We live under government domination of the market economy. We have come a long way from a truly free economy. Consider the number of markets to which new firms do not have free access. Consider the erosion of expression for business people. Consider the plethora of government regulations American business must contend with. Can these trends be reversed?
It is harder to repeal laws than pass them. Private business is unfortunately shortsighted when it turns to politics. But count among the favorable signs the very inefficiency of government—and the American public’s growing recognition of this fact. Business can do relatively little to reverse this trend (though it can at least become more sophisticated and farsighted in political planning), but business people as individuals, as citizens, must seek to persuade the public that we are already on the road to a collectivist state, that if we continue it, we will lose prosperity and liberty.
In Milton’s own words, “Make no mistake about it: human freedom cannot exist- human freedom has never existed-without a viable, healthy, free market economy. And that is what is being destroyed. That is what is being destroyed as much by its alleged friends, as by its announced enemies. This country remains predominantly a free country; it remains the freest major country in the world. There are some minor countries that have a greater degree of freedom, but among the major countries we remain the real stronghold of freedom. And yet, it is worth taking a few moments to look at how far we have come from a truly free economy, a truly free society.”
So how far have we come? Find out in the podcast, Milton Friedman Speaks – The Future of Our Society.