Free or Equal?: Johan Norberg Updates Milton & Rose Friedman's Free to Choose


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Swedish economist Johan Norberg is the host of the new documentary Free or Equal, which retraces and updates the 1980 classic Free to Choose, featuring Milton and Rose Friedman. Like the Friedmans, Norberg travels the globe to look at the conditions under which prosperity and freedom flourish—and under what conditions they wither and die. Made by the same producer who created Free to Choose, Free or Equal will be appearing on PBS in 2011. For more information, a clip of the new documentary and the entire Free to Choose series, go here.

Norberg is the author of numerous books, including In Defense of Global Capitalism (2002) and Fiscal Fiasco (2009), a look at how the U.S. government's policies contributed to and have exacerbated the length and intensity of the Great Recession.

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Norberg to discuss how the changes in the world since the Friedmans' earlier documentary effect their basic argument that individual economic freedom is a building block for a prosperous and open society. Overall, says Norberg, the Friedmans' basic insights hold true and some of the places they celebrated—such as Hong Kong, then under British protection and now part of the People's Republic of China—are still flourishing. But in countries and regions that continue to constrain economic and political liberties, reports Norberg, fear and privation still dominate.

About 6 minutes. Shot by Jim Epstein and Joshua Swain; edited by Swain.

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For an earlier interview with Norberg (about his book Fiscal Fiasco), go here.