Milton Friedman's Neoliberalism Analysis

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Milton Friedman revolutionized free market thinking. He believed in a free market as the best solution for the stability of an economy. Basing his theories on Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”, Friedman further developed Smith’s theory. In short, Friedman’s Neoliberalism can be described through one of his quotes on the social responsibility of business, “There is one and only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits, so long as it stays within the rules of the game” (Cooney, 2012). Friedman’s belief of the market’s perfection is based on the assumption that no actor would agree to a transaction if they did not find it fitting for themselves (Friedman, 1975). In other …show more content…

Freidman believed economic freedom to be an essential need in securing political freedom. Any manipulation on a person’s economic freedom such as a tax for social security takes away from a person’s total freedom. To provide total freedom to the people coercion must not exist (Friedman, 1975). It is economic power that can balance political power. When the market is left alone under the invisible hand it balances out both what the seller and consumer desire. There are no threats to freedoms as the seller can sell to any customer and the consumer can purchase from any seller. When the government intervenes in any means other than to protect the rules of the market, it places a sense of coercion on decisions and thus takes away economic freedom, in essence total freedom. Therefore in order to ensure the freedoms of the people the government must stay clear of interfering with market behavior. The government is only necessary in creating and enforcing the laws of the market. Those actions differ from being a player in the market. Along the same line of thinking for protecting the freedoms of the people, the government creates and enforces the law of the market but should not directly participate in the game (Friedman, 1975). Intervention as a discrepancy from Friedman’s theory is understood as the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates low prior to the crisis. This will be discussed later in the

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