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The Idea Channel
Milton Friedman Speaks
A message from television producer and Idea Channel Founder Bob Chitester: Recorded in 1977-78, these 15 lectures by Milton Friedman were originally intended to be the core content of what became the Free To Choose television programs. When I first approached him about hosting a TV series, Milton was concerned about his ability to "talk to the camera," so he proposed giving a series of lectures, which would be used as the core of the TV programs. In an effort to convince him to undertake the venture, I agreed to try this approach, while explaining my reservations. After doing about six of the scheduled lectures, he realized my assessment was correct, but since he had already agreed to the other appearances, all 15 were completed. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich provided funding to record the lectures and for several years sold video tapes to colleges and universities. The rights to the recordings have now reverted to Free To Choose Enterprise, which has licensed The Idea Channel to make them available to the general public. They'll introduce you to Milton Friedman's brilliant analytical skills while demonstrating his ability to make economics understandable. We hope you find them informative, as well as entertaining.
To hear thoughts on a range of topics recorded by The Idea Channel
(an initiative of Free To Choose Network) click the links below.
What is America?
Is America still the land of opportunity, or is it a land worn thin, showing much bureaucracy and less freedom? Dr. Friedman’s view of America’s present situation is not sanguine. He identifies...
Myths That Conceal Reality
Five myths cloud our perception of both the past and the present. (1) The “robber baron” myth which holds that in late nineteenth-century America there were powerful men who became rich at the...
Is Capitalism Humane?
The question is irrelevant. Capitalism per se is not humane or inhumane; nor is socialism. If we compare the two in terms of results, it is clear that only capitalism fosters equality and works toward...
The Role of Government in a Free Society
John Stuart Mill said, in effect, that self-protection is the only legitimate reason for people to interfere with the freedom of others. If we are to define the role of government in a free society,...
What is Wrong with the Welfare State?
The welfare state is an attempt to “do good” with someone else’s money. The aim may be worthy but the means are faulty. The problem is that you do not spend someone else’s money as carefully...
Money and Inflation
Inflation is blamed on many things. But it has only one cause: It is a monetary phenomenon. Inflation occurs when the quantity of money increases faster than the quantity of goods. Why does the money...
Is Tax Reform Possible?
Why do Americans pay more in taxes than they really want to? Can they do anything about it? Americans must understand that their true tax burden is what the government spends—regardless of how that...
Free Trade: Producer vs Consumer
If free trade is so good, why is protectionism so popular? Part of the answer lies in a simple political principle — interests that are concentrated (those of the producer) are more politically...
The Energy Crisis: A Humane Solution
It’s pointless to try to predict the availability of adequate sources of energy. What we need is an adjustable mechanism to enable us to adapt to whatever happens. We already have such a mechanism:...
The Economics of Medical Care
Increasing government involvement in medical care will take us toward fully socialized medicine. This trend is clearly against the interests of patients, physicians, and other health care personnel....
Putting Learning Back in the Classroom
The quality of public education in America today in many places is deplorable. Dr. Friedman identifies (1) the increasing centralization and bureaucratization of the educational establishment, which...
Who Protects the Consumer?
Consumer legislation doesn’t in the end protect the consumer; rather, it benefits the consumer advocates, including reformers, special interest groups, and regulatory agencies. What does protect the...
Who Protects the Worker?
Unions offer protection to workers in some situations, but union membership represents only one-fifth of the American labor force. And while some unions do benefit their members, it is generally at...
Equality and Freedom in the Free Enterprise System
If the government has the power and responsibility to promote equality of income, then how do we define the concept of equality? Jefferson, in his Declaration of Independence, meant equality before...
The Future of Our Free Society
We live under a form of slavery—government domination of the market economy. We have come a long way from a truly free economy: Consider the number of markets to which new firms do not have free...