Episode 17 – Perspectives on Judicial Activism (Podcast)

The court system of the United States is supposed to protect and uphold the Constitution, regardless of personal beliefs. Increasingly, over the past few decades more and more rulings seem to fall on the side of those individual beliefs, rather than what is written under law. This type of judicial activism is in direct conflict with what the court system is meant to be. Our government is founded on a system of checks and balances, but when a court has the final decision, who holds them in check? After decades on the bench, Former Solicitor General of the United States, …

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Episode 16 – Walter Williams (Podcast)

Join American economist and columnist Walter Williams as he discusses what influenced his unique, and often controversial, perspectives on economics. Williams is a unique thinker. Despite being African American he opposes the minimum wage, affirmative action, and believes the welfare state has done far more harm than good for those living in poverty. Although those views are major parts of his philosophy now, he didn’t always hold those views. As Walter Williams says about one of those revelations, “I thought that the minimum wage like many, many other Americans who have not really thought about it, was a really good …

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Episode 15 – Milton Friedman Speaks – The Future of Our Society (Podcast)

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 …

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Episode 14 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Equality and Freedom in the Free Enterprise System (Podcast)

If the government has the power and responsibility to promote equality of income, then how do we define the concept of equality? Jefferson, in his Declaration of Independence, meant equality before the law, a concept necessary precisely because people are not equal in tastes, values, or capacities. Later, equality came to mean equality of opportunity—the chance to run a fair race. Within a free market system, both definitions are consistent with other values: Efficiency, justice, and liberty. More recently, equality has come to mean equality of outcome. Equality of outcome cannot be mandated, cannot be insured. Any serious attempt to …

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Episode 13 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Who Protects the Worker? (Podcast)

Unions offer protection to workers in some situations, but union membership represents only one fifth of the American labor force. And while some unions do benefit their members, it is generally at the expense of competing workers and frequently at the expense of the consumer. Government? Government provides some protection, but its efforts are minor. Some workers with only one possible employer—or with no possible employer— enjoy very little protection. The right answer to the question “Who protects the worker?” is that the worker is protected by employers; by the existence of other employers who can and will compete for …

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Episode 12 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Who Protects the Consumer? (Podcast)

Consumer legislation doesn’t protect the consumer in the end. Rather, it benefits the consumer advocates, including reformers, special interest groups, and regulatory agencies. What does protect the consumer? Alternative sources of supply at variable prices are the inevitable result of international competition—free trade. Milton does not mince words when it comes to his perception of the matter, “These agencies, these regulations, these bureaucrats have not only picked our pocket but they have left us less well-protected than we were before. When we as consumers really need help, we will find the self-styled consumer advocates conspicuous by their absence. Now let …

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Episode 11 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Putting Learning Back in the Classroom (Podcast)

The quality of public education in America today in many places is in a clear downward spiral. Dr. Friedman identifies the increasing centralization and bureaucratization of the educational establishment, which inhibits educators from seeing and responding to the needs of their “consumers” — parents and students; He also touches on our altered view of the relationship between the individual and society— the shift from seeing the individual as responsible for oneself to seeing the individual as someone controlled by social forces. An obvious solution is to give power back to the parents. Could the voucher system be a means of …

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Episode 10 – Milton Friedman Speaks – The Economics of Medical Care (Podcast)

It is believed by some that increasing government involvement in medical care will take us toward fully socialized medicine. This trend is clearly against the interests of patients, physicians, and other health care personnel. There is of course, no such thing as “free” health care —you either pay for it directly, or via the tax system, with bureaucrats taking their usual cut along the way. The reality of the situation is that government involvement in the economics of medical care leads directly to higher costs for that care. Is there a special role for government in medical care? As far …

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Episode 9 – Milton Friedman Speaks – The Energy Crisis (Podcast)

It’s pointless to try to predict the availability of adequate sources of energy. What we need is an adjustable mechanism to enable us to adapt to whatever happens. We already have such a mechanism. The market helps us make transitions to the future—just as it has done in the past— if it is allowed to operate freely. Our prospects will be much improved if we can devise means to abolish —or at least work around—the government controls that interfere with the production and distribution and use of energy. It’s not a problem unique to energy, as Milton says, “The problem …

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Episode 8 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Free Trade: Producer vs. Consumer (Podcast)

If free trade is so good, why is protectionism so popular? Part of the answer lies in a simple political principle — interests that are concentrated (those of the producer) are more politically effective than interests that are diffused (those of the consumer). Protection does not create jobs or move goods; rather, it forces us to expend greater effort to get the goods we produce, since they cost more to produce at home than abroad. The balance of payments can take care of itself, provided we do not manipulate foreign exchange markets to put an artificial value on the dollar. …

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