46 Motivational Milton Friedman Quotes For Success

Milton Friedman was an American economist who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history, and theory and the complexity of stabilization policy. This Milton Friedman quotes on capitalism, greed, business will motivate you.

Best Milton Friedman Quotes

  1. When a man spends his own money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about how much he spends and how he spends it. When a man spends his own money to buy something for someone else, he is still very careful about how much he spends, but somewhat less what he spends it on. When a man spends someone else’s money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about what he buys but doesn’t care at all how much he spends. And when a man spends someone else’s money on someone else, he doesn’t care how much he spends or what he spends it on. And that’s government for you. ~ Milton Friedman
  2. The essential notion of capitalist society … is voluntary cooperation, voluntary exchange. The essential notion of a socialist society is force. ~ Milton Friedman
  3. One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results. ~ Milton Friedman

  4. If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. ~ Milton Friedman
  5. A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both. ~ Milton Friedman
  6. Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government– in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost comes in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. The government should be a referee, not an active player. ~ Milton Friedman
  7. You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state. ~ Milton Friedman

  8. You cannot be sure that you are right unless you understand the arguments against your views better than your opponents do. ~ Milton Friedman
  9. The only corporate social responsibility a company has is to maximize its profits. ~ Milton Friedman
  10. When you start paying people to be poor, you wind up with an awful lot of poor people. ~ Milton Friedman
  11. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving a lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free-enterprise system. ~ Milton Friedman
  12. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. ~ Milton Friedman

  13. The government doesn’t have any money. The only power it has is to take from some and give to others. ~ Milton Friedman
  14. A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests. ~ Milton Friedman
  15. The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. ~ Milton Friedman Quotes
  16. Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. ~ Milton Friedman

  17. There are severe limits to the good that the government can do for the economy, but there are almost no limits to the harm it can do. ~ Milton Friedman
  18. Why have we had such a decline in the moral climate? I submit to you that a major factor has been a change in the philosophy which has been dominant, a change from belief in individual responsibility to belief in social responsibility. If you adopt the view that a man is not responsible for his own behavior, that somehow society is responsible, why should he seek to make his behavior good? ~ Milton Friedman
  19. I’m not in favor of no government. You do need a government. But by doing so many things that the government has no business doing, it cannot do those things which it alone can do well. There’s no other institution in my opinion that can provide us with the protection of our life and liberty. However, the government performs that basic function poorly today, precisely because it is devoting too much of its efforts and spending too much of our income on things that are harmful. So I have no doubt that that’s the major single problem we face. ~ Milton Friedman
  20. Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. ~ Milton Friedman

  21. The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another. ~ Milton Friedman
  22. Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government. ~ Milton Friedman
  23. The strongest argument for free enterprise is that it prevents anybody from having too much power. Whether that person is a government official, a trade union official, or a business executive. If forces them to put up or shut up. They either have to deliver the goods, produce something that people are willing to pay for, are willing to buy, or else they have to go into a different business. ~ Milton Friedman
  24. The combination of economic and political power in the same hands is a sure recipe for tyranny. ~ Milton Friedman

  25. The only reason there is a crisis about Social Security in the US and pensions in Europe and Japan is that you cannot maintain a “Ponzi” scheme indefinitely. We have collected from today’s young to pay today’s old and counted on tomorrow’s young to keep doing so. That was a fine scheme as long as the number of young people was rising faster than old people. When that ratio comes to an end, such a system also has to end. ~ Milton Friedman
  26. The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises, by government-union-industry cartels, or by centralized economic planning. It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system. And losses were at least as important in weeding out failures, as profits in fostering successes. Let government succor failures, and we shall be headed for stagnation and decline. ~ Milton Friedman
  27. Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom. By enabling people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction, it reduces the area over which political power is exercised. ~ Milton Friedman
  28. If you pay people not to work and tax them when they do, don’t be surprised if you get unemployment. ~ Milton Friedman

  29. I would say that in this world, the greatest source of inequality has been special privileges granted by government. ~ Milton Friedman
  30. The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm, capitalism is that kind of a system. ~ Milton Friedman
  31. Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? ~ Milton Friedman
  32. Whenever we depart from voluntary cooperation and try to do good by using force, the bad moral value of force triumphs over good intentions. ~ Milton Friedman

  33. A society that puts equality – in the sense of equality of outcome – ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality or freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom. On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality. Freedom means diversity but also mobility. It preserves the opportunity for today’s less well off to become tomorrow’s rich, and in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a richer and fuller life. ~ Milton Friedman
  34. Anything that government can do, private enterprise can do for half the cost. ~ Milton Friedman, Milton Friedman quotes on government
  35. A minimum-wage law is, in reality, a law that makes it illegal for an employer to hire a person with limited skills. ~ Milton Friedman
  36. Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. ~ Milton Friedman

  37. We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork. ~ Milton Friedman
  38. And what does reward virtue? You think the communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think, excuse me, if you’ll pardon me, American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout? ~ Milton Friedman
  39. There’s nothing that does so much harm as good intentions. ~ Milton Friedman
  40. If you spend your own money on yourself, you care how much you spend and how well you spend it. If you spend your own money on someone else, you care how much you spend, but you don’t care how well it is spent. If you spend someone else’s money on yourself, you don’t care how much you spend, but you do care how well it is spent. And finally, if you spend someone else’s money on someone else, you don’t care how much you spend, and you don’t care how well it is spent. That is the government. ~ Milton Friedman
  41. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. ~ Milton Friedman

  42. You know there are very few Marxists left in the world… they’re all in American universities. ~ Milton Friedman
  43. Society doesn’t have values. People have values. ~ Milton Friedman
  44. “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” ~ Milton Friedman, Milton Friedman quotes on inflation
  45. You never can cure poverty. Poverty is in the eye of the beholder. ~ Milton Friedman
  46. Had drugs been decriminalized, the 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. ~ Milton Friedman

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