Sadly, despite real life proving Dr. Friedman’s economic theories every day, it appears that America has done an about face and is marching in the opposite direction. Listening to Milton Friedman patiently and clearly explain on YouTube how more government equals less freedom and prosperity, how government spending is never free, and how free markets and decentralized control will always produce the best results, it is hard to imagine why the US would choose the path leading towards North Korea and not the one towards Switzerland.
The last few years have seen amazing examples of well intentioned policies that achieve the exact opposite of their intent. The Affordable Care Act was sold as a way to ensure affordable access to health insurance, yet has only caused health insurance costs to spike and driven millions out of coverage. The Dodd-Frank Act was supposed to curb the excesses of large financial institutions and prevent a recurrence of “too-big-too-fail” bailouts; but has only burdened smaller banks with more burdensome regulation while the big banks grow larger. And with the next financial crisis right around the corner, it is suspected that we will soon see that “too-big-to-fail” was not eliminated but actually codified into law.
After complaining in the 2008 elections about how the unrestrained spending of President Bush led to the financial crisis, the Democrats promptly took office and started a deficit spending spree that continues to this day. The government has wracked up an unprecedented series of trillion dollar deficits the name of stimulating the economy and improving the lot of the poor and middle class. Instead, the economy has still not recovered from the recession in 2009, and median income is still down. If Milton Friedman were here, he would remind us that there is no “free lunch”, that when the government spends money it is not increasing wealth it is simply redistributing it; and when the government spends money it does not have, it is committing to taxing us that much more in the future or through the “invisible tax” of inflation.
If only Milton Friedman were here today, and if only the American public would listen….