Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman's Free to Choose Proved Capitalism Is Superior to Socialism

Forty years later, the libertarian Nobel laureate's PBS series is still winning hearts and minds.

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Milton Friedman's documentary series Free To Choose first aired on PBS 40 years ago. It was an unapologetic defense of why capitalism was both morally and pragmatically superior to socialism. Over the course of 10 hour-long episodes, the Nobel laureate economist laid out the pitfalls of protectionism, espoused the virtues of school choice, and explained why spending, not taxes, is the real measure of the burden that governments put on their citizens. In each episode, Friedman engaged leading liberal and progressive thinkers such as The Other America author Michael Harrington, teachers union leader Albert Shanker, and sociologist Francis Fox Piven in spirited debate.

Free To Choose has been translated into two dozen languages and a companion book, co-authored by Milton and his wife Rose, became a New York Times bestseller and a Book of the Month Club main selection. The original 1980 series and an updated 1990 version, both of which can be viewed here for free, enjoy continued popularity online.

The visionary producer behind Free To Choose was Bob Chitester, a hardcore free marketeer who ran the PBS affiliate in Erie, Pennsylvania, and wanted to bring libertarian ideas to mainstream audiences. Before the show, says Chitester, programs about free markets "were really muckraking attacks on what was perceived to be abusive and unsympathetic…capitalism, where profit was all that mattered." Free To Choose talked about capitalism in upbeat, positive terms, stressing how it helped individuals rather than exploited them and how it brought about cooperation in a way that benefitted the poor most of all.

Did Friedman make any mistakes in Free To Choose? Before his death in 2006, Friedman came to question his famous axiom that economic freedom in autocracies such as China would inexorably give rise to political and cultural freedoms, Chitester says. "In a discussion close to near the end of his life, he said, 'Bob, I made a mistake. I was wrong. You [also] have to have rule of law. You have to have law that applies equally to everyone,'" recalls Chitester. "And clearly that's what you see not happening in China."

Ailing from a long bout with cancer, Chitester is contemplating his own mortality and how American society has changed since Free To Choose first aired 40 years ago. He's proud that the program remains popular online but, like Friedman, feels its analysis is incomplete. "Power is really something we have to factor into our thinking….The desire of humans to tell other humans what to do—when you couple that with equality, boy, you've got a recipe for constant problems in defending a classical liberal society."

Narrated by Nick Gillespie. Edited by John Osterhoudt. Additional Graphics by Meredith Bragg. Feature Image by Lex Villena.

Photos: Free to Choose Network; M. Chan/SCMP/Newscom; Jon Hargest/SCMP/Newscom; Everett Collection/Newscom; UPPA/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Mark Richards/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Post Staff Photographer/SCMP/Newscom; Post Staff Photographer/SCMP/Newscom; Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom; Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons Flickr; Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons Flickr; Jon Hargest/SCMP/Newscom

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  1. ‘Bob, I made a mistake. I was wrong. You [also] have to have rule of law. You have to have law that applies equally to everyone,’

    A society of laws (rules, written codes, etc.) and not of men; yes, that is a critical ingredient. We have lost a LOT of ground under the Trumptatorshit here! Just for ONE very clear example, the “power of the purse”, per the Constitution, clearly belongs to Congress, not the POTUS. Yet Der TrumpfenFuhrer yanked funds away from being allocated to refurbishing military bases, and applied them, instead, to His “Big, Beautiful Walls”!

    1. Sure, because no prior President ever diverted funds from one program to another.

      Oh wait, no, every President since at least WW2 has done exactly that. The only difference is that people got pissed enough at Trump to file lawsuits over it and judges (for almost the first time ever) sided with the plaintiffs.

      Yes, the power to the purse belongs in Congress’ hands. And they’ve been abrogating their authority for years.

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            1. Protect the nation with a wall? You can’t be serious. They make ladders taller than that wall. It was a big money giveaway to his financial supporters. Are we really afraid of those poor Mexicans from whom we stole half of their country? It was the same scare tactic when we claimed if we don’t fight the Arabs over there, we will fight them over here. Really? They will cross the ocean in those white Toyotas evading our Satellites and Naval Carrier Task force? How many armed Arabs can you fit in a small white Toyota? Will they even float? And who is selling them those white Toyotas? All we have to do is tell the Japanese to stop selling it to them. Like to see those Arabs mount a 50 caliber on a camel. https://anjaybet.net/ The fact that people believe all this crap is testament to the success or our government dumbing down the populace. Lincoln was wrong, you can fool most of the people all of the time…at least in the US.

