Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Friedman

Why do good people allow bad things to happen? Let Milton Friedman tell us how.


  1. It's almost as though he was psychic. So much of what he says is so relevant still.

    Brilliant Friday series Matt, thanks.

  2. Why do people let the government arrogate ever more power?

    I don't think it's simple naivete.

    The lies we are most susceptible to are the lies we tell ourselves.

    The lies we* tell ourselves are the lies that appeal to our moral vanity.

    I am a good person. These others - they are the bad people. Government should have power over them. This is democracy, therefore I am the government, therefore I have power over the bad people. Therefore I am a good person. And all good people should want more of the government that controls the bad people. The more power the government has over the bad people, the better person I am!

    [* And by "we" I mean "me, too"]

    1. Simple naivete. "I believe in my government. So, therefore, my government must have the best interests of its people in mind," completely forgetting that governments are run by egotistical selfish bastards.

    2. Matt, there's definitely that, but I really noticed the whole moral vanity thing reading the comments in the NYT after Bloomberg banned big sodas in NYC restaurants.

      There were so many people who sounded really empowered - like they'd slapped a Big Gulp directly out of the hands of some fat guy themselves, and it made them feel awesome.

      To be fair to New York, there were many - more than I expected - who understood that Bloomberg's over-reach would have been comical had it not been so creepy.

      But the petty fascists - wow - they came out and celebrated. If they'd been Palestinians, they'd have handed out candy.

    3. Yes, there are those. But I don't think many of them realize what they have. As the saying goes, "You don't know what you got 'till it's gone." If those people really got all the restrictions they (think they) favor, they will be the biggest criers about their loss of rights.

  3. Another excellent point by Freidman. This should be televised at the top of the news hour every evening. TY, Matt.