Milton Friedman's Capitalism And Freedom

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“Because of the corruption of the term liberalism the views that formerly went under that name are now of labeled conservatism,”(6) argues Milton Friedman, stating his liberal views similar to those of Europe in the late eighteenth century. Capitalism and Freedom discusses the role of government and freedom of individuals, and Milton Friedman expands on both of these topics politically and economically. Using a range of topics like monetary control, fiscal policy, education, discrimination, monopolies, income distribution, and poverty, Milton Friedman expands his argument of a free society emphasizing the individual. The connections between government and the economy are challenged in many different examples by Milton Friedman, and alternatives…show more content…
Originally published in 1962, Capitalism and Freedom was written in a time period in which racial tensions were reaching their peak. Integration of schools was still an issue many were fighting for, and almost equally in number were those arguing for the status quo of segregation in schooling. Friedman states, “Both of them seem to me bad solutions” (117). Following up on his views of the education system, Friedman believes that a private system would “permit a variety of schools to develop, some all white, some all negro, some mixed” (117). His main concern of both forced integration and segregation is that the forced transition of policy would disrupt communities and raise social tensions. A private system would allow for the transition to be made as quickly as society deems fit and doesn’t uproot strongly held values by measures of law. Friedman’s views are not only in line with his ideals of the freedom of the people, but this examples shows the darker side of the society with true freedom. While Friedman believes enforcing societal norms by law will upset society, the actions taken by the government with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ensured the freedoms of all and began the process of integrating society…show more content…
Domestically, it brought light to the decision of many politicians to enforce tariffs and not fully support free trade, an ideal Friedman finds so necessary for an individual’s freedom of choice. Internationally, many countries have changed their taxation and education systems based on the suggestions from Friedman. The corruption of the word, “liberal” is something that Friedman takes personally. The ideals of liberals in the 1960s differ so far from that of Friedman and his eighteenth century European liberal ideas. The Great Depression saw massive power grabs unlike ever seen in the United States and Friedman doesn’t want to pass this platform off as liberal or in conjunction with liberal ideas. Talking about this portrayal of liberalism in his modern government, Friedman says, “enemies of the system of private enterprise have thought it wise to appropriate its [liberalism] label” (5). Friedman ultimately feels his ideals have been attacked by a group that are the exact opposite of his ideals. The liberal society he portrays with his policy ideas differ so greatly to the movement of the country. The key themes of freedom of the individual and markets are developed by his many proposals and shows the importance of the dispersion of power and ability to control the government before continuous power grabs give government unnecessary power which will be
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