Milton Friedman Best Quotes

Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician and writer who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades. Enjoy Milton Friedman’s best quotes below.

Milton Friedman
“The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.”
“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
“Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”
“The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.”
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
“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.”
“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.”
“We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.”
“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.”
“Well first of all, tell me, is there some society you know of that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed?”
“The black market was a way of getting around government controls. It was a way of enabling the free market to work. It was a way of opening up, enabling people.”
“I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”
“Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”
“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.”
“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”
“So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”
“Inflation is taxation without legislation.”
“Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it… gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
“The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.”
“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.”
“The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.”
“Universities exist to transmit knowledge and understanding of ideas and values to students not to provide entertainment for spectators or employment for athletes.”
“Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless.”
“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

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