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Milton Friedman Quotes
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A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.

The two chief enemies of the free society or free enterprise are intellectuals on the one hand and businessmen on the other, for opposite reasons. Every intellectual believes in freedom for himself, but he’s opposed to freedom for others... He thinks there ought to be a central planning board that will establish social priorities... The businessmen are just the opposite—every businessman is in favor of freedom for everybody else, but when it comes to himself that’s a different question. He’s always the special case. He ought to get special privileges from the government, a tariff, this, that, and the other thing.

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I credit Milton Friedman to shaping my belief that the "War on Drugs" is wrong and has created a profitable industry for criminals that harms people: Drug abuse should be treated as a medical problem, not a crime. Here are some "Milton Friedman War on Drugs" quotes:

  • ""Had drugs been decriminalized, crack would never have been invented and there would today be fewer addicts... The ghettos would not be drug-and-crime-infested no-man's lands... Colombia, Bolivia and Peru would not be suffering from narco-terror, and we would not be distorting our foreign policy because of it."
  • ""I've long been in favor of legalizing all drugs," he says, but not because of the standard libertarian arguments for unrestricted personal freedom. "Look at the factual consequences: The harm done and the corruption created by these laws...the costs are one of the lesser evils."
  • ""There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana," the economist says, "$7.7 billion is a lot of money, but that is one of the lesser evils. Our failure to successfully enforce these laws is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Colombia. I haven't even included the harm to young people. It's absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of marijuana for medical purposes."


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Updated 3/27/08

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Article: Monday January 29, 2007 is “Milton Friedman Day”