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      2. Give an example of every president since WWII diverting funds.

        Ok, just half of them. 1/4?

        There is one hell of a lot of difference between an emergency and a long term project. Trump’s wall is looking like the eternal project.

        And the funds diverted from the military are not from the Mexican military, and show his great contempt for the military.

        1. Are you some kind of special idiot? Medicare: bankrupt. Social Security: bankrupt. and by the way… it’s “its”, not “it’s”, midwit.

          1. Federal govt is a currency issuer. It CANNOT run out of its own sovereign currency. Don’t give me that horseshit about the Fed. Heard it all before. Um, some nerve, talking about “special idiot.” Basically, go fuck yourself, special idiot.

    2. Because Congress chose not to do it’s job. Half the problem is the Federal Government has too much power, the other half is that the checks and balances have crumbled.

      1. What the both of you say above is clearly true.

        Here is a reasonably good write-up of such matters. Not totally scintillating, no, but still a good read…

        https://washingtonmonthly.com/2020/01/10/how-trump-threatens-the-constitution/

        1. Fuck off racist.

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        2. Here’s the link to how Obama threatens the constitution,
          Obama, “Constitution??? I see no Constitution!!!”

            1. DACA, ACA, off the top of my head – but I’m sure someone’s got a couple pages laid out somewhere.

      2. Congress gets to make that decision, not the president.

        Congress did not do it’s job when the Senate failed to convict Trump in the impeachment.

    3. Quit blaming the POTUS for directing funds when Congress gave him great discretion in applying the funds appropriated to “the defense of the nation” to a wall to defend the nation, even though the wall would arguably be mostly used to stop illegal immigration.

      Consider, half the country voted for Trump and his wall, the cost of which would consume << 0.2 % of the budget (I voted for Johnson). I'd gather they would look at your complaint as showing them great contempt and disrespect. Can you put yourself in their shoes and see that?

      1. Protect the nation with a wall? You can’t be serious. They make ladders taller than that wall. It was a big money giveaway to his financial supporters. Are we really afraid of those poor Mexicans from whom we stole half of their country? It was the same scare tactic when we claimed if we don’t fight the Arabs over there, we will fight them over here. Really? They will cross the ocean in those white Toyotas evading our Satellites and Naval Carrier Task force? How many armed Arabs can you fit in a small white Toyota? Will they even float? And who is selling them those white Toyotas? All we have to do is tell the Japanese to stop selling it to them. Like to see those Arabs mount a 50 caliber on a camel. The fact that people believe all this crap is testament to the success or our government dumbing down the populace. Lincoln was wrong, you can fool most of the people all of the time…at least in the US.

        1. You missed a chance to mention the game “Metal Slug”, which has 50 calibers (and rocket launchers) mounted on a camel.

        2. We? Leaving aside whether it was actually stolen or not, I wasn’t even alive then.

        3. Walls don’t stop. They slow. They cause the opponents to pick easier paths and those paths can be defended better.

        4. Those 911 terrorists managed to attack Continental USA coming all the way from Saudi Arabia.
          Uncontrolled mass illegal immigration is bad for America.
          A wall slows that down.

      2. There is no discretion in applying those funds, or much of any funds. Those funds were applied to the military, not the construction industry.

        Consider, aprox 1/3rd of the country voted for Trump, and aprox 3 million fewer than voted for Hillary, and you realize that you have no idea what you are talking about.

        Who would look at it as showing them great contempt? The illegal immigrants?

        Or do you mean the military who have been steadily turning against Trump. His contempt for the military has been shown over and over, and now it has been shown to include siding with Russia in their paying to kill American military personnel in Afghanistan.

        That is treason, read the constitution.

        How do you support a traitor?

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    5. Very well said.

    6. Oh go screw yourself, you imbecile scientologist. This article is pure bullshit, just like scientology.

  2. Naw cmon Biden and Harris are totally on board why they will have Bernie and a Lizzie on their team and they are such protectors of our economy.

    Ps Joe Biden is a crook

    1. Sometimes Bad Is Bad

      “Ps Joe Biden is a crook”

      Show evidence. Otherwise you are guilty of defamation. Maybe we need a law firm that specializes in such lawsuits.

