Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

Milton Friedman, Rose Friedman

Language: English

Pages: 338

ISBN: 0156334607

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The international bestseller on the extent to which personal freedom has been eroded by government regulations and agencies while personal prosperity has been undermined by government spending and economic controls. New Foreword by the Authors; Index.

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one-to-one correspondence between the rate of monetary growth and the rate of inflation. However, to our knowledge there is no example in history of a substantial inflation that lasted for more than a brief time that was not accompanied by a roughly correspondingly rapid increase in the quantity of money; and no example of a rapid increase in the quantity of 256 FREE TO CHOOSE: A Personal Statement money that was not accompanied by a roughly correspondingly substantial inflation. A few charts

possibility of making greater use of the market in organizing production. At a conference of economists from East and West, we once heard a brilliant talk by a Hungarian Marxist economist. He had rediscovered for himself Adam Smith's invisible hand—a remarkable if somewhat redundant intellectual achievement. He tried, however, to improve on it in order to use the price system to transmit information and organize production efficiently but not to distribute income. Needless to say, he failed in

is that it treats these cases as a bundle. It adopts the general principle that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech"; no consideration of each case on its merits. A majority supported it then and, we are persuaded, a majority would support it today. Each of us feels more deeply about not having our freedom interfered with when we are in the minority than we do about interfering with the freedom of others when we are in a majority—and a majority of us will at one time

people with fluctuating incomes do not benefit from it at all. 25. We proposed it in Capitalism and Freedom ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), Chap. 12; for Milton Friedman's testimony, see U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Ways and Means, Social Security and Welfare Proposals, Hearings, 91st Congress, 1st session, November 7, 1969, part 6, pp. 1944—1958. 26. For the role of the welfare bureaucracy in defeating President Nixon's plan, see Daniel P. Moynihan, The Politics of a

initially low price. The price of the dollar, if determined freely, serves the same function as all other prices. It transmits information and provides an incentive to act on that information because it affects the incomes that participants in the market receive. Why then all the furor about the "weakness" of the dollar? Why the repeated foreign exchange crises? The proximate reason is because foreign exchange rates have not been determined in a free market. Government central banks have

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