Government Bytes


Ken Blackwell on Milton Friedman

by Dan Barrett / /

Last week, Ken Blackwell, member of the board of directors for the National Taxpayers Union and director of the Coalition for Mortgage Security, wrote an article for Forbes praising Milton Friedman for his contribution to the understanding of free markets and advancement of individual rights in honor of the late economist’s 102nd birthday. In addition to outlining Friedman’s ideas regarding the role of government in civil society, Blackwell commends him for accurately predicting the growth of government and anti-market sentiments that has occurred in recent years.

Friedman believed that government responsibility should be limited to military defense, the enforcement of contracts between individuals, and the protection of citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. He further argued that government intervention in the economy ultimately leads to, “inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom.” In his 1994 reintroduction to Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, Friedman suggested that “the battle for freedom” is one that “must be won over and over again.” Blackwell’s analysis of Friedman’s introduction to Hayek’s pivotal work sheds light on the dangers Americans face today as our government continues to expand, assault for-profit institutions, intervene in the healthcare market, and disregard private property rights.    

Thanks to Kelly Hastings for writing this post.