      There is no Question Trump and/or his family are frauds and crooks.

      And now a proven traitor!

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  4. What about income tax withholding?

    1. What about it?

      I have read that if it were NOT for withholding, and we all had to write a tax-check once or 4 times per year, they would NEVER get away with today’s high levels of taxes! I highly suspect that this is true!

      1. Part of that is also how taxes are spread out into so many different kinds. Local, state, and federal governments spend $9T every (normal non-lockdown) year; that’s $27K per person. Can you imagine that possible if there were just one single tax paid once a year? Or even individual taxes at the federal, state, county, city, and mosquito abatement district levels?

        People wouldn’t put up with it.

        1. What are the peasants going to do? Complain on social media? Shoot roman candles at the police? Good luck!

          1. To hell with voting libertarian, and maybe missing out on impotent mystics bullying pregnant girls! Republican National Socialism is what enabled Maoist communism to completely dominate the Democratic party.

          2. ‘What are the peasants going to do? Complain on social media? Shoot roman candles at the police? Good luck!’

            In all seriousness, what would happen if we all paid out-of-pocket (no withholding) is that HUGE numbers of us could NOT practice the self-discipline required to save all that money and then make the payments! So, those same ones of us would all be put in jail, or otherwise punished, and the economy would collapse! Government Almighty would finally HAVE to recognize limits to its powers, and reform itself! They can NOT jail all of us (or even half of us), and NOT suffer, themselves!

            1. Perhaps a far-fetched idea, but eliminate ALL federal taxes – all of them — and institute a NATIONAL SALES TAX. Not necessarily “fair,” but at least every one would know exactly how much of a bite the feds take out of one’s income.

              1. That tax would have to be 20% or 25% — same as European VAT.

                And that’s only half — local and state match federal spending.

                1. Yep. Which means the Jeep which I purchased a couple of years ago would not only include $3000 dollars in State sales tax, which it did, but an additional $9000 in federal tax, as a for instance.

                  That might raise more than a few eyebrows.

              2. Higher sales taxes result in more smuggling and bartering and black markets.

                Too low and it just won’t fund what needs to be funded.

                That’s why all around the country sales taxes are generally between 4 and 7 percent.

                1. Partially correct. But I would propose that higher PRICES result in smuggling, whether with pot in CA or cigarettes in NY. The sales tax on pot is the same as any other product – the taxes are “hidden.” I am also assuming that most of the taxes on a pack of cigarettes in NY are also “hidden.”

                  A population smuggling economically-significant amounts of durable goods and other basics of life from an outside source tells me there is something seriously wrong with where they are living.

            2. That’s a very Italian scenario. They’d probably just double the rates and take what they can get from the upper classes.

            3. lol… “So, those same ones of us would all be put in jail, or otherwise punished, and the economy would collapse!”

              I think you’re giving the incompetent 100000…(infinite) more credit than they deserve. And Yes; I think they should be in jail for NOT paying their bills.

        2. And much of that is borrowed (and borrowed and borrowed and borrowed and…). Imagine if it was paid for in cash every year.

      2. The government would just shift the burden more to higher income earners, so a majority would still support the high taxes.

        The real way to create political pressure for lower spending is to charge everyone the same amount. Want to spend 5 trillion bucks? Divide by 250 million adults and send them each a bill for 25K. That 1 trillion dollar stimulus everyone wants? Tack an extra 4K onto the bill.

        1. er, 5 trillion / 250 million = 20K, what a bargain

        2. There aren’t nearly enough nearly rich enough people to shift the tax burden entirely to them.

          1. Fuck off racist.

          2. Hmmm…. Did milking our SLAVES dry cause them to all run off to foreign countries or something? Or perhaps they were just milked into poverty? Either way; it would be foolish to debate that “milking” of other peoples tit isn’t the root evil.

          3. Á àß äẞç ãþÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf

            Since the top 10% control 2/3rds of the wealth, and the bottom 50% control 2%, yes, there are enough rich people to pay the bills.

            It’s not how many there are, but how much of the money they have.

            1. So once the competent/productive top 50% start work for nothing to boost the bottom 50% who generally buys drugs, never creates or innovates, or just flat out sits around and reproducing while watching Oprah all day.

              What in the world is going to motivate them to keep producing anything at all???? Would they not just as well go buy drugs, party and watch Oprah all day than actually go out and create something for anyone else?

