Happy Birthday - Milton Friedman

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The Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman would have been 103 years old yesterday, July 31st.

John Hawkins writing at Town Hall has put together a list of top 20 quotes. Here is his opening and the first five:

In Honor of His 103rd Birthday, Here Are The 20 Best Quotes From The Late, Great Milton Friedman
Yesterday would have been the 103rd birthday of Milton Friedman, who was one of the most brilliant economists of the last century. In honor of Friedman, here are his 20 best quotes.

And the first five:

1) "I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office."

2) "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."

3) "Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."

4) "There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income."

5) "Workers paying taxes today can derive no assurance from trust funds that they will receive benefits from when they retire. Any assurance derives solely from the willingness of future taxpayers to impose taxes on themselves to pay for benefits that present taxpayers are promising themselves. This one sided 'compact between the generations,’ foisted on generations that cannot give their consent, is a very different thing from a 'trust fund.' It is more like a chain letter."

 Fifteen more at the site - he was a brilliant mind with an ability for explaining complex things very clearly.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on August 2, 2015 10:08 AM.

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