33 1 min 11 yrs

Excellent refresher on the great man by the always readable Butler!

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

33 thoughts on “WHAT I’M READING!

  1. Great? I dont know if you have noticed but his economic philosophy has been debunked on a global scale. Wherever his policies were implemented devastation was sure to follow shortly behind. Russia, Asia, Latin America, USA, Europe, UK! The lot. The top 1% (and idiots) disagree though.

  2. daytripper: huh? what part of the Friedman economic philosophy that has been debunked? how so?

  3. it’s better to have people think your a fool, than open your mouth and prove it

    Thanks for the laugh tripper

  4. The part that has and still causes the destruction of wealth for the majority (middle and lower classes) and the aggregation of that wealth upwards to a very tiny minority. His legacy is felt world wide.

    And I thought you guys were against redistribution of wealth?

  5. daytripper

    Please check the example of Chile, one of the most prosperous countries of Latin America. They implemented Friedman’s theories, as adapted to local conditions, and they have greatly benefited by it. The standard of living is high, they have a good, solvent private pension scheme, excellent national health plan.

    They withstood a massive earthquake, and are well on their way to recovering from it, largely by their own efforts and hard work.

    Out from the shadow of the dictatorship years, they are somewhat of a model country today.

  6. Just finished Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins.

    I highly recommend it for those looking to peel back the layers for a glimpse of economic truth.

    Pigs must be flying today, because I find myself agreeing with Daytripper.

  7. Phantom, Chile is now prosperous and socially responsible precisely because former president Michelle Bachelet Jeria rejected Friedman’s theories.

    That will likely change with the recent election of U.S. puppet, Sebastián Piñera.

  8. If we’re going to praise or reject Friedman we have to be sure which Friedman we’re talking about. In his long life he held to various beliefs at different times, for example accepting and then criticising Keynesianism.

    Notwithstanding his generally misconceived monetarist beliefs (accepting von Mises’ argument that inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon though still advocating central bankism) he was still a great man of liberty.

  9. You will see that the rise in their economy has been reasonably steady from the end of the Pinochet years, the transition from dictatorship to today

    The fundamental break from the old protectionist model happened in the Pinochet /immediate post Pinochet period

    The Chilean private pension system came in in 1980

    These were very positive changes – which helped lead to the prosperity of today.

    They have had their changes, as democratic countries do, but nearly all the foundation was in place in the seventies and very early eighties. The successor governments have tweaked, but they are too smart to mess with whist has been a winning hand, esp as compared with many of the neighbors

  10. Chile’s health care system has private and public options. Everyone must pay into it, so there are no freeloaders.

    If you don’t care too much about labels, it’s not that hard to deal with major issues, as Chile has done

  11. You conveniently leave out our government’s heavy hand in the region, Phantom.

  12. Compared to who?

    Compared to the neighbors they have been doing well over the past 30 years.

    Peruvians and Bolivians try to get into Chile – not vice versa.

    The general prosperity is off the charts higher than most neighbors, having improved in all relevant indices.

  13. Other countries that followed much of Friedman’s prescriptions were the Baltic states.

    A lot of people pointed to the enormous hit they took at the start of the economuc crisis as a refudiation of their policies. However even after suffering an massive decline in GDP (Estonia’s fell by 18%), their flexibility has mean that they have already grown GDP back to where it was before the crisis.

    Incidentally over the years they’ve followed Friedmanite ideas they have not only grown richer but also reduced inequality.

  14. It’s been a very light hand in the mainland of Latin America over the past 30 years – and that’s exactly the timeframe i speak of

  15. I won’t bet against the Baltics long term. Or Chile, Singapore, or Korea or any of the countries that have gotten the private / public balance just right

  16. One of the arguments Milton Friedman makes in Capitalism & Freedom is for the abolition of occupational licensing. I think he maybe goes too far in arguing for the complete abolition (even for practising medicine) but he did spot a damaging trend in Western economies. Especially the USA:

    “In the 1950s, when organisation man ruled, fewer than 5% of American workers needed licences. Today, after three decades of deregulation, the figure is almost 30%. Add to that people who are preparing to obtain a licence or whose jobs involve some form of certification and the share is 38%. Other rich countries impose far fewer fetters than the land of the free. In Britain only 13% of workers need licences (though that has doubled in 12 years).
    ….
    The list of jobs that require licences in some states already sounds like something from Monty Python—florists, handymen, wrestlers, tour guides, frozen-dessert sellers, firework operatives, second-hand booksellers and, of course, interior designers—but it will become sillier still if ambitious cat-groomers and dog-walkers get their way.”

    http://www.economist.com/node/18678963?story_id=18678963

  17. Ahh Freidman. The man who believed in ‘torturing people so prices could be free’. It’s patently ridiculous to cite Chile as an example of the ‘success’ of Friedman’s vision.

