Milton Friedman

Shikha Dalmia Discusses Milton Friedman with Walter Williams, Matt Yglesias, and John Bouman

|

On Milton Friedman's 100th birthday two years ago, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia sat down with author and economist Walter Williams, political blogger Matthew Yglesias and President of the Shriver Center John Bouman to discuss whether Uncle Milty's notion that markets create opportunities — rather than breed injustice and inequality — was true or hooey. The panel was one of three organized by the Free to Choose Network and was aired by PBS stations across the country.

The other panels included luminaries such as Bryan Caplan, Amity Shlaes, Brad DeLong, and Raghuram Rajan.

Friedman

To watch Dalmia's video for free, go here

To buy the videos of the other panels, go here.

For a sneak peek, go here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Supreme Court Signals Interest in Major Economic Liberty Case

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Can you release a version of this video with Matt Yglesias cut out? I’d rather not have to gouge out my eardrums and my eyes today.

    1. What, you expect a free lunch?

  2. I can’t watch the video at the moment, but I can only imagine what that dumbshit Yglesias had to say. A festival of stupidity I’m sure.

  3. Letting Sad Beard into a conversation with Walter Williams is like letting a one legged dwarf play pick up basketball with LaBron James. I can’t imagine this video being worth anything beyond the unintentional comedy of Williams’ facial expressions as he listens’ to Sad Beard talk. There has to be some tremendous “who the fuck is this moron” thoughts that went through Williams’ head.

    1. As soon as I saw Sad Beards silly name I facepalmed. Twice.

  4. One of these things is not like the others.

  5. I really don’t understand why anyone organizes or participates in yank fests like this. The outcome of this discussion will have zero effect on whether or not the free market “creates opportunities.”

    1. You have to try to inform people somehow. People do sometimes change their minds about these things.

    2. I would participate in a yakfest like this if it just included people like Williams’ who are smart and have something interesting to say. Why anyone would participate in a yackfest with a socially stunted moron like Yglesias is beyond me.

  6. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I recommend watching the original Free To Choose series. It’s on Youtube.

    What strikes me the most watching it now is how little has changed in the discourse since then. For those who don’t know, each episode has a documentary by the Friedmans followed by a discussion group with Milton and some other people from academia, business or politics with various points of view on the subject matter. The debate is a lot more civil that you would be likely to see these days, but the arguments could be happening now.
    Anyway, it’s fun to watch and could be a good way to introduce open minded non-libertarians to some more free-markety ideas.

    1. That is because the idiotic arguments against freedom and market based economies will never die no matter how many times experiences proves them invalid.

      1. It’s amazing. You’d think they would have found some new specious arguments to use by now.

  7. This is the same Matthew Yglesias that wrote this about Friedman

    1. Yglesias is so silly and pig ignorant it is easy to look at him as a comic figure and forget just what a nasty piece of work he actually is.

    2. I love how his defense of government institutions amounts to “some of those dudes at the office are really swell”. It’s obvious he wasn’t trying very hard in that piece, but you’d think he’d at least make a point of the difference between how a guy performs his day job and the giant bureaucracy he works for.

      1. If he understood that bureaucracies have a morality outside of the good intentions of the people who staff them, he wouldn’t be a Prog.

        1. I’m not sure morality is the right word there, but I get your point and it is a good one.

    3. Wow, you’ll have to try harder to find something stupid from Yglesias (whom I had never read before).

      The basic conditions for thriving private businesses?enforceable property rights and functioning monetary system?can only be met insofar as it’s possible to create an effective government.

      That is his conclusion and that represents a very minimalist government Friedman would approve of. You would have to be an idiot anarchist to dispute that conclusion.

      1. I don’t have a problem with that statement. The examples he uses to support his position are just plain silly.

        And although he barely discusses it, he is trying to tie the idea of the need for a functioning government into the whole “you didn’t build that” line of thinking. Not being murdered is a necessary but not sufficient condition for an individual to create wealth. Yet progs want to act like it gives them the right to treat anyone who is successful like their own personal piggy bank. Fuck that.

      2. Re: Peter Caca,

        The basic conditions for thriving private businesses ? enforceable property rights and functioning monetary system ? can only be met insofar as it’s possible [???] to create an effective government.

        Caca: “Wow, you’ll have to try harder to find something stupid from Yglesias”

        I almost fell from my chair after reading this. You mean to tell me, Caca, that Yglesias’ obvious non sequitur is not convincing enough for you to consider the man stupid?

        I mean, YOU chose the above statement as proof that Yglesias has something smart to say about the matter – let’s analyze what he said:

        a) You can’t have property rights and a monetary system without an “effective” government – he SAID that. Never mind that property rights are inherent in every individual; never mind that money or a monetary system is not created by government. What the FUCK is an “effective” government? I mean, wasn’t Idi Amin’s government pretty effective, as far as Amin was concerned?

        b) Businesses can only thrive if those things are available because of government.

