Capitalism And Freedom

I want to start today’s blog entry with a quote from Milton Friedman. Although I don’t agree with his definition of Business Ethics, I do agree with him on many of his other points. This is a quote from his 1962 work “Capitalism and Freedom.”

The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country. He will ask rather, ‘What can I and my compatriots do through government” to help us discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes, and above all, to protect our freedom. And he will accompany this question with another: How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?

Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.

Being a free marketer does not mean that I don’t believe in government. Being a Libertarian does not mean that I don’t think that government has a role in helping people when they need a leg up. But I am a person who believes in balance and responsibility. Democratic Capitalism is a balanced opportunity for commerce and the people to work together for the good of society. For Democratic Capitalism to work, it takes an aware populace paying attention. After yesterdays interchange between Congress and the President, I believe Democratic Capitalism is working. It appears we may not plug over the fiscal cliff after all.

And that is my thought for the day!


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