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Milton Friedman: Capitalism and Freedom

I am trying to write a analytical response paper on Milton Friedman: "Capitalism and Freedom". I have already read it, but I still don't get the full meaning. Can you tell me? What does Milton Friedman mean?

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Some of Friedman's ideas are somewhat radical, but many of his ideas have been tested and applied. Let's explore what he means in Capitalism and freedom through discussion and chapter summaries of the main concepts.


1. I am trying to write a analytical response paper on Milton Friedman, "Capitalism and Freedom". I have already read it, but I still don't get what he means. Can you tell me? What Milton Friedman means?

In "Capitalism and Freedom", Milton Friedman discusses the role of economic capitalism in liberal society. In order to understand what he means, you need to understand how he defines liberalism (and competitive capitalism), because he explores different topics based on his definitions of these essential terms. For example, Friedman begins with a discussion of principles of a liberal society and then applies these liberal principles to such constantly pressing problems as monetary policy, discrimination, education, income distribution, welfare, and poverty (http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Freedom-Phoenix-Milton-Friedman/dp/0226264017).

According to Friedman, for example, competitive capitalism is the organization of economic activity through private enterprise operating in a free market. In other words, in a free 'liberal' society, the proper role of competitive capitalism (citizens owing private enterprises operating in a free market) is that it operates as both a device for achieving economic freedom (e.g. for the business owner) and a necessary condition for political freedom (e..g, no mandatory regulations and constraints). In other words, both private and economic freedom for citizens are provided through competitive capitalism in a free society where the people are free to decide on their occupation and free from 'political' constraints, such as the mandatory needs for licensee for doctors, trade tariffs for traders, and the likes. In line with his liberal philosophy on economic and personal freedom in a free society, for example, Friedman advocates ending the mandatory licensing of doctors, a system of vouchers for school education Specifically, as mentioned above, Friedman makes the case for economic freedom as a precondition for political freedom. Friedman says this:

" A citizen of the United States who under the laws of various states is not free to follow the occupation of his own choosing unless he can get a license for it, is likewise being deprived of an essential part of his freedom. So is the man who would like to exchange some of his goods with, say, a Swiss for a watch but is prevented from doing so by a quota. So also is the Californian who was thrown into jail for selling Alka Seltzer at a price below that set by ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the essential meaning of Friedman's views in 'Capitalism and Freedom'. Supplemented with brief chapter summaries explaining what Milton Friedman meant in each chapter of 'Capitalism and Freedom. '