"I endorse Austro Libertarian Magazine 100%" —Tom Woods

Hoppe on Milton Friedman and the Drift Toward Statism

"I endorse Austro Libertarian Magazine 100%" —Tom Woods

Hoppe on Milton Friedman and the Drift Toward Statism

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on pocket

From Natural Elites, Intellectuals, and the State:

This seemingly unstoppable drift toward statism is illustrated by the fate of the so-called Chicago School: Milton Friedman, his predecessors, and his followers. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Chicago School was still considered left-fringe, and justly so, considering that Friedman, for instance, advocated a central bank and paper money instead of a gold standard. He wholeheartedly endorsed the principle of the welfare state with his proposal of a guaranteed minimum income (negative income tax) on which he could not set a limit. He advocated a progressive income tax to achieve his explicitly egalitarian goals (and he personally helped implement the withholding tax). Friedman endorsed the idea that the State could impose taxes to fund the production of all goods that had a positive neighborhood effect or which he thought would have such an effect. This implies, of course, that there is almost nothing that the state can not tax-fund!

In addition, Friedman and his followers were proponents of the shallowest of all shallow philosophies: ethical and epistemological relativism. There is no such thing as ultimate moral truths and all of our factual, empirical knowledge is at best only hypothetically true. Yet they never doubted that there must be a state, and that the state must be democratic.

Today, half a century later, the Chicago-Friedman school, without having essentially changed any of its positions, is regarded as right-wing and free-market. Indeed, the school defines the borderline of respectable opinion on the political Right, which only extremists cross. Such is the magnitude of the change in public opinion that public employees have brought about.

Please consider supporting al. we want to grow.

Enjoying AL?

Support Us

Do you find value in what we do? Please consider supporting us monthly or with a single contribution to our efforts.

Facebook

Like our Facebook page! We want more people to see and share our output!

Magazine

The Spring issue of our print publication is out now! Order today!

CJay Engel

Creator and Editor of Austro Libertarian. Lives in Northern CA, runs several businesses, spends time with his family, and reads as much economics and political theory as possible.

"Read AL Mag." –Ghandi