|Source: Brittle- Professor Milton Friedman, on Phil Donahue in 1979-|
I think its great that a libertarian like Milton Friedman can sit down to an interview with someone who I would describe as a Democratic Socialist like Phil Donahue. Someone who I again I have a lot of respect for, but who I rarely agree with. I love Milton Friedman, but I don’t agree with him on everything either. But I think its great that these two brilliant men can sit down and have an intelligent conversation without trying to kill each other. Being respectful with each other without agreeing on anything. Something that Bill Buckley was able to do with Liberals and Socialists, without agreeing on anything with them as well either.
By the way, Milt Friedman didn’t consider himself a Libertarian but a Classical Liberal. As someone who’s a Classical Liberal in myself, but just considers myself to be a Liberal, I disagree with Mr Friedman. I view himself as a Libertarian, because he believes government should be completely out of the economy and is for legalizing all narcotics. I disagree with both of those positions. I support legalizing with regulation and taxation of marijuana. Because it represents the same dangers, or less than alcohol and tobacco, both legal drugs. But I don’t support legalizing heroin, cocaine and meth. Which are narcotics that can kill people instantly. I don’t believe non-heroin, cocaine and meth users, should be forced to subsidize the health costs of these drug users.
I believe that government has a limited role in the economy, a very limited role. To prevent and stop people from hurting other people in the economy for example and providing a Safety Net for people who fall through the cracks. By giving them a hand up, not a hand out to move to self-sufficiency. Friedman, essentially believed government had has no role in the economy. He would be for eliminating Welfare Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare. No regulations for seat belts and safe cars and mileage standards and a lot more. He and I simply disagree here, which is one reason why he’s a Libertarian and I’m a Liberal. I believe government should protect people from hurting other people, but not themselves, different positions.
But here’s where Milt Friedman and I agree and if the Republican Party had more people like him today, they would truly be an anti- big government party. Maximize freedom and responsibility for the individual, as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. Very simple, but an important concept. Socialists, aren’t fans of maximize freedom generally. Because if you give people a lot of freedom, they might take advantage of it. And be less dependent on government and make a lot more money than others.
Socialists, tend not to be fans of responsibility, thinking that taxpayers should be forced to bail people out when they make bad choices in life. Authoritarians, don’t like the concept of maximize freedom either, whatever the party they belong to. They believe that government should be able to regulate how people live their own lives. But if adults want to own a gun, smoke a joint, look at porn, pay for sex, sell themselves for sex, drink, smoke, whatever the case is, let them do that, because its their own life. But don’t expect government to bail you out when you make bad choices and don’t force other people to do something they don’t want to and don’t hurt them. All actions have consequences good and bad.
Brittle: The Phil Donahue Show- Professor Milton Friedman: In 1979