Friedman: Greed, the Free Market, and the Constitution

Having recently finished the excellent book, Capitalism and Freedom, by Milton Friedman (and at the further urging of a good friend), I was spurred by my insatiable curiosity to hunt up more of what Friedman had to say. In the course of obeying this impulsion, I found this video on YouTube of the late Dr. Milton Friedman answering the three-part question of an espousee of the progressive mindset. Very informative, and I thoroughly agree with the title: Friedman does indeed crush this man’s doubtful disputation with the facts.

Incidentally, near the end–where he speaks about using the Constitution to control the government–is particularly telling.

And this video, though brief, demonstrates Friedman’s ability to totally disarm an opponent’s entire method of attack by addressing, in a series of questions, the inconsistencies in the underlying ideology. Also notice how he turns the very same questions the host asked around and requires him to answer them (or try to do so). This is from an interview on Phil Donahue’s show, from 1979. Fascinating!

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6 responses to “Friedman: Greed, the Free Market, and the Constitution

  1. Capitalism and Freedom has been on my reading list. You’ve motivated me to bump it up a few places – I look forward to reading and discussing with you. Thanks for the video links!

  2. Well, a guy who can tie the Great Depression to the Fed such that a later Fed Chairman publicly admitted it and promised not to do it again has some mojo, right?
    Unfortunate that the Fed Chairman lied and they have done it again, though not so surprising as might be…
    There might be some fun in an occasional visit to mises.com if you like this sort of stuff.

    • Hello Jack, and welcome!

      Thanks for the thoughtful compliment…I appreciate it greatly.

      Mises.com, you say? I’ll definitely look it up. Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

      Looking forward to your continued discussion.

  3. Free-markets = good (where products succeed based on quality (not price, or marketing, or brand name, etc)
    Greed = bad
    This is not that hard. Seriously. Ambition, drive, inspiration, these things are all good. But there’s not a single soul, living, dead, or yet to be born that would suggest that greed, in even the smallest from, is, or ever will be, positive.

    Greedy people are less than human. Theft of retirmentments or pensions IS as bad as murder or rape. Maybe someday, people who realize that, “yes, I’m greedy,” will all kill themselves and donate their organs to real human beings.

    • “Of course it’s always the other guy who’s greedy, never us….”

      Did you even watch the video?

      “This is not that hard. Seriously. Ambition, drive, inspiration, these things are all good. But there’s not a single soul, living, dead, or yet to be born that would suggest that greed, in even the smallest form, is, or ever will be, positive.”

      Friedman didn’t suggest such a thing; he stated it emphatically–he’s dead. I’m stating just such a thing emphatically—I’m living. The yet to be born, I will perhaps concede, though even that is doubtful. Why exactly do you see greed as such an evil thing?

      “Greedy people are less than human.” Really now….how shall we then live in a world full of sub-human beings motivated only by their baser instincts? This is a terribly drab picture of society that you paint.

      “Maybe someday, people who realize that, ‘yes, I’m greedy,’ will kill themselves and donate their organs to real humans.” Two things come immediately to mind: 1. What a terribly unselfish (and therefore, highly unlikely) thing to do in the event one were to realize that; 2. Sounds like the plotline of a new Armageddon-type novel where everyone on earth dies.

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