Milton Friedman would have been 100 years old today (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006). Here are some of his best quotes, many of which are very timely given Obama’s assault on our liberty and on our core values.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
And what does reward virtue? You think the communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think, excuse me, if you’ll pardon me, American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout?
We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.
Columbus did not seek a new route to the Indies in response to a majority directive.
Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.
Governments never learn. Only people learn.
Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition.
I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.
Inflation is taxation without legislation.
Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?
Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.
Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.
Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.
So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.
The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.
The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm, capitalism is that kind of a system.
The world runs on individuals pursuing their self interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Well first of all, tell me, is there some society you know of that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed?
“The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly — whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition at home and free trade throughout the world. The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of another seller from whom he can buy and who is eager to sell to him. Alternative sources of supply protect the consumer far more effectively than all the Ralph Naders of the world.”