    Chile – The laboratory of neoliberalism

    Friedman and his Chicago boys should disgust all decent human beings. Propagating the myth that economic freedom is more important than political freedom. Anyone whose a fan should hold their heads in shame.

  18. “Ahh Freidman. The man who believed in ‘torturing people so prices could be free’. “

    If you have to tell lies to make your point then you probably don’t have a strong point.

  19. Ahhh the much vaunted ‘Miracle of Chile’. A miracle that required an absence of democracy, repression of opposition, torture and murder. A fine example of Chicago School economics.

    Just a taste:

    1973: Unemployment 4.3% Pinochet Coup
    1983: Unemployment 22% Wages down 40%

    Milton Friedman calls Miracle in 1981.

  20. Cherry picking statistics like that is designed to mislead people. Why not look at the long term trends in Chile? because it flatly contradicts your assertions.

    In 1983 there was a recession in Chile caused by a collapse in copper prices and the policy of tying the Peso to the US dollar (which Friedman opposed).

    “A miracle that required an absence of democracy, repression of opposition, torture and murder. “

    On the contrary, as he noted, free market economics tends to produce politically free countries- as happened in Chile.

  21. Why not look at the long term trends in Chile? because it flatly contradicts your assertions.

    Not really. Chile has had periods of growth above the continental norm and below, its also had deeper and steeper crashes. Add that to its GINI value and the same picture emerges. Big growth for the few and little or none for most of the rest.

    On the contrary, as he noted, free market economics tends to produce politically free countries- as happened in Chile.”

    Free of opposition. Those who disagree have long since been expunged from the system and the population.

    Neo-Liberalist economics dark little secret is that it has no interest in democracy. It still holds on to the illusion that market forces can liberate everyone and everything, when infact its decisions usually have to be implemented with force. 30+ years of world experimentation and now collapse has totally debunked the absolutist quasi-religious approach. The majority have lost much power and wealth, while over the same period a tiny minority have gained both enormously.

  22. Also, on the subject of cherry picking, you ignore the fact that just prior to the recession the privatised banking sector had imploded in a frenzy of self financed buyouts of industries, bringing the rest of the country down with it (sounds oddly familiar). I dont know the details, but I’d take a guess that any contemporary drop in copper price possibly exposed masses of leverage, no doubt staked on future earnings of such assets/commodities.

  23. Who told you this?

    When she was elected, all of five whole years ago –she reaffirmed Chile’s free trading ways. She increased social spending, which was the right call there, but the fundamental direction of the economy and the country did not change.

    Hers was no revolution – it was democracy at work in a free country.

    And prosperity in a sizable country doesn’t happen in five year intervals anyway.

  24. Old Jack and daytripper need to make stuff up in order to participate in discussions of Chile, since the facts here are simply devastating to their entire world views. Daytripper’s extreme dishonesty by means of cherrypicking should tell us how much to believe him ever again.

    I don’t justify Pinochet’s undoing of a democratically elected government. It was wrong.

    But Pinochet left power peacefully, unlike Castro, whose junta has never allowed any democratic expression in over a half century.

    And he laid the foundations for a prosperity that has increased steadily over three decades and more.

    Ten years from now, Chile will be even more prosperous, while other countries in the region will not be. Some of us better start making up excuses for that right now.

  25. Daytripper’s extreme dishonesty by means of cherrypicking should tell us how much to believe him ever again.

    Oh come come, stop downplaying.

    But Pinochet left power peacefully, unlike Castro, whose junta has never allowed any democratic expression in over a half century.

    What has Cuba or a peaceful political transition got to do with it?

    the facts here are simply devastating to their entire world views.

    What facts? Friedman economics has dominated for over a generation and there is more economic inequality and instability, less mobility, political freedom and loss of liberties. His philosophy has failed to deliver on many if not all of its promises. The exception ofcourse is the 1% at the top. They have gained, economically and politically.

    And he laid the foundations for a prosperity that has increased steadily over three decades and more.

    After the coup he actually kept much of the agrarian reform (The reason for the coup). After the recession he renationalised many industries (after private sector failure), and kicked out the “Chicago Boys”.

    It would seem that Allende deserves much of the credit too. Copper is still a national asset, as far as i know.

    Ten years from now, Chile will be even more prosperous, while other countries in the region will not be. Some of us better start making up excuses for that right now.

    You should be an economist.

Comments are closed.