              Is there some brain damage on the left that makes them believe milking all the benefit of serving others out of the equation is somehow going to end up anywhere besides compulsive selfish-criminal and endless poverty?

            2. And let’s all play the — “Who can be the most ignorant game”
              .. and pretend that boosting the benefit for people to exit the wealthy productive class and join the poverty class isn’t going to GROW the poverty class while diminishing the wealthy class.

              Which of no surprise is EXACTLY what the last 50-years of “financial equality” has done. We’ve got so many incompetents now we can’t even hardly compete with China…

      3. Milton Friedman admitted years later that income tax withholding, while necessary to fund a World F’n War (thank-you greatest generation) was a terrible mistake.

        1. “Milton Friedman admitted years later”

          He was wrong.

      4. Before GW Bush I went through the lists of high level economies. The US was tied for lowest total tax burden, I believe with Japan.

        That was federal, state and local.

        Your taxes may be high, but the ultra rich pay lower total tax rates than the poor. You may just be in too low a tax bracket to have the dodges and high enough to pay a significant amount of income taxes.

        Don’t blame the Dems, they raised taxes on the rich, it’s the GOP that cuts the tax on the rich, so you get to make it up.

  5. I’ve never seen anyone who could articulate and sell the benefits and inherent morality of economic freedom better than Milton Friedman. He was an egghead, sure, but he almost never came off as condescending, smug, or self-righteous. The confidence, calmness, and positivity he always put on display were really something to watch/listen to/read.

    1. Agreed. Progressive capitalists, like myself, know that businesses have the primary role in society of not only providing goods and services but also critical reforms, such as gender and racial equality and LGBTQ+ support. Bigots who don’t believe in transgender children don’t deserve employment, social media access, credit cards, bank accounts, or access to loans. Together with big business, we can push a message of equity and inclusion that silences dissent from bigoted voices.

      1. Ha, you’re a very confusing parody.

      2. We will not tolerate intolerance. We will exclude those who are not inclusive.

    2. Yet he inspired the sell out that sent our jobs to China.

      And he admitted, late in life, how wrong he was.

  6. ENB will be along any second to tell us why Milton Friedman is a terrible libritarian and only brought awful racist free market people to libritarianism

    1. It’s a fair bet that ENB also prefers the war/surveillance/social-control regimes of the Bush/Clinton/Obama-Biden era and their ensuing post-modern age of Lockdowns and Antifa Racialist Street Terror instead of a non-interventionist, pro-commerce Ron Paul rEVOLution.

      1. Ron Paul’s racist newsletter should be enough to make him persona non grata in progressive libertarian circles, like the Reason magazine comment section.

        1. Hey, don’t give them any ideas. Next thing you know they will shut down the comment section altogether so there will be no unpleasant negativity.

          1. The free market of ideas should require an access fee and code of conduct according to Big Business. How does your average libertarian square that circle?

            1. Squaring up a circle? I usually use an end mill and shims. Circling a square is easier, you put it on a lathe and don’t need to measure anything

              1. Ah! A fellow woodworker! Props!

    2. And how to spell.

  7. Socialism proved capitalism is superior to socialism.

  8. “Before the show, says Chitester, programs about free markets “were really muckraking attacks on what was perceived to be abusive and unsympathetic…capitalism, where profit was all that mattered.”

    It appears PBS has gone full circle. Here they have one main channel and four subchannels. Two of them broadcast children’s propaganda, one 24/7.The News shows have all been taken over by overtly left women. One channel is non stop BBC soap operas and Ken Burns docs. One is all American Indian all the time. And one is “Create”, the only good one that has how-to and travel. Unfortunately at 6:PM it changes to America sucks programming following the travails and misery of minorities and wymens. You won’t find any programming even giving a hint of positivity to free enterprise despite the CEO making half a million a year or the 3 week long begathons they stage every four months.

    1. Thank God the American people have progressive news from television (PBS) and radio (NPR). How would we be informed citizens with just corporate owned media?

  9. The Appendix in Free to Choose points out that the entire 1920 socialist platform had become law, though they hardly ever got 5% of the vote. This shows how Libertarian spoiler votes can repeal the bad laws enacted by 150 years of socialist and prohibitionist spoiler votes. The leverage factor is so large that any honest person able to handle fractions and proportions can see that failure to vote Libertarian is the equivalent of wasting 6 to 30 votes. Every LP vote also engraves on the record what voters ACTUALLY WANT!

