20 Minutes Worth Our Time


Blogger John Hawkins of Right Wing News has conducted a terrific little 20-minute interview with Milton Friedman, on free trade, the progress created by unemployment, the virtues of divided government, and more. Excerpt:

John Hawkins: Are there any political websites you'd like to recommend to our readers?

Milton Friedman: No, I don't really follow any political websites. I think they'll do better reading the Wealth of Nations (laughs)…

John Hawkins: Last but not least, is there anything else you'd like to say or promote?

Milton Friedman: I'd like to promote lots of things. I'd like to promote elimination of drug prohibition. I'd like to promote parental choice in education through vouchers. Those are two things I think are very urgent and important. They're both more important than the harm which Social Security will do.

I think that our policy with respect to drugs is fundamentally immoral and it's really disgraceful that we cause thousands of deaths in South America because we cannot enforce our own laws. If we could enforce our own laws against consumption of drugs, there would be no drug cartels in South America. There would be no—nearly a civil war in a place like Columbia.

Similarly, I think the performance of our school systems is disgraceful. I think roughly a quarter of the population never graduates high school. We have a lower level of literacy today than we had a hundred years ago. That's no despite, but because of the poor schools, particularly in low-income areas.

Friedman has been the subject of several Reason Q&As, most recently by Brian Doherty in 1995.