A Critical Look Into The Works Of Sir Milton Friedman

1537 words - 6 pages

Milton Friedman: His Economic Theories in Action in the Twenty First CenturyMilton Friedman was an American economist who contributed to the field of macroeconomics and microeconomics, while promoting free markets and laissez-faire capitalism. Milton Friedman is most well known for his advocation of free markets and his hypothesis on permanent income. In this paper, I have critically analyzed a few of Milton Friedman's investigations and work and their applicability as well as importance in today's time.In Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman makes the case for economic freedom as a precondition for political freedom. Friedman says that government has three primary functions. Government should provide for military defense of the nation, should enforce contracts between individuals and should protect citizens against crimes against themselves or their property. Ceteris paribus, a government that plays a limited role in the business and economic arena is more likely to allow for advancements in the business world and to allow for economic development. In essence, Thomas Jefferson's popular saying, "Government is best that governs least" appears to have influenced this particular theory of Milton Friedman.I strongly feel that in light of the political tension and unrest in the Middle East, particularly, between Palestine and Israel, politicians should adopt Friedman's aforementioned framework. For example, when Milton Friedman visited Israel in 1969, Jordanian money was allowed to circulate alongside Israeli money and their was active trade across the Jordan River. Furthermore, Israeli soldiers, at the time, were in strong support of free markets and non intervention. They saw the benefits of eliminating barriers to the movements of goods, men and capital, which they believed would foster the economic integration of the west bank with Israel. This is obviously not the case between Jordan, and many other Muslim countries in the Middle East today, and Israel. As a result, I feel that sound, political policies on part of both Israel and Palestine combined with free markets and trade would allow for a greater level of economic prosperity and stability in the region than at present. After all, if it could be achieved back in 1969, the chances of economic prosperity and stability with limited military and political control are also possible in today's time.Furthermore, with respect to Milton Friedman's permanent income hypothesis that states that the choices consumers make regarding their consumption patterns are determined not by current income but by their longer-term income expectations, I feel that this theory, accomodated by the theory on free markets, can strongly be applied to today's capitalist society in the United States. The crucial point of the permanent-income hypothesis, proposed by Milton Friedman is that people attempt to maintain a fairly constant standard of living even though their incomes may vary considerably. In Capitalism and Freedom,...

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