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Liberty Pen: Phil Donahue Show- Self-Interest & Self-Ownership- From 1979

October 8, 2011

Milton Friedman

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState Now: Liberty Pen: Phil Donahue Show- Self-Interest & Self-Ownership- From 1979

I have a lot of respect for Libertarian Economist Milton Friedman, but we don’t agree on everything. I believe under the Welfare Clause in the U.S. Constitution, that government has a right and responsibility to look after the safety of its people. I believe that government has a right to regulate free enterprise. In this sense to protect the safety of its people. Like forcing them to make cars that are reasonably safe. And this is where Dr. Friedman and I disagree. But government doesn’t have a role to tell auto companies what kind of cars to make. Except in how it relates to public safety.

Otherwise if people want to buy something, there will be market for people to buy it. Government doesn’t need to come in and try to force things on people. And shouldn’t try to prevent people from doing things, as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their activities. The power of American capitalism, is that if people have something to sell and then are able to market it and convince other people who they should buy what they are trying to sell, then they’ll end up selling a lot of what they have. You don’t need government to step in and force people to buy their products. The people know better than anyone what they should be buying, what they need and what they can afford. And if people have products to sell and convince a lot of people that what they have is worth buying. Then they’ll be able to sell a lot of what they produce and make a very good profit from that.

I make this case to supporters of single payer health insurance on a regular basis. That if single payer health insurance is so great and that we need a health insurance monopoly in America, that they should have no problem convincing people of that. And that they should take their message to the people. Instead of trying to get the Federal Government to force single payer down the throats of the country. Giving us no choice in where we have to go for health insurance or how we pay for our health care. But as long as 3/5 people in America like their Health Insurance and don’t want the Federal Government to come in and force them to switch health insurers, single payer supporters are going to have a very tough time at convincing people that they are right.

And then single payer supporters have to try to convince 3/5 Americans, that They are wrong about their own health insurance that they have selected for themselves. So what single payer supporters have to do, is take their message to the people instead. State by state like what is going on in Vermont and convince Americans state by state, that they are right about health insurance and the rest of the country is wrong. This is the power of the market. If people want fast cars, then fast cars will be made. If they want to eat healthy, a lot of healthy food will be made. They want to stop drinking, the alcohol industry will lose a lot of money. Government shouldn’t try to make these decisions for us by mandating them on us. If they want us to do something, provide some incentive instead of trying to take the freedom we have away. To make those decisions for ourselves.

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