)

Jennifer Nedelsky, Private Property and the Limits of American Constitutionalism: The Madisonian Framework and its Legacy, (University of Chicago Press, 1990)

Hayek, F.A., The Road to Serfdom, (Routledge Classics, 2002)

Tocqueville, Alexis de, Democracy in America, (Mentor Books, 1984)

Manley, John F., “American Liberalism and the Democratic Dream: Transcending the American Dream,” Policy Studies Review, Vol. 10, №1, Fall 1990

 

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Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [7/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 6 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [6/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

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Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video)

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Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Milton Friedman’s Morals As Trump and Clinton bang the drums for tariffs and renegotiated deals, where’s the popular voice for trade?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Milton Friedman’s Morals

As Trump and Clinton bang the drums for tariffs and renegotiated deals, where’s the popular voice for trade?

By William McGurn

The Wall Street Journal

September 20, 2016

Whether it’s Donald Trump complaining “we don’t win on trade” or Hillary Clinton vowing to appoint a “chief trade prosecutor,” our two main candidates for president are both campaigning on the idea that government needs to protect us from any foreigner who would sell us something at a better price than we could get at home.

Where’s Milton Friedman when you need him?

In 1980, the Nobel Prize-winning economist brought the message of free markets and free trade into the homes of ordinary Americans via an extraordinary public television series called “Free to Choose.” He did so without apology, without a prepared script and in plain language—moral as well as practical—that you didn’t have to be an economist to understand.

He also did it against the prevailing mood that while free markets might be nice in theory, in reality what America needed was a healthy shot of protectionism: e.g., “voluntary” restrictions on Japanese cars, stronger anti-dumping statutes and greater enforcement of state “buy American” laws.

Is it so much different today? In an age when the global economy has helped lift billions out of abject poverty and put in the pockets of our children iPhones with more processing power than the computers NASA used to put a man on the moon, trade has become a dirty word.

The negatives of trade seemed to be confirmed by a now-famous 2012 graphic by economist Branko Milanovic, which plots how much real income has grown between 1988 and 2008 by income percentiles of the global population. Called the “elephant chart” because of its shape, it appears to prove the Trump-Clinton critique: that the winners from trade are foreigners and our top 1%, while the losers are the working and middle class in the developed West, including the U.S.

But the London-based Resolution Foundation has now re-crunched the numbers to adjust for factors including population growth and the collapse of the U.S.S.R. When it did, it found that though income growth for the U.S. working and middle classes was smaller than for their peers in other Western economies, it was not stagnant.

In a recent Financial Times story, Resolution Foundation director Torsten Bell sounded a distinctly Friedmanite note: “Although globalisation brings a range of challenges for lower income families, we need to be clear that weak income growth generally is rooted in domestic policy, and blaming globalisation takes the pressure off governments.”

What might such pressure look like? Well, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser suggests we might, for example, consider the way well-intentioned government programs can boomerang by discouraging work—everything from minimum-wage hikes that make low-skilled young men more expensive to hire to the huge marginal tax rates that kick in when, say, a single mom using some government benefit gets a job.

No one denies that Americans can lose jobs when an industry abroad is selling a good or service at a better price. But the high-employment, mass-manufacturing economy of the postwar years is not coming back no matter how high tariffs are or what we do to countries who manipulate their currencies. Even more interesting, the Resolution Foundation study reports average real income growth for lower- and middle-class workers in the U.K. was much higher than for their American counterparts, even though the U.K. has an economy that is more, not less, dependent on trade.

For his part, Friedman would ask by what right should an American be prevented from buying a lawful good or service if he found a better price from someone overseas? Where’s the morality of keeping a worker from selling the product of his labor to someone who happens to live in another country? And the following was Friedman’s response on “Free to Choose” when a union official challenged him on his bid to eliminate all tariffs over five years:

“The social and moral issues are all on the side of free trade. And it is you, and people like you, who introduce protection who are the ones who are violating fundamental moral and social issues.