    1. Libertarians just have to figure out how to get the general public on board. For the socialists it was easy: Hey, how about some free loot, and oh those businesses over there are eebil. Libertarians have a much tougher road: Hey, government shouldn’t give you stuff and you need to start being responsible for your own lives. It’s a tough nut to crack.

      For a while it looked like that nut was starting to crack. We had an actual Tea Party movement opposed to more spending. Just just tax cuts, but the actual problem itself, the spending. But it quickly mutated into an anti-immigration movement, and opposing more and more spending is now viewed as dangerously anti-Trump.

      1. The original Tea Party didn’t mutate, it was hijacked by Palin and Cruz for their own goals.

        1. “Keep the government out of my Medicare”
          Tea Party was always morally and ideologically bankrupt.

  10. Socialism inevitably involves more government force than free markets. On that reason alone it is superior.

  11. Milton Friedman’s documentary series Free To Choose first aired on PBS 40 years ago.

    And the current incarnation of PBS is terribly embarrassed and ashamed of the programming of the earlier PBS era.

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  13. As I have frequently noted, people will choose socialism when they feel that capitalism is failing them. People see that happening now particularly with health care, housing and education. I believe the problem is that for 40 years we have had capitalism based on a trickle down theory. The results has been an increasing wealth gaps and an inability to afford the basics. Capitalism need to be shifted to better support the middle class. A large strong middle class provided a bedrock foundation for capitalism.

    1. https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/chart-of-the-day-or-century/

      Various observations that have been made about the huge divergence in price patterns over the last several decades include:

      a. The greater (lower) the degree of government involvement in the provision of a good or service the greater (lower) the price increases (decreases) over time, e.g., hospital and medical costs, college tuition, childcare with both large degrees of government funding/regulation and large price increases vs. software, electronics, toys, cars and clothing with both relatively less government funding/regulation and falling prices. As somebody on Twitter commented:

      Blue lines = prices subject to free market forces. Red lines = prices subject to regulatory capture by government. Food and drink is debatable either way. Conclusion: remind me why socialism is so great again.

      b. Prices for manufactured goods (cars, clothing, appliances, furniture, electronic goods, toys) have experienced large price declines over time relative to overall inflation, wages, and prices for services (education, medical care, and childcare).

      c. The greater the degree of international competition for tradeable goods, the greater the decline in prices over time, e.g., toys, clothing, TVs, appliances, furniture, footwear, etc.

    2. What trickle down? Wealth gushes down. You think the rich businessman puts his money in a vault? Her money gets invested in job-creating businesses, or purchase of material possessions, or gifts to charitable organizations. I seriously doubt that all those folks who get paid from the rich guy’s wallet are fellow rich guys.

      1. Not up on your economics. Much of the capital that is directed to the wealthiest is sequestered as additional wealth. We saw that with the 2017 tax cut. Titled a jobs program we know that much of the money went into stock by backs and increased wealth while a relatively small portion went into job creation. The rich man doesn’t create jobs unless there is a market demand for the products he plans to sell. Finally, while the rich spend money they do not create the demand of larger less wealthy groups. Large city like the one I live in have Whole Foods, but the bulk of grocery sales and employment is done by the general level retail.

    3. Um, no. Health care, housing and education all suffer from massive government intervention and have for a long time. This is the reason these sectors have suffered.

    4. Moderation4ever

      Well said, well reasoned.

  14. Capitalism is failing because inflation is most severe in those sectors where the government is most heavily involved. That’s some primo logic there.

    1. Yes it is. Restricting supply while increasing demand is elementary economics.

  15. Welfare supporters always talk about how they’ll make people’s lives better with government welfare, and never about how they’ll make people’s lives worse with increased taxes, or do a cost benefit analysis taking out the overhead to administer the program. They want us to ignore that government is always evil first because it applies the use of force against innocent individuals to get the money to operate.

    Free markets are morally superior and produce more prosperity than the alternatives. Friedman showed it.

    1. ^This; adding that; Money isn’t itself of any Value but only the representation of Value. That Value must be backed by human labor. The ‘Money is instinctively valuable and non-resemblance’ manipulation game of lefty tactics and manipulation is exactly how they continue to support SLAVERY right under everyone’s noses.

