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Ten classic Milton Friedman quotes

AEIdeas

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At the Bankable Insight blog, Charles Seeburger features these ten great quotations below from Milton Friedman, along with some of his commentary following each quote here.

  1. Equality and Freedom. A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
  1. Intentions vs. Results. One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.
  1. Weeds. Now here’s somebody who wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette. If he’s caught, he goes to jail. Now is that moral? Is that proper? I think it’s absolutely disgraceful that our government, supposed to be our government, should be in the position of converting people who are not harming others into criminals, of destroying their lives, putting them in jail. That’s the issue to me. The economic issue comes in only for explaining why it has those effects. But the economic reasons are not the reasons.
  1. Government Programs. Nothing is as permanent as a temporary government program.
  1. Freedom and the Free Market. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
  1. Social Responsibility of Business. There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.
  1. Property Rights. I think that nothing is so important for freedom as recognizing in the law each individual’s natural right to property, and giving individuals a sense that they own something that they’re responsible for, that they have control over, and that they can dispose of.
  1. Drug Legalization. I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.
  1. Internet. I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government.
  1. Greed. Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.

Discussion (32 comments)

  1. Seattle Sam says:

    Milton Friedman also said that you can have open borders or you can have a welfare state, but the two can’t exist together. Drug legalization poses a similar dilemma. If people were allowed to kill themselves with drugs, that would be one thing. But they aren’t. What they do is become unemployable and live off the welfare state. In Seattle, the biggest challenge for employers is finding people who a) want to work and b) can pass a drug test. With the legalization of marijuana, increasingly more of the potential workforce is intoxicated half the time.

    Now this may be a case where you have to choose the better of two bad outcomes, but drug legalization is not without serious drawbacks. I don’t particularly want to live in a Clockwork Orange society.

    1. morganovich says:

      sam-

      “But they aren’t. What they do is become unemployable and live off the welfare state.”

      actually, the opposite is true. when test programs in switzerland and the UK gave free prescription heroin to patients, they actually went back and GOT jobs and stopped living off the welfare state.

      it normalized their lives.

      this same thing was true before drugs were banned in the US. doses were lower, prices were lower, and purity was far higher. most of the ill effects of heroin are not the heroin. they are from the impurities and cutting agents. THAT is what makes you sick and drives medicaid costs.

      100’s of thousands of americans are on prescription drugs like morphine for ling periods. they do not stop working etc. heroin is only different because it’s poor quality.

      if you want to read a really interesting book on the topic, i recommend “chasing the scream”, a history of the drug war and a look at solutions that have worked.

      people really misunderstand drugs and even more so addiction. (and i say this as someone whose GF is an addiction specialist and ran a study in it at a major US hospital recently.)

      the idea that it’s the drug that hooks you is largely wrong. you get hooked because of you, not the drug. it’s not very different from gambling or sex addiction. much of it stems from early trauma. the stats on that are astounding.

      if you are abused as a child, your risk of addiction rises 10-30x.

      the counter intuitive aspect of this is that criminalizing drugs and shaming users actually makes addictive behavior worse. study after study has shown this. if you take that out, people tend to reduce use and wean themselves off the drugs.

      the results in portugal show this. post decriminalization, addiction rates are down.

      the idea that legal drugs = clockwork orange is simply inaccurate. we had legal drugs. it was not like that at all.

      who cares if people smoke pot in the evening or take extacy on saturday night and go dancing? is it any more harmful than people who have a beer with dinner? why, as an employer, would you care? what is the actual issue? as long as they do not come to work high, their free time seems like their business. come to work drunk, yeah, i’ll fire you. have some wine with dinner, none of my concern.

      you also leave out a key issue of legal drugs:

      it can be user pays.

      right now, i pay for a drug war i do not want, incredibly expensive incarceration of people i think have done nothing wrong, drug treatment programs, AND the health costs of the addicted indigent which are much higher because the drugs are so impure and dangerous.

      if drugs are legal, we lose the enforcement and jail costs, and we can TAX THEM. let the drug users pay for addiction programs. let drug companies offer a safer product and drop health costs. let the taxes help cover medical issues and even pay into the general fund for welfare etc.

      keep in mind: we do not care about a casual drug user and more than we care about a casual drinker. they are not harming society or themselves. even if drug uses rises a bit on legalization, that just generates more taxes AND increases our freedom.

      it’s those with serious addiction problems we worry about, and legalization has been show to reduce that, not increase it.

      finally, it’s worth remembering, talk of cost benefit is all well and good, but first you need the right to do something. by what right can a just government deny its citizens the right to make their own recreational choices so long as they do not violate the rights of others?

      until one can answer that question, even considering cost benefit is premature.

      we could get FAR more by combating obesity. what if we put every american with body fat over x% on mandatory calorie restriction? that law would save INCREDIBLE amounts of money. it would reduce welfare, medicare and medicaid, make us more productive, and bolster the national defense by ending “too fat to fight”.

      the cost/benefit on it is phenomenal. does that give the state the right to do it?

