I am tremendously in debt to economist and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman and his 10-part TV series “Free To Choose,” which gives a clear and comprehensive view on free markets and how government intervention often (but not always) mucks things up.
It originally aired on PBS during the 1980s, but thankfully it is now available on our glorious internet. Anyone with an interest in economics should take the time to watch these videos.
The first half of each video is a short documentary narrated by Friedman, where he travels all over the world and provides examples of various forms of markets and government intervention. The second half is a debate-styled dialogue between Friedman and other notable economists, union members, professors, politicians, and others.
The debates are where you really get to see Friedman’s intellectual prowess in action. During his time he was well-known as one of the best and most informed arguers in academia. Not too many could hold their ground in the midst of Friedman. Economist George Schultz once joked, “Everybody loves to argue with Milton, particularly when he isn’t there.”
Positions Advocated in this film include:
“Friedman advocates laissez faire economic policies, often criticizing interventionist government policies and their cost in personal freedoms and economic efficiency in the United States and abroad. Areas of focus include government taxation on gas and tobacco, government regulation of the public school systems, and the Federal Reserve’s role in exacerbating the Great Depression by reducing the money supply in the years leading up to it. On the subject of welfare, the Friedmans argue that current welfare practices are creating “wards of the state”, as opposed to “self-reliant individuals”, and suggest a negative income tax as a less harmful alternative. Other ideas covered are: decriminalization of drugs, tighter control of Fed money supply, and the repeal of laws favoring labor unions.”
10: How to Stay Free
Buy the full 10-DVD series here.