American Elephants

Milton Friedman Remembered. by The Elephant's Child

Yesterday, July 31, would have been Milton Friedman’s 98th birthday.  Here is a bit from Free to Choose:

A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.  The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.

On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a  happy by-product , end up with both greater freedom and greater equality.  Through a by–product of freedom, greater equality is not an accident.  A free society releases the energies and abilities of people to pursue their own objectives.  It prevents some people from arbitrarily suppressing others.  It does not prevent some people from achieving positions of privilege, but so long as freedom is maintained, it prevents those positions of privilege from becoming institutionalized; they are subject to continued attack by other able, ambitious people.  Freedom  means diversity but also mobility.  It preserves the opportunity for today’s disadvantaged to become tomorrow’s privileged and, in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life.

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