      1. The value isn’t in the labor, it’s in the goods and services and how much people value them. Digging holes and filling them back in takes a lot of labor but few would value that very much, if at all.

        1. Yes; better stated; thank you.

    2. MoreFreedom

      “Free markets are morally superior and produce more prosperity than the alternatives. Friedman showed it.”

      Somalia disproved it.

      You can prove anything by talking, dying disproves it.

  16. As always Reason is missing a critical element of this story: that not a molecule of this production would *ever* be allowed on PBS today because it challenges, really it smashes (yes, I chose that word deliberately), orthodox and protected leftist narratives. What would the excuse be, I wonder, for censoring it? It (or he) is racist? Or would it be the speech-is-violence excuse?

  17. Friedman made the same mistake most of us do: we don’t want to think something that most people would typically call racist. We want to believe in blank slates, that anyone can be anything, and that there is no particular reason other than circumstance that we have our values and others have theirs. There is a reason why freedom has conceptually never flourished in over 4,000 years of Chinese history. Is it genetic? Is it cultural? It’s hard to say, but it’s the #1 reason you shouldn’t be open borders or pro mass migration if you’re a libertarian. You cannot just place people in good circumstances and expect them to appreciate and value the society responsible for it. We saw the beginning of the end half a century ago as gun regulation morphed into an ideological crusade to remove guns from this country and to abolish 2A by any means necessary.

    1. awildseaking

      “and to abolish 2A by any means necessary.”

      You went off the deep end there.

      If you really want to carry weapons of war, enlist. I did, and still recognize that the AR-15 is designed to kill people.

      1. Most guns are designed to kill people, you pathetic troll.

        It is hardly the “deep end” to suggest that the repeatedly unconstitutional attempts to regulate firearms in this country do not qualify as an attempt to abolish 2A by any means necessary. They know they don’t have the votes for an actual amendment, which is why they try to circumvent it using rhetoric and lies.

  18. “You [also] have to have rule of law. You have to have law that applies equally to everyone,'” recalls Chitester. “And clearly that’s what you see not happening in China.” ”

    It’s not what you see happening in the US either, too big to fail is also too big to jail. No matter how much they steal Obama wouldn’t jail them and Trump won’t either.

    1. “…No matter how much they steal…”

      who?

      1. Slavers.
        The party of Slavery.
        The left.

        1. TJJ2000

          The left frees the slaves. It is the GOP that keeps putting them back into slavery.

  19. The only reason I work is to get things that socialism won’t provide to me. If I could get them for free, I would not work, I would play.

    1. Generally; USA’s socialism requires you to play first and then go sign-up for lefty socialism. As long as you’re working you’re the ‘enemy’ (rich filthy scum) and are barred from any theft entitlements.

    2. “Torguud
      October.26.2020 at 6:10 pm

      The only reason I work is to get things that socialism won’t provide to me. If I could get them for free, I would not work, I would play.”

      You really don’t know what you are talking about. Show where any major socialist country gave anything away.

      Socialism does not give anything away, you work for it all.

      Until you are old enough then you get a pension, as pensioner Krushchev could have told you.

      1. I don’t think I’d talk about ‘labor camps’ with so much compassion. And if you want to play that game; how’s that any difference than plantations and slavery? Did not the slave owners feed their slaves?

  20. Le capitalisme est superieur au socialisme sous conditions et l’inverse est aussi vrai sous des conditions. Si je considère le Maroc et l’Algerie sur la question du Sahara occidental , les resolutions de L’ONU ne donnent aucune indication sur les raisons d’un capitalisme ou d’un socialisme des 2 pays , mais par contre si une guerre existe et donc abstraction faite sur ONU alors qui gagne cette guerre fera preive d’un socialisme et d’un capitalisme à la fois car les deux ont fait tourner manege d’un capitalisme sauvage mais aussi d’un socialisme demesuré. On peut parler sur le comment et le pourquoi d’une telle guerre pour se faire valoir auprès des deux peuples avec comme leitmotiv le COVID19 avec un million de chomeurs de plus dans les deux pays et que payer et les chomeurs et les sans abris …près de 10millions chaque pays dont l’Etat devrait depenser gratuitement 20milliards de dollars d’où le Sahara occidental est un bon plan pour gagner cette guerre militairement. Le capitalusme comme le socialisme est un nep colonialisme. J’ajoute que des guerres civiles transfrontalieres avec le même catalyseirs dans les deux pays à savoir les minorités berbères de Sous Massa â Tizi Ouzou sont pour un capitalusme sauvage qui explique ostracisme et donc une guerre plus profonde arabes vs berbères.qui ne signifie pas capitalidme sauvage vs socialisme, mais il existe une troisième force…