“Tell me, what trade union represents the workers who are displaced because high tariffs reduce exports from this country, because high tariffs make steel and other goods more expensive, and as a result, those industries that use steel have to charge higher prices, they have fewer employees, the export industries that would grow up to balance the imports, tell me what union represents them? What moral and ethical view do you have about their interests?”

It’s still a good question. Because here we are, seven weeks out from an election in which the Republican and the Democratic nominee are trying to outdo each other in their opposition to trade. And neither appreciates the irony that the very definition of a bad trade deal is one that inserts the heavy hand of government between a voluntary exchange that leaves both Citizen of Country A and Citizen of Country B better off.

 

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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 Friedman: Once all of this was a swamp, covered with forest. The Canarce Indians […]

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Debate on Milton Friedman’s cure for inflation

If you would like to see the first three episodes on inflation in Milton Friedman’s film series “Free to Choose” then go to a previous post I did. Ep. 9 – How to Cure Inflation [4/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980) Uploaded by investbligurucom on Jun 16, 2010 While many people have a fairly […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Also posted in Current Events | Tagged , , , , | Edit | Comments (0)

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Donald Trump and Milton Friedman Debate Free Trade by JOE CARTER • March 7, 2016

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ACTON INSTITUTE POWERBLOG

Donald Trump and Milton Friedman Debate Free Trade

If it wasn’t for Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump would win the title of most economically illiterate presidential candidate in the short history of the twenty-first century.

A prime example of why he’d earn this ignoble title is Trump’s opposition to free trade — a position which, not surprisingly, he shares with Sanders. The only real difference between Sanders and Trump on this issue is that no one trust that Trump would actually carry out his proposed destructive policies (he’d flip-flop on the issue like he does on everything else), while Sanders would be devastatingly consistent.

The video below compares and contrasts Trump’s ignorance about free trade with the wisdom of Milton Friedman, one of the greatest economists in American history.

Trump vs Friedman – Trade Policy Debate

 

Published on Nov 9, 2015

Import tariffs v. free trade, argued by Donald Trump and Milton Friedman. http://www.LibertyPen.com

 

If judged on substance, it’s obvious Friedman wins this debate. But in the long run Trump and other anti-free market politicians are likely to continue to convince the public to support their terrible, anti-trade policies. When it comes to economics, Americans have a tendency to reject policies that make our country more prosperous in favor of ignorant demagoguery that gives the appearance of punishing foreign nations.

(Via: AEI Ideas)

JOE CARTER Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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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 […]

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  _________________________   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 […]

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If you would like to see the first three episodes on inflation in Milton Friedman’s film series “Free to Choose” then go to a previous post I did. Ep. 9 – How to Cure Inflation [4/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980) Uploaded by investbligurucom on Jun 16, 2010 While many people have a fairly […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Also posted in Current Events | Tagged , , , , | Edit | Comments (0)

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Can Government spend money at no expense?

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Can Government spend money at no expense? Milton Friedman covers this in the video below:

Milton Friedman – The Free Lunch Myth

Milton Friedman – The Proper Role of Government

Milton Friedman – Whats wrong with welfare?

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 1:20PM

Trump and Federal Workers

The incoming Trump administration has indicated that it will make reforms to the federal workforce. Here are a few places where the administration may focus its efforts:

