For our Friday Filosophy #2015-19 we are tacking economic concepts and thoughts from a great thinker.
The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.
The world runs on individuals pursuing their self-interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.
The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm, capitalism is that kind of system.
Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.
Well first of all, tell me, is there some society you know of that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed?
The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science or literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.
We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.
So the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.
Inflation is taxation without legislation.
Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it …. Gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.
The black market was a way of getting around government controls. It was a way of enabling the free market to work. It was a way of opening up, enabling people.
Universities exist to transmit knowledge and understanding of ideas and values to students not to provide entertainment for spectators or employment for athletes.
And I will close with this one.
And what does reward virtue? You think the communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think, excuse me, if you’ll pardon me, American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout?
A few of the wonderful thoughts from Milton Friedman. We miss his perspective very much, don’t we?
The time is now.