Thursday, April 05, 2012

Quotes of the Day - Milton Friedman

These quotes are from Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.  This first one points out a key difference in perspective on government:  one that sees government as a master to be served vs. the view that government is a tool to protect our rights. 

"To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshipped and served."
This quote goes to the heart of anti-capitalism:

"The key insight of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations is misleadingly simple: if an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another."


skeeter1107 said...

The nature and basis of capitalism is basic human behavior. It's transactional. You do this, and I will do that.

And in spite of what our fearless and oft times clueless leaders claim about capitalism, it doesn't go away. It will never go away until people go away.

We've seen what happens when leaders in their wisdom create arbitrary systems, Marxism, Socialism, Communism, etc. They will work for a while out of sheer momentum, but in time, human behavior rears it's ugly head and they collapse under their own weight. Historically in this century, these systems have a life span of about 50 to 60 years before they collapse. In modern times, we've seen this experiment in the USSR and now the freezing up of the gears in Democratic Socialism of Europe after World War II.

Timothy W Higgins said...

Strange coincidence indeed that I should see fit to quote Milton and Rose Friedman on the same day. Then again why should it be when he has so much to say, even from efforts written many years ago.

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