Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman

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Overview

The international bestseller on the extent to which personal freedom has been eroded by government regulations and agencies while personal prosperity has been undermined by government spending and economic controls. New Foreword by the Authors; Index.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380525485
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/28/1981

About the Author

MILTON FRIEDMAN (1912–2006), Nobel laureate economist and former presidential adviser, was the author of a number of books, including Capitalism and Freedom and Tyranny of the Status Quo, also written with his wife, Rose Friedman (1910–2009).

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Free to Choose 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Milton Friedman and his wife espouse the incentives of economic libertarianism as effectively as F.A. Hayek. This book could open the eyes of every politician, economist and citizen brave enough to read it. Do so at your own risk. If you live in an anti-reality, this will scare you. If you think the government makes decisions effectively, more effectively than the free market, this book will terrify you.
Matthew Ziegenhine More than 1 year ago
amazing read, look into pbs special that goes along with the book. easy to understand and is written in common language, not standard economic speak. if you want to understand the chicago school of economics what better source than from the founder.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was life changing for me. It taught me how to look at public policy issues through the prism of logic rather than what sounds good. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unable to put it down after I started the journey :)
crisostimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If I had to recommend only one book to any American written by an American, this would be it.Milton Friedman was an economic genious and a great influencer of world economics. The amazing thing is that he was able to communicate well both to the world of high-minded economic academics as well as to the common American. This book is written for the rest of us.Many examples are given of the unintended consequences that result from the expansion of government power, even for the best of intentions. He also gives some very good examples of how and why capitalism works.If you enjoy Ayn Rand's fiction, you will certainly get a lot more (in a much more succinct manner) from Free To Choose.
jrgoetziii on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting text...I came to the conclusion that Friedman is a good thinker, not a great one, and a poor writer comparatively. But his position and argument are virtually irrefutable, and I make almost an identical case in a slightly different direction in my own book, The Bubble Boys (which was unfortunately savaged by a reviewer who seemed to e furious that such a position could be stated without being writen poorly and thus ignored and disregarded the contents of the book altogether in favor of her wonderful principles; so if you like this book, I could use another review of my own from someone who will do so ethically). Sowell's Knowledge and Decisions is itself based upon his study of and from Friedman, but I also think Sowell is a far better writer and his text is far more persuasive than Friedman's on that level.
dougarb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
makes so much sense, a shame he's considered a dangerous radical by Democrat Party
Atomicmutant on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I might be a Republican after reading this,except for all the passages where I went "yeah, but . . . ."
nesum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While many of their examples are a bit dated (their criticism of government bonds, for example, is tainted by the economic troubles of the Carter years, and has since been fixed -- basically), the Friedmans have an unfailing understanding of money issues and a charming wit and logic. Entertaining as well as informative, this book really provided the economic foundation for the Reagan Republican. If you want a good overview of Conservative economic theory, this is your book.
Miro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every once in a while a book crystallises a world view. Free To Choose has a good claim in this respect arriving as it did in 1980 . It's as clear an exposition as you're likely to find of the free market economics that influenced Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, leading to one of the greatest economic booms in history and arguably spelling the end of communist power.Milton Friedman is a Nobel prize-winning economist, winning the prize in recognition of his work on the money supply and inflation. However the main (and more important) theme of Free To Choose is a critical look at the road that the free market idea has travelled since it's first clear exposition in 1776 by Adam Smith in the remarkable book, The Wealth of Nations.To quote Friedman on the power of the free market idea, "if an exchange between two parties is voluntary, it will not take place unless both believe that they will benefit from it" or "the price system is the mechanism that performs this task without central direction, without requiring people to speak to one another or to like one another. When you buy your pencil or your daily bread, you don't know whether the pencil was made or the wheat was grown by a white man or a black man, by a Chinese or an Indian. As a result, the price system enables people to co-operate peacefully in one phase of their life while each one goes about his business in respect of everything else." When this concept is repeated millions of times one has a flexible evolving system that can meet peoples needs in a way that no top-down planned price and production system can hope to match. Is this stating the obvious? - Well it seems not . Friedman uses the greater part of the book to show how the free market idea has been under attack, often in the places where it has generated the greatest wealth in the past.One way or another government comes into the picture and the reader enters a strange Orwellian world of double-talk where "for your own good" means "for our own good" and "we" are "you" - should you feel like arguing.As democratic governments respond to the question "What are you going to do about it?" without having a clear idea about what is their responsibility, and what isn't , the need for government departments, institutions, committees, etc. continues to grow, adding more leaves and branches to the tree. If one doubts the reality of the growth of government, a good recent survey of the world economy ( by Clive Crook in The Economist 20th Sept.97) gives recent figures that support Friedmans observations:U.S.Government spending as % of GNP1913 3%1937 9%1960 28%1996 33%Crook notes that this is after the pro-market anti-big government rhetoric of Thatcher and Reagan. In the U.S. government spending remained unchanged, in the UK it only fell 1% as a result the new philosophy and everywhere else it continues to rise reaching for example 55% in France last year and 65% in Sweden.The unstated assumption is that somehow governments can undertake activities more successfully than individuals in the new areas that they enter - an idea that Friedman comprehensively shows to be false.At the end of the book he offers an interesting set of suggestions based around an "economic constitution" and highlights market solutions to government only areas. Nevertheless his own solutions seem to create a problem of their own that he doesn't address at all, namely - "pay enough and you can do what you want" whether this is polluting a lake or limiting quality of education to what you can pay for.Even if you aren't interested in economics this is an exceptionally good book.
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