  • Freezing Hiring: Trump’s Contract with the American Voter promised “a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health).” As a goodwill gesture, Trump should also shrink the army of almost 4,000 political appointees in his administration in order to speed agency decisionmaking.
  • Increasing Firing: Trump is famous for firing people on his TV show, and he will likely support reforms to increase federal firing. On the campaign trail, Trump talked about firing VA executives, and his advisors Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich talked about the importance of civil service reforms to increase firing. Reforms are needed: federal civilian workers are fired at just one-sixth the rate that private-sector workers are. Members of the federal senior executive service are fired at just one-twentieth the rate that corporate CEOs are.
  • Reducing Retirement Benefits. Federal wages and benefits are higher, on average, than in the private sector, but it is on benefits that federal compensation really stands out. The WaPo has discussed various GOP proposals to reduce federal benefits. My favored reform is to repeal the old-fashioned defined-benefit pension plan. That would leave federal workers with a generous defined-contribution plan, which is the standard in the private sector.
  • Reforming Federal Unions. One reform was mentioned in the Republican platform: “union representatives should not be allowed to engage in union-related activities while on the public’s time.” Republicans on the Hill have been investigatingthe use and abuse of such “official time” in federal agencies.

My essays “Bureaucratic Failure in the Federal Government” and “Reducing the Costs of Federal Worker Pay and Benefits” should provide useful information to the Trump team in assembling its workforce reform agenda.

 

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Markets in Education Work, But Keep the Feds Out of It

President-Elect Trump’s selection of philanthropist and long-time school choice advocate Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education has the public education establishment and its allies in panic mode. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten tweeted“Trump has chosen the most ideological, anti-public ed nominee since the creation of the Dept of Education.” Over at Slate, Dana Goldstein frets that “Trump could gut public education“—even though federal dollars account for less than 10 percent of district school funding nationwide. The New York Times has also run series of hand-wringing pieces about what the Trump administration has in store for our nation’s education system.

At the center of the panic over Trump’s nomination of DeVos is their support for school choice. Although light on details, Trump has pledged to devote $20 billion to a federal voucher program. As is so often the case, the most vocal opponents of federal school choice are right for the wrong reasons. Not only does the federal government lack constitutional jurisdiction (outside of Washington, D.C., military installations, and tribal lands), but a federal voucher program poses a danger to school choice efforts nationwide because a less-friendly future administration could attach regulations that undermine choice policies. Such regulations are always a threat to the effectiveness of school choice policies, but when a particular state adopts harmful regulations, the negative effects are localized. Louisiana’s folly does not affect Florida. Not so with a national voucher program. Moreover, harmful regulations are easier to fight at the state level than at the federal level, where the exercise of “pen and phone” executive authority is increasingly (and unfortunately) the norm.

Many of Trump’s critics have not addressed very real federalism concerns, but have instead used the DeVos appointment to attack school choice generally, particularly its more free-market forms.

In a New York Times blog, Kevin Carey of the left-wing New America Foundation writes:

Ms. Devos [sic] will also be hamstrung by the fact that her deregulated school choice philosophy has not been considered a resounding success. In her home state, Detroit’s laissez-faire choice policies have led to a wild west of cutthroat competition and poor academic results. While there is substantial academic literature on school vouchers and while debates continue between opposing camps of researchers, it’s safe to say that vouchers have not produced the kind of large improvements in academic achievement that market-oriented reformers originally promised.

In a Times op-ed, Tulane Professor Douglas Harris echoed these critiques, claiming that “even charter advocates acknowledge” that Detroit’s charter school system—which DeVos supposedly “devised […] to run like the Wild West”—is “the biggest school reform disaster in the country.”

Consider this: Detroit is one of many cities in the country that participates in an objective and rigorous test of student academic skills, called the National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP]. The other cities participating in the urban version of this test, including Baltimore, Cleveland and Memphis, are widely considered to be among the lowest-performing school districts in the country.

Detroit is not only the lowest in this group of lowest-performing districts on the math and reading scores, it is the lowest by far. One well-regarded study found that Detroit’s charter schools performed at about the same dismal level as its traditional public schools. The situation is so bad that national philanthropists interested in school reform refuse to work in Detroit. As someone who has studied the city’s schools and used to work there, I am saddened by all this.

Likewise, Harvard Professor Paul Reville decried that “in places like Michigan and Arizona where the approach to opening up choice has been a Wild West version of an unregulated free market, the results have been highly disappointing, giving school choice a bad name.”

