My post on Dan Itse, and cleaning up older emails.... - Granite Grok

My post on Dan Itse, and cleaning up older emails….

Tim is a relatively new poster here on the ‘Grok (which which, again, I say "Thanks!") and has been, in an email thread I was invited to, instrumental in getting this Conservative to look at some things in a different way.  I have been known to say that I am a Conservative, but with (small "L") libertarian leanings – and that is partially the success (er, heh! the fault??) of Tim.

I’m still running over some of the things that Dan had said this past Friday night and how we might "conserve" those freedoms and liberties that were first outlined by our Founders after their first hand knowledge of the tyrannical governments that had come before and their efforts to set up a system that would preserve them (or, if you like "conserve" them).

Tim had sent me an email with a YouTube of Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in economics confronting Phil Donahue (THE TV talk show host as I was growing up) on free markets and capitalism.

The money quote from Milton:

In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that.

Dan’s
talk provides the connection – laying out the constructs and the foundation is necessary and IS the proper role of government. There is a connection – where Government promotes individuals and the capability for economic freedom, the people prosper. Where there is poor governance, where there is a top-down mentality, where government allows or tacitly condones corruption, the people suffer.

Full transcript after the jump (via Vote For David):

If you didn’t hear this exchange, you really missed out. Milton Friedman was having an interview with Phil Donahue and the subject came around to Capitalist Greed. Friedman, in a voice that was level, self-assured and, above all, calm just completely destroyed Donahue and every other Communist/Socialist/Marxist/Leftist/Statist out there, EVER. This was the reasoned discourse you wish you could find on the alphabet networks. No shouting, no hysterics, just two men trying to be reasonable with each other. Here’s the money quote:

Donahue: When you see around the globe the mal-distribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed’s a good idea to run on?

Friedman: Well, first of all, tell me is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy; its only the other fellow who’s greedy.

The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear: that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

Donahue: But it seems to reward not virtue as much as ability to manipulate the system.

Friedman: And what does reward virtue? You think the communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think – excuse me, if you will pardon me – do you think American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout? Is it really true that political self interest is nobler somehow than economic self interest? You know I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us? Well, I don’t even trust you to do that.

Guess I am going to have to find the rest of that show!