Monday, June 6, 2011

Milton Friedman on Greed (1979)

This is an appearance of the influential economist Milton Friedman (1912 - 2006). Although he was wrong on monetarism, Milton Friedman was a strong voice of freedom against a predominate socialistic thinking public that existed during the 1960's and 1970's. In particular, notice Donahue's socialistic counter statements.

Milton Friedman and Walter Block had an interesting discussion about how free-market Friedrich von Hayek's famous work, The Road to Serfdom (see my earlier post) was, which can be found here. It was based on a paper by Walter Block. Friedman stressed the political climate at the time the book was wrote, whereas Block pointed out there were too many utilitarian and central planning insertions that would lead to a non free-market society. Although both make true claims, Block's claim is closer to how it is actually used in today's contexts, that is, it is regularly used to sanctify any position as a free-market position through misquotes. However, it's still an interesting read.

Friedman and Hayek were economic liberals and libertarians. They are widely read by all, especially Republicans (who want to sanctify their position). Block and Friedman's son David, who is mentioned, are Anarcho-Capitalists. It's entertaining to see these two great thinkers argue. Friedman uses a lot of ad hominem attacks, while Block uses some fallacious counters himself, like 'but your son also believes that too' type. Nevertheless, you can hear the great Milton Friedman below:

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