Milton and Rose Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom
Milton Friedman (pictured right) was an American Nobel prize winning economist (pictured right) famous for his
- free market capitalism (with minimal government controls of business).
- monetarism (the belief that increases in prices and production are caused by
increasing the money supply - the amount of money in circulation).
His policies were supported by Ronald Reagan and
Margaret Thatcher (pictured right together in
1981) in the 1980’s.
Friedman was greatly helped in his work by his wife, Rose (pictured right below), also a professor at the
University of Chicago.
They both died in 2009.
Milton Friedman in the
Management Gurus section.
Long live Adam Smith!
Adam Smith (pictured right) was
right - the interests of people and society are best served by:
- individuals and businesses pursuing their own self-interest, rights and moral
- a competitive free market capitalist economy.
How a government must serve its people
1. Minimize its spending and taxes
A government must restrict its spending to things individuals and businesses can't do for themselves like
Giving power to individuals and local communities.
Giving people the freedom to choose how they:
- live (only responsible people, not governments, can solve ethical
- work (earning the market rate according to their performance).
- spend their money
4. Support success
Individual success should be encouraged, so higher taxes for the rich are wrong.
5. Attack unions
Labour (or trade) unions are bad, because they increase the pay of their members, leading to:
- lower wages for other people.
6. Maximize people's equality of
This must be done through:
- making the economy more competitive and market driven.
What about corporate social responsibility?
A company’s only responsibility is to maximize its profits (legally in a competitive market).
Key quotes on government
To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it
Freedom is a tenable objective only for responsible individuals.
The great threat to freedom is the concentration of power.
Key quote on corporate social responsibility
There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities
designed to increase its profits so long as it...engages in open and free competition, without deception or