        Yglesias understanding of business or money are so rudimentary that it is no wonder he would think they can only exist when government is present, without realizing the truism that the more government, the less business – case in point, Detroit.

        1. NO! Property rights you agree with. Y just added “enforceable” and you object?

          I know you are anti-central bank but 99.9% of business people are not.

          MY just described a minimal govt paradise.

          1. Re: Peter Caca,

            Y just added “enforceable” and you object?

            “Enforceable” is nothing more than a sneaky and misleading qualifier, Caca. All of us have a right to property regardless if there are men with guns pretending like they’re there to guard our property or not.

            I know you are anti-central bank but 99.9% of business people are not.

            And? They don’t know any different, since 1913. Can you blame them?

            MY just described a minimal govt paradise.

            No, you idiot! He made a couple of question-begging assertions to then reach a conclusion that does not follow. Can’t you read?

    4. FTA:

      Even a really small Friedman-style government enjoys a monopoly on the legal use of coercive force and is charged with stabilizing the macroeconomy.

      Wait… What? That is pants shittingly stupid.

  8. I’m just going to sit here and wait for the bots to come and remind us poor deluded saps how the dastardly evil Friedman conspired with Pinochet to bring Fascism into an otherwise virginal paradise that was Allende’s Chile.

    1. I have friends who think Friedman is bad for that. They even agree when I point out that the reforms suggested by Friedman and others have helped to make Chile a much more successful economy with better standards of living than its neighbors.

      But he’s evil because he once wrote a letter to a bad guy.

  9. On Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday two years ago, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia sat down with author and economist Walter Williams, Political Blogger Matthew Yglesias [???] and President of the Shriver [????] Center John Bouman[?!?!?!?!] to discuss whether Uncle Milty’s notion that markets create opportunities ? rather than breed injustice and inequality ? was true or hooey.

    HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU GUYS???

    WE DO NOT DEBATE WITH CREATIONISTS!!!!

  10. Emily Rooney: The Free market essentially created slavery.

    I don’t think she understands what a free market is. Slavery, correct me if I am wrong, cannot exist without the explicit approval of government

    1. Wow. That is some unbelievably stupid shit there. Last I looked what created slavery was man’s desire rule over other men and the reality that some people are powerful enough to do it. None of that has anything to do with “slavery”.

      I don’t you could describe early civilization as a “free market” in any modern sense of the word. Yet, slavery was endemic for pretty much all of human history.

      1. The farther I get into this vid, the more I love me some Walter and Shikha, and the more listening to those other cretins makes me want to squirrel punch myself. Vigorously.

        1. These people are just pig ignorant. I don’t know why Williams wastes his time.

    2. As an institution, probably. But I think an individual could hold another in a condition of slavery without any government approval with the right application of violence and threats.

      I think a lot of libertarians make a mistake in looking to the past too much. The past sucked. It’s all full of violence and slavery and horrible things. We need to talk about what the free market can do for the future, not how awesome 19th century America was.

      1. Slavery as an institution predates any form of free market Zeb. Slavery is about power and the ability to do violence. It has nothing to do with the market.

        1. I was just talking about the necessity of government for slavery to work. I don’t think a free market was necessary or helpful to the institution of slavery. I was responding to Aloysius’s suggestion that slavery can’t exist without the approval of government.

          1. Ah. Okay. My mistake.

      2. Can we at least agree that they had better hats and facial hair?

        1. The 19th century was certainly the best time for mustaches.

          1. And the 21st is the best time for sad beards.

      3. Zeb|3.27.14 @ 4:11PM|#
        “As an institution, probably. But I think an individual could hold another in a condition of slavery without any government approval with the right application of violence and threats.”

        True. But thuggery of that dimension has nothing to do with a free market where choices are not coerced.

        1. Why does everyone think I was talking about free markets and slavery? I was talking about government’s role in slavery.

          I wouldn’t call any market involving slavery “free”.

          1. My apology.

    3. “Slavery, correct me if I am wrong, cannot exist without the explicit approval of government”

      I’m acquainted with some truly imbecilic people, and some (yes, Tony, you) really are infantile moral agents who can not act without direction from ‘above’.
      But it seems even those would draw the line at becoming slaves absent the coercive power of the government backing those who would make them so.

    4. I’m assuming she is arguing that slavery existed because people wanted to get rich off of cheap labor? And we all know no one ever wanted to get rich until liberal economics came along…

    5. The word “free” is really big and hard to understand.

  11. “You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state”.

    1. I would amend that with “indefinitely”.

    2. Depends on the scope of the welfare state. There are monetary, social, and personal costs to immigration for the immigrant. If the welfare state was minimalistic and a true safety net I would think the two could coexist.

  12. There is a dude that clearly knows what time it is. WOw.

    http://www.EliteVPN.tk

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.