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 …

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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 …

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Episode 5 – Milton Friedman Speaks – What is Wrong with the Welfare State? (Podcast)

The welfare state is an attempt to “do good” with someone else’s money. The aim may be worthy but the means are faulty. The problem is that you do not spend someone else’s money as carefully as your own. More to the point, it’s impossible to “do good” with someone else’s money without first taking it away from someone else. That implies coercion—the use of bad means to corrupt the good ends of the welfare state. Welfare programs implicitly encourage competition for government funds and create unfortunate divisions and antagonisms in our society that erode individual freedom. We must find …

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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. …

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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 …

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Episode 2 – Milton Friedman Speaks – Myths That Conceal Reality (Podcast)

According to Milton Friedman, five myths cloud our perception of both the past and the present. (1) The “robber baron” myth which holds that in late nineteenth-century America there were powerful men who became rich at the expense of the poor. The reality is that they became wealthy by being productive, and that there is no other period in history which saw such a rapid and widespread improvement in the well-being of the average individual. (2) The myth that the Great Depression was caused by a failure of business. It was, in fact, produced by a failure of government and …

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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 …

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