Milton Friedman Quotes
A society that puts equality - in the sense of equality of outcome - ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.
One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.
Programs that are labeled as being for the poor, for the needy, almost always have effects exactly the opposite of those which their well intentioned sponsors intend them to have.
You almost always, when you have bad programs, have an unholy coalition of the do-gooders on the one hand and the special interests on the other.
There's been one underlying basic fallacy in this whole set of social security and welfare measures, and that is the fallacy - this is at the bottom of it - the fallacy that it is feasible and possible to do good with other people's money. That view has two flaws. If I want to do good with other people's money, I first have to take it away from them. That means that the welfare state philosphy of doing good with other people's money, at it's very bottom, is a philosophy of violence and coercion. It's against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money. In the second place, very few people spend other people's money as carefully as they spend their own.
The maintenance of a free society is a very difficult and complicated thing. And it requires a self denying ordinance of the most extreme kind. It requires a willingness to put up with temporary evils on the basis of the subtle and sophisticated understanding that if you step in to try to do something about them, you not only may make them worse, but you will spread your tentacles and get bad results elsewhere.
The argument for collectivism, for government doing something, is simple. Anybody can understand it. 'If there's something wrong, pass a law. If somebody is in trouble, get Mr. X to help them out.' The argument for voluntary cooperation, for a free market, is not nearly so simple. It says, 'You know, if you allow people to cooperate voluntarily and don't interfere with them, indirectly, through the operation of the market, they will improve matters more than you can improve it directly by appointing somebody.' That's a subtle argument, and it's hard for people to understand. Moreover, people think that when you argue that way you're arguing for selfishness, for greed. That's utter nonsense.
Government is an institution whereby the people who have the greatest drive to get power over their fellow men get in a position of controlling them.
The real problem with government is not the deficit. The real problem with government is the amount of our money that it spends.
Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion - the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals - the technique of the marketplace.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand.
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.
Only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.
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