Charter schools in Michigan and Arizona may be subject to fewer government regulations than in other states, but it’s absurd to describe the sectors as “laissez-faire” or “an unregulated free market.” For example, charter school regulations in both states, as elsewhere, limit the ability of charter schools to set their own mission (e.g., they must be secular), mandate that they administer the state standardized test, forbid them from setting their own admissions standards, forbid them from charging tuition, limit who can teach in the schools, limit the growth of the number of schools, and so on.

“Laissez-faire” indeed!

And although Michigan’s results are far from stellar, they’re also not the “disaster” that Harris depicts. Indeed, Harris links to the 2013 CREDO report, which found that, on average, Detroit’s charter schools outperformed the district schools that their students would otherwise have attended. Indeed, nearly half of Detroit’s charter schools outperformed the city’s traditional district schools in reading and math scores, while only one percent of charter schools performed worse in reading and only seven percent performed worse in math.

CREDO 2013 Michigan Charter School Study

Source: CREDO’s 2013 report on charter schools (page 44).

CREDO’s 2015 report even called Detroit’s charter sector “a model to other communities.” I’d say that’s overstating it. Nevertheless, while Detroit’s district schools are so bad that it’s not a very high bar, Detroit does show how even a significantly regulated system of school choice can outperform the government’s system of district schools. Using the CREDO study to knock Detroit’s charter sector is, to borrow a phrase from Harris, “a triumph of ideology over evidence.”

And since Harris mentioned the NAEP, let’s see how Arizona’s “Wild West” charter sector performs. As education analyst Matthew Ladner has detailed, Arizona’s charter sector not only outperformed the state average for gains between the 2011 4th-grade and 2015 8th-grade NAEP tests for math and language arts, but they beat the statewide average gains for every single state. The Arizona charter sector’s gains between the 2009 and 2015 NAEP science tests were at least double the statewide average gains everywhere else.

Source: Matthew Ladner.

A word of caution is in order. These comparisons don’t account for differences in demographics among states nor changes in demographics over time. The raw NAEP results cannot tell us whether a particular policy caused any improvement or decline in the scores. Moreover, as Ladner notes, it’s possible to have significant gains while simultaneously doing poorly overall. The bowler whose average score improves from a 25 to a 50 might earn the “Most Improved” trophy while still being the worst bowler in the league. That said, after controlling for demographics, Arizona’s math and language arts scores are above average (13th nationwide). Although we don’t have adjusted scores for Arizona’s charter sector, they are likely even better. Moreover, even using raw scores, Arizona charter students perform about as well as Massachusetts students on the 2015 8th grade NAEP science test. For that matter, Arizona’s charter schools topped the list for college attendance among Arizona’s 2015 graduates.

If Harris believes that supposed lack of regulation in Detroit’s charter sector (at least as compared to charter school regulations in other states) accounts for their poor performance on the NAEP, how does he explain the Arizona results?

Indeed, even without heavy top-down oversight, Arizona manages to close down poorly performing charter schools fairly quickly through a rather innovative method called “parental choice.” The average closed charter operated for only four years and had an average of only 62 students enrolled in their final year. As Ladner explains, parents put most of those charters out of business before the regulatory apparatus got around to it:

Arizona parents seem extremely adept at putting down charter schools with extreme prejudice. Arizona parents detonate far more schools on the launching pad compared to the number we see bumbling ineffectively through the term of their charter to be shut by authorities (or to give up the ghost in year 14 in an ambiguous fashion). Both of these things happen, but the former happens with much greater regularity than the latter. Having a vibrant system of open enrollment, charter schools and some private school choice means that Arizona parents can take the view that life is too short have your child enrolled in an ineffective institution.

