Capitalism And Freedom Friedman

Decent Essays

In Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman claims that “Freedom of the individual is the ultimate goal in judging social arrangements (Friedman 13).” Friedman believes that free market capitalism is the bulwark of political freedom, which he defines as “the absence of coercion (Friedman 15)”; therefore, the role of the government should be severely limited and social outcomes should be left to the market. I disagree with Milton Friedman’s premises that capitalism is prerequisite for ensuring political freedom. The assertion is quite extreme and ignores the fact that capitalism, as well as socialism, comes in many different modes. In Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman paints a black and white image of each respective economic system. On the one hand there is pure market capitalism, and on the other hand there is soviet style centrally planned socialism. There are three major flaws in Friedman’s thinking that should make one question …show more content…

In the simple model, individuals have all the necessary resources that will allow them to produce goods and service for either personal satisfaction or market exchange. According to Friedman: “Since the individual has the alternative of producing directly for itself, it need not enter any exchange unless it benefits from it. Hence no exchange will take place unless both parties benefit from it…(Friedman 13)”
Based off the simple market model, one can reasonably assume that all market transaction are voluntary and thus non-coercive. In order for Friedman’s simple model to be a valid depiction of the economy one must assume that the economy operates on barter, is in perfect competition, and all members of society are “rational” actors; however, these assumptions do not even remotely reflect reality. Friedman than goes on to describe his complex

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