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44 Milton Friedman Quotes on Freedom & Debt (MONEY)

Top 10 Most Famous Milton Friedman Quotes (BEST)

“The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

Milton Friedman
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.
A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.

“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 stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

Milton Friedman
One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.
One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.
Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Ronald Reagan was by far the greatest. Because he had real principles and he stuck by them. He made clear what he was going to do, and he did it. He didn’t back down.”

Milton Friedman
Universities exist to transmit knowledge & understanding of ideas & values to students not to provide entertainment for spectators or employment for athletes.
Universities exist to transmit knowledge & understanding of ideas & values to students not to provide entertainment for spectators or employment for athletes.
Money is a very powerful thing, which you hardly notice when it goes right, but which can create havoc when it goes wrong.
Money is a very powerful thing, which you hardly notice when it goes right, but which can create havoc when it goes wrong.

2 Milton Friedman Quotes on Taxes

I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible.
I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.
We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.
We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.

7 Milton Friedman Quotes on Government Mismanagement

“The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.”

Milton Friedman
Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.
Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.
Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.
Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.

“Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government– in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.”

Milton Friedman
Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless.
Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless.
Governments never learn. Only people learn.
Governments never learn. Only people learn.

7 Milton Friedman Quotes on a Free Economy & a Free Market

“A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it… gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

Milton Friedman
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.
The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.
I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government.
I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government.

“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
Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.
Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.
The black market was a way of getting around government controls. It was a way of enabling the free market to work. It was a way of opening up, enabling people.
The black market was a way of getting around government controls. It was a way of enabling the free market to work. It was a way of opening up, enabling people.

4 Milton Friedman Quotes on Marijuana & Drugs

“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
See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That's literally true.
See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.

“I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.”

Milton Friedman

“Every friend of freedom must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence.”

Milton Friedman

2 Milton Friedman Quotes on Capitalism

History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition.
History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition.
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.
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.

12 Wise Milton Friedman Quotes that Will Make You Think (WISDOM)

“Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know 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? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”

Milton Friedman
The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.
The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.
He moves fastest who moves alone.
He moves fastest who moves alone.
Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.
Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.

“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”

Milton Friedman
Education spending will be most effective if it relies on parental choice & private initiative - the building blocks of success throughout our society.
Education spending will be most effective if it relies on parental choice & private initiative – the building blocks of success throughout our society.
If you do not force political freedom, economic freedom will be stymied sooner or later.
If you do not force political freedom, economic freedom will be stymied sooner or later.
There's no point in comparing an actual, operating system with an ideal system that doesn't exist.
There’s no point in comparing an actual, operating system with an ideal system that doesn’t exist.

“And what does reward virtue? You think the communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think, excuse me, if you’ll pardon me, American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout?”

Milton Friedman
The power to do good is also the power to do harm.
The power to do good is also the power to do harm.
One man's opportunism is another man's statesmanship.
One man’s opportunism is another man’s statesmanship.
Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?
Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?

(MUST READ) Capitalism and Freedom

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