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Monday, January 10, 2011

Friedman Revisited

The  Biz of Life is posting a series of videos from Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" broadcasts. When we lost
Friedman we lost a giant.  He definitely shaped my views.  I read his "Capitalism and Freedom" many years ago and marveled at what was then provided by the government that could be more efficiently produced in the private sector.  It has gotten considerably worse, of course, as the years have gone by.  Hayek describes where we were headed  in The Road to Serfdom: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition .

Along these lines, I have often thought that we should produce an ongoing list of government produced goods and services that can and are produced more efficiently by the private sector.

For example, at every single library branch in the county where I live, there is a collection of DVDs of just about every TV series made.  Want second season Sopranos?  It's at the library.  How about fitness?  We have a community center where seniors can join for something like $25 lifetime membership.  The public schools have fitness centers that rival the best you can find in the private sector.

What this all boils down to is the same mistake that a lot of people make. People sometimes live as if they are millionaires when, in fact, they are nowhere close.  Society is trying to do the same thing.  Just like individuals max out their credit cards to appear wealthy, our country borrows from China to fund goods and services we can't afford.

Friedman and Hayek had this pegged decades ago.


  1. Thanks for the reference. I've posted what I can find so far. Hopefully I'll uncover episodes 8 - 10 in the near future.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, guys. I look forward to watching the series.