I get on jags and right now, I’m on a Friedman jag. It won’t last longer than one night, though I bet I’ll return again some other time. The guy is brilliant in how he simplifies certain ideas here, about pricing as an impersonal mechanism that moves markets. Prices contain knowledge in a sense, they rise and fall as conditions change due to activities and desires and necessity. If government stays out of the mix enough to allow people to “voluntarily cooperate” they innovate, and exchange materials and products. He notes how economic liberty is a very important, a crucial, kind of freedom, and how economic liberty and other types of freedom are so important that people will go through tremendous hardship to attain them. I’m still exploring his ideas, and there is a lot to learn. He begins with the ideas of Adam Smith. I remember first hearing of Adam Smith and feeling quite intrigued, as I had not learned about him much in school. We learned Marx, but no Smith. A shame that!
A thought provoking interview with economist Milton Friedman about government control and paternalism, free markets, and the singular power of free individuals pursuing their enlightened self interest to create and sustain prosperity. He states he is not against government, but against overweening government controls which lead to totalitarianism. Friedman is in favor of unleashing the power of individual creativity instead of allowing encroaching government control to make people essentially – into slaves or serfs. An interesting reminder today, as the government continues to expand in order to stimulate and sustain an economic recovery, that each day appears more distant.
Good food for thought, and things I’m thinking about these days!