Friday, January 16, 2015

Timeless Principles

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

Free to Choose: 
A Personal Statement 
by Milton and Rose Friedman

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greater dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." —Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 479 (1928)”   ― Milton Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

I bought this book back in the "good old days".  
That was when you could purchase a hardcover book for less than ten dollars. Due to the inflationary policies that Milton Friedman warns about, and that he provides a cure for, a comparable book today carries a price tag more than double the price of the book I purchased. It was a good investment.
In the book, Milton Friedman and his wife discuss the principles of the Free Market. It is this discussion, based on the foundation laid earlier in Capitalism and Freedom, that underscores the tyranny of unlimited government. They discuss lessons that we have not learned and taken to heart, for if we had done so we would not be facing the debt crisis of the Twenty-first century. I would only question the author's optimism. He titled the last chapter "The Tide is Turning" and it may have done so, if only slightly, in some Western European countries. But the level of economic control and bureaucratic bullying has only grown worse in the United States over the last thirty years. Fortunately, the principles discussed in Free to Choose are timeless and we can turn or return to them at any time. We only have to choose freedom.

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Brian Joseph said...

Though I may not agree with Freedman on some of these issues, he is great thinker who I respect and I like to read opinions that do not always match with mine. Of course these things are complicated and I may agree with Freedman more then I think.

I am laughing a bit at myself. When I initially looked at the book cove I thought that this book was about John Milton's ruminations on the subject of free will!

James said...


I think that I may say the same thing about Justice Brandeis, who Friedman quotes in support of the importance of Freedom.
If anything, Friedman was not radical enough for my thinking, but my personal philosophy has a good dose of his thoughts along with many others; most importantly my own.