Quotes Suitable for Framing: Milton Friedman


There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.

Milton Friedman, 2004

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  1. Flat tax as solution?
    Close the purse strings so to speak.
    Printing money is crack to crack addicts.
    For politicians money is crack.
    How do we “break the cycle,” that has been enabling our addicts, and devaluing our spending dollar?
    Complete overhaul?

    Last night I was nauseated when my conservative brother and his wife were speaking Bernie Sanders!! What?
    I couldn’t believe it but then again looking at this doom and gloom of a RINO party my relative’s are simply throwing up their hands.

    I’ve got a few months to work on them.

    Does anyone else have a similar story?

  2. My favorite Friedman quote. “You can have open borders. You can have the welfare state. But, you cannot have both.” Eventually, the system collapses. It’s happening in Europe.
    The Democrats and Vatican are essentially communists. The GOP establish is the same (it’s why they lose elections) as the Democrats on open borders.
    Conservatives should stop worrying and learn to love open borders. It is the fast lane to the wreck of the liberal nightmare. Only thing, you need to prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
    Them Federal Reserve Notes you carry around in your pocket aren’t money. Paper is not a store of value. They daily print billions of dollars of more paper. Until 1933 (FDR executive order) , each Federal Reserve Note had imprinted in big letters “Will Pay to the Bearer XX Dollars.” Now, it says, “This is Legal Tender for all Debts Public and Private.” What value do you place on the full faith and credit of the post-Constitution regime?
    Here is my favorite Voltaire quote. “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero.”

  3. I’ve witnessed aquantice’s that have been hoarding ammo, toilet paper and Ramon noodles. I would shake my head.

    They might get the last laugh.

  4. I can respect Friedman, but I’ve never been a fan of that quote. The truth is that a conscientious third party can spend someone else’s money carefully, and purchase things for others carefully. The problem is that care isn’t enough. You need to understand the needs of the person you’re buying for, and that’s impossible to do once you start violating subsidiarity.

    I’m making what might seem like a small distinction. But look at it from the perspective of the person you’re trying to persuade. Friedman is telling them that they don’t really care about others. People are going to take offense at that. People may well care more about how they spend money on the needy than how they spend money on themselves, because they know it’s important. But they’re not going to understand the situation of the needy. That’s something I can persuade someone of.

    People know that there are some who don’t make good decisions on their own. People know that they genuinely care what happens to those people. People will not be convinced that they don’t care. People can be convinced that a local project can address their needs better than a big project.

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