The critics’ read of the evidence on voucher programs also leaves much to be desired. Harris points only to research on statewide voucher programs in Louisiana and Ohio that found negative impacts, but he ignores the near-consensus of more than a dozen random-assignment studies that found modest positive impacts on student performance on tests as well as on high school graduation and college matriculation. Outside of Louisiana’s heavily regulated voucher program, none were found to produce a negative impact and only one found no discernible impact. (The Ohio study was not random-assignment and its comparison group may have been severely compromised by the study’s design.) Moreover, nearly every study on the impact of private school choice policies on district school performance found a positive impact, including in Louisiana and Ohio. The one exception was Washington, D.C., where the voucher funds come from a separate source and therefore a decrease in district school enrollment does not affect their funding.

On the whole thus far, private school choice programs have been an improvement over the status quo. Nevertheless, Carey is only half right when he writes that “vouchers have not produced the kind of large improvements in academic achievement that market-oriented reformers originally promised” because no state has yet adopted the sort of large-scale, lightly regulated, universal voucher system that market-oriented reformers like Milton Friedman called for. Instead, most voucher programs are limited in scale and eligibility and subject to numerous regulations. They’re designed, essentially, to fill empty seats rather than to revolutionize the way education is delivered. Small-scale choice programs should be expected to deliver positive but small-scale results, and that is what the research has found.

Advocates of large-scale private school choice programs should be careful not to over-promise, but critics of market-oriented educational choice policies should also be careful not to cherry pick or to make claims that the research literature does not support. Outside heavily regulated environments, private school choice policies have a consistently positive track record. What we should be able to agree about is that the positive track record of state-level school choice policies does not imply that Congress should enact a federal voucher program.

 

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 585) Milton Friedman (Emailed to White House on 6-25-13.) President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman on Immigration

Open letter to President Obama (Part 618) (Emailed to White House on July 22, 2013)

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

______________________________

FREE TO CHOOSE “Who protects the worker?” Video and Transcript Part

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, and – Power of the Market. Milton Friedman shows in this episode how the worker is best protected and it is not by the government!!!!!!!

The essence of what Milton Friedman is saying in this episode is found in this statement:

“The situation of immigration restrictions really has to do with the question of a welfare state. As I say in the film, I would favor completely free immigration in a society which does not have a welfare system. With a welfare system of the kind we have, you have the problem that people immigrate in order to get welfare, not in order to get employment. You know, it’s a very interesting thing, if you would ask anybody before 1914 the U.S. had no immigration restrictions whatsoever, I’m exaggerating a little bit, there were some immigration restrictions on orientals, but it was essentially, mainly free. If you ask anybody, any American economic historian was that a good thing for America, everybody will say yes it was a wonderful thing for America that we had free immigration. If you ask anybody today, should we have free immigration today, everybody will __ almost everybody will say no. What’s the difference? I think there’s only one difference and that is that when we had free immigration it was immigration of jobs in which everybody benefited. The people who were already here benefited because they got complementary workers, workers who could work with them, make their productivity better, enable them to develop and use the resources of the country better, but today, if you have a system under which you have essentially a governmental guarantee of relief in case of distress, you have a very, very real problem.”

Pt 5

L. WILLIAMS: Dr. Friedman and Walter Williams go back in history and they take a look at a situation where America was empty, where we didn’t have anything like the sophisticated industrial economy we have today, but had a much more agricultural and rural kind of economy and of course when the __ when the impoverished peasants of Europe, my ancestors and most of our ancestors, except for the slaves, which is another situation, but when these people came from Europe and came to a wide open continent with the most fertile soil then available to anyone in the world, naturally there was progress; and I or any of us would be mad to deny progress. But as that developed and as population increased and as we moved into a much more sophisticated industrial economy, we moved then into the situation in the 1930s, or earlier than that , at the end of the century. As some of the more skilled jobs came along, the labor movement didn’t happen by accident. Didn’t happen because there wasn’t a need there. The results of this development, even with all the wealth available in America, the results of this development was that many working people were not having anything like, by standards of civilization or whatever, anything like their fair share in this progress.

