Friday, April 13, 2007

Milton vs. Hillary

Do you believe in freedom or not? One example:
"The unfettered free market has been the most radically destructive force in American life in the last generation."

-- First Lady Hillary Clinton on C-Span in 1996 stating her troubles
with the free market

"What most people really object to when they object to a free market is that it is so hard for them to shape it to their own will. The market gives people what the people want instead of what other people think they ought to want. At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself."

-- Milton Friedman, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 1961


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, good grief, that Hillary Clinton "quote" is from Alan Ehrenhalt's The Lost City, a book that Clinton quotes --approvingly, yes--on page 295 of her book, It Takes a Village.

The "Clinton quote" is:

As Alan Ehrenhalt, author of The Lost City, in which he examines the decline in community life since the 1950s, observes:

The unfettered free market has been the most radically distruptive force in American life in the last generation, busting up neighborhoods and communities and eroding traditional standards of social life and personal conduct...

It is the tyranny of the market that his destroyed the loyalty of corporations to their communities; customers to their neighborhood merchants; athletes to their local teams; teams to their cities...Politicians have every right to endorse such changes. But to endorse them and then in the next breath tout the traditional values of neighborhood and family is to defy common sense.

It Takes a Village can be searched on Amazon.

In addition to being the author of quotes falsely attributed to Senator Clinton, Alan Ehrenhalt is the editor of Governing magazine, the author of The United States of Ambition (a book recommended by the WSJ), an occasional contributor to the WSJ and the NYT, and hardly a political radical of any stripe.

Human Events is fun and all but accurate it's not.

The Friedman quote appears to be accurate but it's worth noting that the title of the WSJ op-ed that it's from is "The New Liberal's Creed: Individual Freedom, Preserving Dissent Are Ultimate Goals". In the piece, Friedman mentions that a "free" market needs "checks and balances" and it contains passages that indicate that Friedman might be a bit upset by the recent increase in corporate power over people's lives, not to mention, say, the unitary executive theory. For example: "The fundamental danger to political freedom is the concentration of power. The existence of a large measure of power in the hands of a relatively few individuals enables them to use it to coerce their fellow men. Preservation of freedom requires either the elimination of power where that is possible, or its dispersal where it cannot be eliminated."

In whole, it's an interesting piece by Friedman and I doubt Clinton would disagree with much or any of it.

7:51 PM, April 13, 2007  

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