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Top 300 Milton Friedman Quotes (2023 Update)
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Milton Friedman Quote: “The Internet moves us closer to “perfect information” on markets. Individuals and companies alike can buy and sell across borders and jurisdictions wherever they find the best match of supply and demand.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The role of government just considered is to do something that the market cannot do for itself, namely, to determine, arbitrate, and enforce the rules of the game.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The central banks cannot control interest rates. That’s a mistake. They can control a particular rate, such as the Federal Funds rate, if they want to, but they can’t control interest rates.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “There is no place for government to prohibit consumers from buying products the effect of which will be to harm themselves.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “A crackpot theory. Instead of saying labor’s exploited, as Marx did, Kelso says capital’s exploited. It’s worse than Marx. It’s Marx stood on its head.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “When a private enterprise fails, it is closed down; when a government enterprise fails, it is expanded. Isn’t that exactly what’s been happening with drugs?”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Saying it is one thing. Doing it is very different.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Exchange is truly voluntary only when nearly equivalent alternatives exist. Monopoly implies the absence of alternatives and thereby inhibits effective freedom of exchange.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Columbus did not seek a new route to the Indies in response to a majority directive.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “It is true that a competitive market is not the whole of society. A great deal depends on the qualities of the population and the nation in how they organize the non-market aspects of society.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “How can thinking people believe that a government that cannot deliver the mail can deliver gas better than Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, Gulf, and the rest?”
Milton Friedman Quote: “In the US, the problem is primary and secondary education. We’ve had such an increase in inequality because a quarter of American kids don’t finish high school!”
Milton Friedman Quote: “There are severe limits to the good that the government can do for the economy, but there are almost no limits to the harm it can do.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Now here’s somebody who wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette. If he’s caught, he goes to jail. Now is that moral? Is that proper? I think it’s absolutely disgraceful that our government, supposed to be our government, should be in the position of converting people who are not harming others into criminals, of destroying their lives, putting them in jail. That’s the issue to me. The economic issue comes in only for explaining why it has those effects. But the economic reasons are not the reasons.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “If you cannot state a proposition clearly and unambiguously, you do not understand it.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The countries that have risen and separated out as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union are, on the whole, following freer economic policies. Most of these states have freer government and less restrictions on trade.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “There is not a line in ‘The Wealth of Nations’ that is not still applicable to this day.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent – William Graham Sumner’s famous example of B and C deciding what D shall do for A.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Germany has a very able and productive workforce. It has high-quality products that are valued all over the world. It has every opportunity to be a productive, growing state. It just has to give its entrepreneurs a chance. It has to let them make money, hire and fire, and act like entrepreneurs.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Asking economists for investment advice is like asking a physicist to fix a broken toilet. Not their field, though sort of related.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men. The fundamental threat to freedom is power to coerce, be it in the hands of a monarch, a dictator, an oligarchy, or a momentary majority. The preservation of freedom requires the elimination of such concentration of power to the fullest possible extent and the dispersal and distribution of whatever power cannot be eliminated – a system of checks and balances.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom. By enabling people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction, it reduces the area over which political power is exercised.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Well first of all, tell me, is there some society you know of that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed?”
Milton Friedman Quote: “So long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The use of quantity of money as a target has not been a success. I’m not sure that I would as of today push it as hard as I once did.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Hong Kong is the bellwether. If the Chinese stick to their agreement to let Hong Kong go its own path, then China will also go that way. If they don’t, that is a very bad sign. I’m optimistic.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “I think that nothing is so important for freedom as recognizing in the law each individual’s natural right to property, and giving individuals a sense that they own something that they’re responsible for, that they have control over, and that they can dispose of.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The unions might be good for the people who are in the unions but it doesn’t do a thing for the people who are unemployed. Because the union keeps down the number of jobs, it doesn’t do a thing for them.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “I have long been a critic of Social Security, basically because I believe that it is not the business of government to tell people what fraction of their incomes they should devote to providing for their own or someone else’s old age.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “It is a mark of how far we have gone on the road to serfdom that government allocation and rationing of oil is the automatic response to the oil crisis.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm, capitalism is that kind of a system.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “World trade depends on differences among countries, not similarities. Different countries are in different stages of development. It is appropriate for them to have different patterns, different policies for ecology, labor standards, and so forth.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The key insight of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations is misleadingly simple: if an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “One of the reasons that I am in favor of less government is because when you have more government, industrialists take it over.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “If the only motive was to help people who could not afford education, advocates of government involvement would have simply proposed tuition subsidies.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “There have been unions based on gold or silver, but not on fiat money – money tempted to inflate – put out by politically independent entities.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “In response to a suggestion that total free trade would end in cheaper foreign products flooding the market and causing unemployment.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The euro is good for Europe. But only if there is flexibility all around.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “If you continue to use monetary policy to attempt to promote full employment the result would be that you would have higher inflation, and that you would not have lower unemployment.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “We don’t have a desperate need to grow. We have a desperate desire to grow.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The power to do good is also the power to do harm; those who control the power today may not tomorrow; and, more important, what one man regards as good, another may regard as harm.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “I am a libertarian with a small ‘l’ and a Republican with a capital ‘R’. And I am a Republican with a capital ‘R’ on grounds of expediency, not on principle.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Unfortunately, unanimity is not always feasible.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “Abraham Lincoln talked about a government of the people, by the people, for the people. What we now have is a government of the people, by the bureaucrats, including the legislators who have become bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that’s why it’s so essential to preserving individual freedom.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “There’s no way to avoid a burden on your freedom. The costs themselves are a burden on your freedom. The restrictions that are necessary in order to get rid of the terrorists are a burden to your freedom. So there’s no way in the short run to avoid a restriction on your freedom.”
Milton Friedman Quote: “If you really want to engage in policy activity, don’t make that your vocation. Make it your avocation. Get a job. Get a secure base of income. Otherwise, you’re going to get corrupted and destroyed.”
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