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 …

Share
Continue Reading

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 …

Share
Continue Reading

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 …

Share
Continue Reading

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 …

Share
Continue Reading

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. …

Share
Continue Reading

Episode 7 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Is Tax Reform Possible? (Podcast)

Why do Americans pay more in taxes than they really want to? Can they do anything about it? Americans must understand that their true tax burden is what the government spends, regardless of how that spending is financed. If government spending goes up faster than prices in general, the real tax burden increases. Simplifying the system is far from easy, but the real defect is not in the tax system anyway, but in the budget structure. Our only hope for tax reduction is in establishing constitutional provisions that will set limits on government spending. Nonetheless, spending keeps increasing despite growing …

Share
Continue Reading

Episode 6 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Money and Inflation (Podcast)

Inflation is blamed on many things but it has only one cause. It is a monetary phenomenon. Inflation occurs when the quantity of money increases faster than the quantity of goods. Why does the money supply increase? Very often it does so to enable the government to pay its bills without raising taxes. There’s only one real cure for inflation. It is a cure that’s easy to describe but difficult to apply. The government must reduce spending and print less money. The alternatives are both recession and double-digit inflation. In Milton Friedman’s own words, “Inflation is a disease. It’s a …

Share
Continue Reading

Episode 4 – Milton Friedman Speaks – The Role of Government in a Free Society (Podcast)

If we are to define the role of government in a free society, we must first specify the needs a government is expected to provide. Defense from foreign enemies and protection of property, including the enforcement of private contracts, are clearly legitimate functions of government. But when we come to two other functions of government—providing a substitute for voluntary cooperation when it appears impossible to achieve, and providing for irresponsible individuals— the justification is much less clear-cut. In a free society people should be able to take risks but should not be able to force others to pay the consequences. …

Share
Continue Reading

Episode 3 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Is Capitalism Humane? (Podcast)

Is Capitalism humane? According to Milton Friedman, the question is irrelevant. Capitalism per se is not humane or inhumane; nor is Socialism. If we compare the two in terms of results, it is clear that only capitalism fosters equality and works toward social justice. The one is based on the principle of voluntary cooperation and free exchange, the other on force of position and power. In a free economy, it is hard to do good. You either have to use your own hard-earned money to do it or work hard to persuade others to your course. But by the same …

Share
Continue Reading

Episode 1 – Milton Friedman Speaks – What Is America? (Podcast)

Is America still the land of opportunity or is it a land worn thin showing much bureaucracy and less freedom? Dr. Friedman’s view of America’s present situation is not sanguine. He identifies the chief problem and its corollary solution: We must restore the prestige and influence of the single mechanism most responsible for America’s greatness— the free market. Our greatest defense against becoming over-governed is the free market. In the words of Milton Friedman, “(I ask) whether America is the land of opportunity which produced over the past two hundred years the greatest freedom and prosperity for the widest range …

Share
Continue Reading