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Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition (1962)

by Milton Friedman

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2,032256,075 (3.87)16
How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, the author provides the definitive statement of his economic philosophy--one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom.… (more)
  1. 21
    The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek (Voracious_Reader)
  2. 00
    On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt (PlaidStallion)
  3. 00
    The Ugly American by William J. Lederer (PlaidStallion)
  4. 00
    Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism by Jim Stanford (PlaidStallion)
    PlaidStallion: Ben Bernanke said, ‘Among economic scholars, Milton Friedman had no peer.’

    From Stanford’s book:

      Consider the massive foreign investments that flowed into China (over US$1.8 trillion worth from 2000 through 2013, including Hong Kong), undeterred by that country’s democratic shortcomings. Low-cost, productive, regimented labour; powerful government support for technology and infrastructure; low business taxes; access to what will soon be the world's largest market – these advantages easily outweigh any concerns business executives might have over democratic rights. And corporate promises that foreign investments in China will leverage democratic reforms have proven hollow indeed. Instead, multinational companies have actually helped to maintain the current, immensely profitable state of affairs: for example, by opposing modest labour law reforms adopted in China in the late 2000s, and discouraging the democracy protests that erupted in Hong Kong in 2014.

      So, contrary to the claims of philosophical libertarians like Milton Friedman (who equate “freedom” with the right to accumulate private wealth), there is no inherent link whatsoever between capitalism and democracy. Quite the reverse: capitalism demonstrates a natural anti-democratic streak by virtue of the inherent tendency for private wealth, and hence political influence, to be continually concentrated in the hands of a very small proportion of society. Therefore, fighting to protect and expand democratic rights, and rolling back the undue political influence of private wealth, must be an essential part of workers’ broader struggles for a more just economic order.
    … (more)
  5. 11
    Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman (Voracious_Reader)
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    The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World by Alan Greenspan (mercure)
    mercure: Alan Greenspan practiced what Milton Freedman preached.
  7. 01
    Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (original 1966 edition) by Ayn Rand (enrique_molinero)
  8. 01
    In Defense of Global Capitalism by Johan Norberg (ljessen)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
I read this book as part of a class on Political Thought. I had food poisoning at the time that this book was assigned, but I would have been puking even if I hadn't had those undercooked pancakes that day. This book is so full of ruling class whitewash that it is truly difficult to read.

The text, essentialized, was as follows: Capitalism offers rich people choices. These choices can be redefined as freedom. Therefore Capitalism offers freedom.

Left out is what to do if you don't have the luxury of being able to buy choices. Left out is how these choices in fact necessitate others' oppression and their lack of freedom. Left out is any semblence of understanding of what it is to work for those choices to be available to some.

Actually, let me rephrase: Friedman mentions these points specifically on several occaisions. He then explains that it is not anyone's business how to answer these questions, all policy is to be made between stock holders and companies itself, no matter who else is affected.

When Milton Friedman died, I gave everyone I knew a high-five.

Recommended for: masochists. ( )
  magonistarevolt | Apr 20, 2020 |
Interesting for historical reasons. Of course I feel kinda sad for him now, his thinking was so cute and ... hmmm... dishonest, but still the unusual ideas were good. It was refreshing and there were good things in it.

But really, his pretended blissful ignorance of vast & fundamental inequalities in information, market behaviors, access to corruption, class, wealth, access to tools and resources, a properly operating justice system, ability to use the state, the allocation of the state's collections.

In a way, this is the Tea Party: pretend that there should be no state, that is, except for the vast, unregulated, uncontrolled state supporting the military industrial complex, and that support's Mr Friedman's university.

Some quotes:

" a black man in a city can get the same services as a rich white person by saving, and the same for all other items"

"Various emperical studies have demonstrated that the return on investment in education far exceeds the return on other forms of capital. This implies a problem with capital markets"

" [if there were school vouchers then ] all kinds of schools would spring up" ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Milton Friedman's builds his case from Freedom, He makes interesting case about a lot of different things in society. His example of Medical school unions are thought provoking, I really loved this book, there were a lot of big ideas on this book. I feel there is no simple answer but only continuous dialogue. I felt when power gets concentrated somewhere, there is a high chance of corruption, misuse of it. I think if someone starts from Man is perfect and is able to build a perfect system, he would differ from Friedman and other followers of him. It seems that, you can easily find out the differences from each person's premise on which he build the whole model. Friedman argues a lot for freedom and says, Men ought to have freedom to prosper, they will achieve better. In this book, he goes through a lot of things, I was surprised to find schooling system, unions included.
If you like big ideas, you like enjoy this book. However, you won't find solutions but just know his outline.

"Men are born of equal rights, not equal things." - Edmund Burke ( )
  gottfried_leibniz | Apr 5, 2018 |
Milton Friedman's builds his case from Freedom, He makes interesting case about a lot of different things in society. His example of Medical school unions are thought provoking, I really loved this book, there were a lot of big ideas on this book. I feel there is no simple answer but only continuous dialogue. I felt when power gets concentrated somewhere, there is a high chance of corruption, misuse of it. I think if someone starts from Man is perfect and is able to build a perfect system, he would differ from Friedman and other followers of him. It seems that, you can easily find out the differences from each person's premise on which he build the whole model. Friedman argues a lot for freedom and says, Men ought to have freedom to prosper, they will achieve better. In this book, he goes through a lot of things, I was surprised to find schooling system, unions included.
If you like big ideas, you like enjoy this book. However, you won't find solutions but just know his outline.

"Men are born of equal rights, not equal things." - Edmund Burke ( )
  gottfried_leibniz | Apr 5, 2018 |
Supply Side Jesus ? ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
In this classic book, Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman presents his case for capitalism and why it's the best type of economic system for both freedom and prosperity.
 

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To Janet and David and their contemporaries, who must carry the torch of liberty on its next lap
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In my preface to the 1982 edition of this book, I documented a dramatic shift in the climate of opinion, manifested in the difference between the way this book was treated when it was first published in 1962, and the way my wife's and my subsequent book, Free to Choose, presenting the same philosophy, was treated when it was published in 1980.
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How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, the author provides the definitive statement of his economic philosophy--one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom.

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