Greed Economics Milton Friedman Video on "Greed:" Term Paper

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GREED

Economics

Milton Friedman video on "Greed:" Is greed really necessary?

The University of Chicago economist Milton Freidman was famous for his endorsement of the capitalist system and the concept that 'greed is good.' Friedman believed that capitalism was the source of all positive human development and intellectual ferment. Capitalism had improved the lot of the individual worker, even though capitalism had occasionally been unfair in its allocation of resources and did not reward virtue in a just fashion. Communism, in contrast, was a system driven by political, rather than economic self-interest, and the end result was far worse for the average individual. Capitalism at least permitted some form of social mobility and the possibilities of change for people who worked hard, while communism created a calcified system where the party elite, not the 'best' rose to the top.

There are many objections that can be raised to Friedman's relatively sunny and uncomplicated view of capitalism. First and foremost, capitalism can generate a class of elite money and property-holders who structure the system so they can profit more than ordinary individuals. The 'deck is stacked' in favor of people who grow up in families with money, go to the 'right' schools, make the 'right' connections and ultimately get the right jobs and live in attractive areas.
Having these advantages does not necessarily make someone a more productive or better person. But Friedman's point is that even though this may be an injustice, overall the negative impacts of a non-free society are much greater in material terms even upon the least well-off members of society. A poor person in the U.S., Friedman would argue, is better off because of the generally higher standard of living in this country, than a poor person in the (former communist nation) of the U.S.S.R.

But while this may be true in many respects (one reason that the U.S.S.R. is no longer in existence as a nation), it is also true that schematically pairing the U.S. versus the U.S.S.R. In terms of quality of life is not really a fair assessment of capitalism. There are many different 'shades of grey' in terms of how capitalism….....

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