Quotes by American Economist Milton Friedman



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

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. Milton Friedman

The power to do good is also the power to do harm. Milton Friedman

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

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

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned. Milton Friedman

Governments never learn. Only people learn. Milton Friedman

Never try to walk across a river just because it has an average depth of four feet. Milton Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. Milton Friedman

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

Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation. Milton Friedman

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

Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? Milton Friedman

We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork. Milton Friedman

Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless. Milton Friedman

So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no they do not. Milton Friedman
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The great virtue of free enterprise is that it forces existing businesses to meet the test of the market continuously, to produce products that meet consumer demands at lowest cost, or else be driven from the market. It is a profit-and-loss system. Naturally, existing businesses generally prefer to keep out competitors in other ways. That is why the business community, despite its rhetoric, has so often been a major enemy of truly free enterprise. Milton Friedman

The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises, by government-union-industry cartels or by centralized economic planning. It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system. And losses were at least as important in weeding out failures as profits in fostering successes. Let government succor failures, and we shall be headed for stagnation and decline. Milton Friedman

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

What kind of society isn't structured on greed? 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


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