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Milton Friedman Quotes

Updated on October 11, 2014

Milton Friedman


Milton Friedman Quotes


Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, and an author. Friedman taught at the University of Chicago for more than 30 years. He lived from July 31, 1912 - November 16, 2006. He promoted the free market capitalism.

Inspirational Quotes

Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.
Milton Friedman

Government programs never help the consumer. They usually do the opposite. People will have such a better lifestyle if the government just stayed out of the way. When you give the government too much power they are able to auction it off to corporations. Usually the corporations are the ones writing regulations. For example, the Patriot Act, sounds great, but it is probably one of the most unpatriotic legislation passed.

Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.
Milton Friedman

Politicians in power, decide to give themselves more power with good intentions. This always backfires, the power given usually is used in corrupt ways. Politicians should be limiting power because it will never work. We want politicians to do less, the economy would be so much better.

Governments never learn. Only people learn.
Milton Friedman

Government has been doing the same things since the beginning of time. Manipulate and steal from the people. Government is only good at lying and cheating, they don't know anything about healthcare, economy, or education. People are the only ones that learn.

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program
Milton Friedman

Government programs are brought in with the intentions it will fix some problem. Most likely the problem being fixed, was caused by another government program. The damages from these government programs are permanent, as they are never fixed. The problems just keep accumulating. We have to understand that the government is the problem, not the solution.

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

A perfect example of this is the prohibition of alcohol. It didn't work and caused more crime and harm than good. This is why they had to make it legal again, because there was so much crime associated with making illegal. This is the same thing you see today with the drug laws. There is so much crime that comes along with making drugs illegal. You can get rid of the drug deal over night by making drugs legal. Drug dealers lobby to keep these laws in place. It pushes prices up and makes it accessible to children. If drugs were legal, states would be able to regulate by age. A 14 year old kid would have a much harder time of getting drugs if they were sold by age. It is easier of a young child to get marijuana than alcohol. They can still get alcohol but it is much harder. Besides, the drug laws aren't stopping anyone from using them. Around a trillion dollars of tax payer money was spent on the war on drugs.

The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.
Milton Friedman

The reason for this truth is because centralized governments create monopolies. Free markets allow many people to compete in an open market. Competition brings lower prices and better quality. When the government distributes money unfairly to specific businesses it creates a monopoly. Another company won't be able to compete with the one receiving free money. Free money usually results in poor quality and high prices due to inflation.

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

We are following history. Many countries have resorted to what the United States is now doing. Our jails are filled, we have the highest incarceration rate than any other country. Tyranny has reached the United States a long time ago, it is just a slow process. It takes much manipulation and patience.

Younger Milton Friedman


Milton Friedman Quotes

The world runs on individuals pursuing their self interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way.
Milton Friedman

The reason people are able to achieve so much more than government is because they are given the freedom to try different things. Most inventions are accidents. Government loves making regulations. Regulations usually end up saying you can do this or that. Maybe Einstein or Edison wouldn't have been able to invent or write theories with government regulations.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Milton Friedman

Everything comes at a price. Even the so called innocence of giving out welfare checks. Welfare checks just keep people dependent. Welfare is taking money from productive sources and then redistributing it to non productive sources. Take away the free money and those people are forced to be productive. Then the other people get to keep their money and spend it in other places, which in the end will create more jobs. Also, most of this free money being passed around is printed, which causes inflation and raises prices.

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

If the government has control, history could be completely different. Freedom of choice allows for great things to be accomplished. The system is rigged and if restore freedom, we can accomplish so much more. Technology might be ten times better.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Milton Friedman has been "on target" since the late '40s early 50s. Had our politicians and voters had a better understanding of our economy and pandering politicians (not staying closer to the principles of the Constitution) struggling to be in a perpetual campaign give-away mode, our prospects for today would be much better. I regret the horrible time the generations coming down the pike are going to have simply surviving with a family.

    • S Leretseh profile image

      S Leretseh 

      6 years ago

      Very well done article. A+

      I actually bookmarked it for future reference. You've inspired me to read some of Mr. Friedman's literature.

    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 

      6 years ago from Uruguay

      I really have no love for Milton Friedman , his ideology and theories kept a whole subcontinent of Latin Americanin poverty and underdevelopment.voted up interesting ,etc.


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