Monday, July 31, 2017

Words of wisdom from Milton Friedman (1912-2006)


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Let's remember Milton Friedman: "Friedman's Sampler" is a summary of Milton Friedman quotes over the years. They are priceless and relevant today.

On taxes:

"To summarize, deficits are bad--but not because they necessarily raise interest rates. They are bad because they encourage political irresponsibility. They enable our representatives in Washington to buy votes at our expense without having to vote explicitly for taxes to finance the largesse. The result is a bigger government and a poorer nation. That is why I favor a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to balance the budget and limit taxation." (from "The Taxes Called Deficits," April 24, 1984)

On freedom:

"It is important to emphasize that economic arrangements play a dual role in the promotion of a free society. On the one hand, "freedom" in economic arrangements itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so "economic freedom" is an end in itself to a believer in freedom. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom. . . . " (from "Capitalism and Freedom: Why and How the Two Ideas Are Mutually Dependent," May 17, 1961)

The flat tax:

"The only way we are ever likely to get it is if there is a drive for a constitutional convention to repeal the 16th Amendment (which gives Congress the power to tax income) and replace it with one mandating a flat-rate tax. However, I regret that that is not an immediate prospect." (from "Why a Flat Tax Is Not Politically Feasible," March 30, 1995)

Let me say it again. Milton Friedman was a consequential voice in promoting freedom and free markets. The good news is that Pres. Reagan was a Friedman disciple. The bigger news is that Pres. Reagan was the most influential president of the last fifty years!





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