MCKENZIE: Now you’re arguing that in a free market, for labor, everyone benefits. Does that mean that you would favor abolition of all immigration restrictions?

FRIEDMAN: The situation of immigration restrictions really has to do with the question of a welfare state. As I say in the film, I would favor completely free immigration in a society which does not have a welfare system. With a welfare system of the kind we have, you have the problem that people immigrate in order to get welfare, not in order to get employment. You know, it’s a very interesting thing, if you would ask anybody before 1914 the U.S. had no immigration restrictions whatsoever, I’m exaggerating a little bit, there were some immigration restrictions on orientals, but it was essentially, mainly free. If you ask anybody, any American economic historian was that a good thing for America, everybody will say yes it was a wonderful thing for America that we had free immigration. If you ask anybody today, should we have free immigration today, everybody will __ almost everybody will say no. What’s the difference? I think there’s only one difference and that is that when we had free immigration it was immigration of jobs in which everybody benefited. The people who were already here benefited because they got complementary workers, workers who could work with them, make their productivity better, enable them to develop and use the resources of the country better, but today, if you have a system under which you have essentially a governmental guarantee of relief in case of distress, you have a very, very real problem.

MCKENZIE: But this is true of every western industrialized country.

FRIEDMAN: That’s right and that’s why today __

MCKENZIE: Yeah.

FRIEDMAN: __ under current circumstances you cannot, unfortunately have free immigration. Not because there’s anything wrong with free immigration, but because we have other policies which make it impossible to adopt free immigration.

MCKENZIE: Well I’d like other reactions. Is it at all feasible to open the door of the labor market internationally now? Bill Brady?

BRADY: I would __ I would say yes providing they open the door to us. I think that the door to not only the labor market, the door to all markets should be __ should be open. That is the product markets.

W. WILLIAMS: My feelings about the undocumented workers of Mexican-Americans are inscribed at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. I think that the people should have the right to come to this country. Now, those who would say, you know, I hear a number of people saying that, well the immigrants are contributing to our unemployment problem. And I point this out to some people, I said, “look, you know, this is the same rhetoric that the Irish used when the blacks were coming up from the north, ” you know, they’re using blacks as scapegoats. They’re saying, “get those people back where they came from so that our members can get jobs, ” you know. Unions were as well doing this, you know, they called them scabs, strikebreakers, etcetera, etcetera. So I do not wish for Mexican-Americans to become the new scapegoats of our particular national problems. They are not the problem, and our nation benefits to the extent that these people come here and work. And to that extent __ to that extent__ so it’s kind of good for them to remain illegal aliens as opposed to being legal aliens where they’re subject to our welfare programs, so that we don’t want them to come here to __

(Several people talking at once.)

GREEN: I think that this country cannot have a group of workers to remain outside the framework of our laws and our protection. And as long as we have workers who are attracted to the United States because of the standards of living; and I think minimum wages play a part in that as part of that attraction. But it seems to me to have undocumented workers without providing either a means of protection for them and it seems to me that we’ve got to go to the question of providing the amnesty for those generations of workers who have come here over a period of time, now two, three, maybe four generations. We have to see that they have the same rights and protection of all other workers. And as it stands now, large numbers of them live outside the framework of the laws and statutes that we have on the __ on our books.

MCKENZIE: Comment Milton.