    1. Yes, please go on. You trailed off there at the end.

  21. Free to Choose, and even moreso in Essays in Positive Economics, was also a smackdown of Austrian ‘Economics’.

  22. The words “Capitalism” and “Socialism” aren’t really meaningful in debate anymore, if they ever were. What Friedman is advocating is liberty, and liberty demands that two parties be allowed to come to a mutual agreement on an exchange of resources without coercion. If you want to call such a market economy “capitalism” them fine, but there’s no capital in that capitalism. Many of these so-called European Socialist countries that Bernie trumpets also have substantial economic liberty with market economies … but not for everything. This, of course, is not really what the Bernie faction wants. They’re selling Sweden, but when you finally unwrap the package you find out it’s Cuba.

    1. I like you to elaborate your final conclusion that Progressives like Bernie are really selling Cuba, not Sweden. I don’t happen to agree with the Bernie crowd, but also think that capitalism is in a precarious position. You seem to be open to some elements of socialism to provide greater social safety nets like in Sweden, but see elements in Cuba that go to far. So where is the dividing line?
      My own thoughts are that US capitalism has been too focused on the wealthiest relying on trickle down and that a more middle case focused capitalism would be stronger and less in need of socialist reforms.

      1. The Left has spent over 120 years destroying Capitalism so what we have now, some monstrous hybrid of a mixed system, is in a precarious position. But it isn’t Capitalism and it sure as hell ain’t free markets.

        1. This is just a silly comment. No modern economic system in the world is purely capitalist. I suspect it would be impossible for a purely capitalist system to function well enough to exist. Every economy combines elements of different systems to reach goals set in the country. The question we struggle with is what should be the blend of the systems.

  23. Given the choice of sending their children to a socialist public school or a private capitalist school, Americans overwhelmingly opt for the socialist choice. Same goes given the choice of driving on a socialist public road or a capitalist private road. How do we account for this?

    1. Over a century of public (govt.) school indoctrination.
      If you disagree, you might be a govt. school grad (victim). I know. I survived public school for 19 years (cut 1st and had to repeat, went to college 6 years).
      I was always calling out teachers on contradictions and asking questions that exposed their ignorance. Not once did I see anyone ever do the same. Why? It took courage, or was it just a relentless search for truth? Not once did I get a verbal answer. They answered by violent physical punishment and the administration backed them up expelling me twice in 5th & 6th grade. My parents begged me to return and stop asking questions, for their sake. I did so because they worked two jobs each for our family and I respected that.

      1. Why are capitalists so lax in their attempts at indoctrination? If your parents’ indoctrination to socialism was so powerful that they repeatedly sent you back for more, surely the capitalists would learn from this and step up their own efforts. It’s worked with medicine. Americans have been successfully indoctrinated to believe that the capitalist US health system is the best in the world. Why haven’t similar indoctrination methods been applied to persuade Americans of the superiority of privately owned capitalist roads and schools?

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  25. “The unifying theme…is the order and disorder of the universe”, say the con artists of the mind.

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    Force rules politics, and faith excuses it. This is not communicated widely because it would weaken and eventually destroy the present political paradigm, allowing the alternative, freely chosen, non-violent politics, based on reason, rights.

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  30. The level of stupidity of most of the comments in this thread is remarkable. What the Hell has happened to Reason? If Tibor Machan were alive today, he’d be truly disappointed. You children ought to get off the internet and actually READ some things… Start with More, Locke, Smith, Hume, Bastiat and Jefferson and work your way up from there to Menger, Spooner, Mises, Rothbard and Friedman. See you in four years when you’re prepared to say something worth hearing.

  31. Uncle Milty was a very cool dude- and his son and grandson are even cooler IMHO- but Rothbard is the coolest. And hardly anyone even here at Reason is hip to his genius. Also: what is it with Reason’s comment thread? There’s no way to edit a comment after submitting it? Why?

  32. The appeal to authority is a LOGICAL FALLACY. MF was a bought and paid for tool of the elites.

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