September 20, 2006 1 Comment
Like any good Rothbardian, I’ve made my criticisms of Milton Friedman.
He is a radical libertarian’s greatest challenge because he gives the mainstream someone to dismiss as radical without ever having to confront real libertarian radicalism.
They love to say, “Well even Milton Friedman admits that the State needs to do such-and-such…”
And of course, he is the kept intellectual of central banking and the ideological enemy of all goldbugs, whom he considers fetishists.
Worst of all, we can combine my two complaints into one big whammy: “Even Milton Friedman admits that the Great Depression was caused by too little government intervention!”
Having said that however, I’m quite grateful to him for 3 things, all from the book Free To Choose:
- Chapter 7, “Who Protects the Consumer?”
- Chapter 8, “Who Protects the Worker?”
- The following paragraph:
What would you think of someone who said, “I would like to have a cat provided it barked”? Your statement that you favor a government provided it behaves as YOU believe desirable is precisely equivalent. The political principles that determine the behavior of government agencies once they are established are no less rigid than the biological principles that determine the characteristics of cats. The way the government behaves and its adverse consequences are not an accident, not a result of some easily corrected human mistake, but a consequence of its nature in precisely the same way that a meow is a consequence of the nature of a cat.