FRIEDMAN: They do and the tragedy of the situation, as what Walter Williams point out, that as long as they are undocumented and illegal they are a clear net gain, the nation benefits and they benefit. They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t. The tragedy is that we’ve adopted all these other policies so that if we convert them into legal residents it’s no longer clear that we benefit. They may benefit, but it’s no longer clear that we do. What Lynn Williams said before is again a travesty on what was actually going on. The real boost to the trade union movement came after the Great Depression of the 1930s; that Great Depression was not a failure of capitalism; it was not a failure of the private market system as we pointed out in another one of the programs in this series; it was a failure of government. It was not the case that somehow or other there was a decline in the conditions of the working class that produced a great surge of unionism. On the contrary __ unions have never accounted for more than one out of four or one out of five of American workers. The American worker benefited not out of unions, he benefited in spite of unions. He benefited because there was greater opportunity because there were people who were willing to invest their money because there was an opportunity for people to work, to save, to invest. That’s still the case today. You say, we have to provide them with something or other Ernest. Who are the “we”?

GREEN: We the people.

FRIEDMAN: How do we the people __ but how do we the people do it?

GREEN: And it seems __ we the people provide them the protection by seeing that their safety __

MCKENZIE: You’re talking about the immigration population now.

GREEN: __ and occupational health codes that protects the environment that they work in, see that they have civil rights laws that protect their own person. See that they have civil liberties laws that protect them further. We the people of this country provide that protection.

W. WILLIAMS: Why are they coming here it’s so bad? If they don’t have, you know, you’re kind of painting an image, you know. Why are these people coming? We’re not pulling them here by chains.

GREEN: It’s obvious why people come here; it’s one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

(Several talking at once.)

MCKENZIE: Gentlemen, don’t all talk at once. Lynn, and then __

W. WILLIAMS: So what are you talking about protecting them?

GREEN: Why did you leave Little Rock, Arkansas to go to Philadelphia? It seems to point__

L. WILLIAMS: It seems to me that it’s obvious __

W. WILLIAMS: Would you extend the courtesy to finish. Look, look, first thing, look, let me say the following things: There’s some basic things that we need to know.

L. WILLIAMS: Well now are you going to say the thing I was interrupting and then say five more things. I mean there isn’t all afternoon.

W. WILLIAMS: You know, labor unions, and minimum wages for that case cannot improve the condition of the working people of the country.

L. WILLIAMS: We do it everyday.

W. WILLIAMS: Because if__ are you suggesting __

L. WILLIAMS: We improve the working conditions of working people in countries all around the world, everyday.

W. WILLIAMS: Well you know this __ you know what you’re telling the audience, you’re saying that you can solve the problems in Bangladesh. You can make them a rich country if you tell them to unionize like we are __

L. WILLIAMS: I didn’t say that.

W. WILLIAMS: __and demand high wages.

L. WILLIAMS: No, I didn’t say anything remotely like that.

W. WILLIAMS: It’s productivity that keeps income low.

MCKENZIE: Lynn, let him finish.

BRADY: I come back to my initial question: why are so many leaving the union?

L. WILLIAMS: There aren’t very many leaving the union.

BRADY: Oh, there are too. I’ve given you the statistics.

L. WILLIAMS: Ah, now, do you think I’m __ you grind off some percentages. I live in the labor movement.

BRADY: You __ do you have other percentages?

FRIEDMAN: In or on?

L. WILLIAMS: In, with and on. And of course they pay me, of course, and I don’t have any objection to that at all.

FRIEDMAN: Neither do I.

L. WILLIAMS: At least we got you a few minutes ago __ we got you to get the labor movement up into this century. And I agree with the observation you made __

(Laughter)

L. WILLIAMS: I agree with the observation you made that the industrial union movement __ that there was a union movement came out of the, out of the dirty ’30s and out of the depression and grew and that was essentially and industrial union movement. But I wonder if __ I wonder when I hear your commentary on the film and so on about unions and restricting practices and restricting access to industry and all of this, I really __ I don’t mean it disrespectfully, but I really wonder __

FRIEDMAN: Don’t mind being disrespectful, it’s all right. I’m used to it.

L. WILLIAMS: I really wonder if you, if you do understand how the industrial union movement, which is __ the more recent part of the union, how it really operates. We’re not telling anybody who they have to hire.

FRIEDMAN: (Laughing)

___________________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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