Professor Milton Friedman: Limits To Freedom

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS_ Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Source:Hoover Institution– Professor Milton Friedman in 1999.

Source:The New Democrat

“What are the elements of the libertarian movement and how does one of its most illustrious proponents, Milton Friedman, apply its tenets to issues facing the United States today? Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science, was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, discusses, on February 10, 1999, how he balances the libertarians’ desire for a small, less intrusive government with environmental, public safety, food and drug administration, and other issues.”

From the Hoover Institution 

“This interview was filmed February 10, 1999.
What are the elements of the libertarian movement and how does one of its most illustrious proponents, Milton Friedman, apply its tenets to issues facing the United States today? Milton Friedman, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences discusses how he balances the libertarians’ desire for a small, less intrusive government with environmental, public safety, food and drug administration, and other issues.”

From the Hoover Institution

Ethical limits on freedom of personal action prohibit the hurting  of innocent people, intentionally or unintentionally.  I can’t beat up an innocent person and vice-versa.  I can’t get drunk and drive and hit someone on the road because I didn’t see them or was too drunk to pay attention to what I was doing.  We also can’t pass the costs of our own actions onto others.

That is liberalism, not libertarianism but real liberalism.  Our property rights give us the freedom to do as we wish with our own property, as long as we aren’t hurting innocent people.  We are responsible for any actions we take involving our property.

The state is there to regulate how we, as individuals, interact with each other.  Joe can get drunk,  high on marijuana, eat too much, or not exercise.  He can’t beat up on innocent people or hit someone with his car or steal their money, bomb their house or commit any other activity that hurts innocent people. Joe is also responsible for what happens to Joe, meaning what he did to himself. This is how freedom works.  We are responsible for our own lives and what we do to ourselves.  Our freedom does not include hurting innocent people.

About Ederik Schneider

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