Milton Friedman: Liberty and Equality?


A society that aims for equality over liberty will end up with neither equality nor liberty.  A society that aims first for liberty will not end up with equality, but it will end up with a closer approach to equality than any other kind of system that has ever been developed.  Now that conclusion is based both on evidence from history, across history, and also I believe, on reasoning which if you try to follow through the implications of aiming first for equality will become clear to you.  You can only aim at equality by giving some people the right to take things from others.  And what ultimately happens is A and B decide what C shall do for D.  Except that they take a little bit of a commission off on the way.”

UPDATE:  From NR, Professor Freedom:  “Friedman’s economics was in many ways an economics of the poor.”

The only cases in recorded history in which the masses have escaped grinding poverty is where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.”

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2 Responses to Milton Friedman: Liberty and Equality?

  1. What an amazing spokesman.

    I wonder where that questioner is now? Likely he’s experienced some upward mobility.

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