      1. Paul says:

        Morg,

        “but first you need the right to do something. by what right can a just government deny its citizens the right to make their own recreational choices so long as they do not violate the rights of others?”

        That’s fine as a general principle, and I agree with it. Where I check out is when a libertarian tells me society shouldn’t make any judgement against people like Freddy Gray who earned money helping his fellow ghetto denizens get addicted to narcotics. Dangerous drug dealers DO harm others. I hear that every time one gets snuffed out, an angel gets its wings.

        1. morganovich says:

          paul-

          and you could make the same argument about every rib shack that feeds the obesity epidemic.

          shall we ban that too?

          how about booze?

          i also question this notion you have about drug dealers “getting people hooked”. that’s not how it works.

          the physical model of addiction is almost completely wrong and has been widely disproven.

          it’s not the drugs, it’s the people. most people can use opiods and never get addicted.

          http://mic.com/articles/110750/why-everything-you-know-about-drug-addiction-and-the-war-on-drugs-is-wrong

          i really recommend the book they are discussing. my girlfriend is a phd in neuroscience who specializes in addiction. she gave it to me. people think they understand how addiction works, but they flat out do not. the general belief we have about it iin the US completely wrong.

          if you legalize drugs, you get fewer addicts. this happens every time someone tries it with either a prescription program or decriminalization.

          like you, i’d prefer to see fewer addicts. the way to do that is to legalize drugs. the evidence on that is very strong. again, i really recommend “chasing the scream.”

          also note: i did not say “harm” i said “violate the rights of”.

          dating a jerk harms a woman. but it’s no business of the state.

          i think getting a face tattoo is harmful. some people want one. again, none of the state’s business.

          just because some third party thinks that what 2 other consenting adults is doing is harmful does not give a state the right to ban it.

          lots of this stuff is subjective. does getting drunk harm you? it depends on who you ask.

          sure, i may feel awful the next day, but it might be worth it to me. perhaps not to someone else.

          why force the choices of one onto another? if you wanna get high, knock yourself out, do it, deal with it, enjoy it, and take any consequences.

          so long as you do not violate anyone’s rights while you do it, it’s your affair.

          1. Paul says:

            Morg,

            “and you could make the same argument about every rib shack that feeds the obesity epidemic.”

            Ok, that’s exactly what I’m saying: libertarians believe a restaurateur is no different from a ghetto heroin dealer. Sorry, I’m never going to buy into that one, and I suspect 90% of the public never would either even if they support decriminalization of drugs.

            I’m sure you’re more informed than I am about addiction itself.

            “why force the choices of one onto another? if you wanna get high, knock yourself out, do it, deal with it, enjoy it, and take any consequences.”

            Yes, that last word: consequences. The welfare bum is shielded from the full consequences of his actions. And he’s hindered by drug use far more than a middle class or wealthy dude who isn’t already in a deep economic and cultural hole. Maybe legalizing is the answer, but I’d prefer to wait until government hammock is rolled up first.

          2. T says:

            Morgan, excellent post. Paul need look no further than Prohibition to see the impacts of criminalizing victimless activities. Sadly, our nation is full of ill-informed busybodies who want to tell others how to live.

      2. Seattle Sam says:

        All I can tell you is what I hear from employers in Washington. Unless you test for drugs, they DO come to work stoned. They go out to job sites stoned. They don’t tend to drink on the job because it’s much easier to detect. You have no idea how many job applicants end the process when they find out they will be drug tested.

        1. morganovich says:

          sam-

          well, then fire them, but i have real doubts that making it legal or no has a big effect.

          if you’re the kind of person who goes to work stoned, you’re going to do it anyhow.

          as i said, i have no issue with firing someone for coming to work in a compromised state regardless of the legality of the inebriant.

          booze, pot, codine, or prescription oxy, if it make you a danger, that’s all there is to it.

          i’m just speaking about people’s private time.

          pot is particularly difficult that way. it stays in your system for months. so, you could easily test positive but never come to work stoned.

          that creates a bit of a difficult situation. there is no test like a breathalyzer for pot. it can’t tell if you are high right now or last weekend.

  2. Jason K says:

    The follow up to the greed comment, when Donahue laments the lack of virtue in the system, is also one of his best.

    “And what does reward virtue? Do you think the communist commissar rewards virtue? Do you think Hitler rewards virtue? Do you think 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? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? You know, I think you’re taking a lot of things for granted. Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us.”

  3. Paul says:

    Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.

    Problem is we are learning some groups do not handle freedom well. the Germans and Japanese, once freed from tyrants, built some of the most prosperous societies the world has ever seen. OTOH, the Iraqis were given their freedom and they used the occasion to cut their neighbor’s throat.

    1. Ron H. says:

      Paul

      Military occupation for more than a decade and a government established for them is freedom?

      1. Paul says:

        Ron,

        Your objections about government and occupation still worked out fine for Japan and Germany. We have forces in Europe and Japan, 70 yrs after the end of WWII. The barbarism amongst the Iraqis started pretty soon after Saddam was toppled. Bottom line is some cultures suck. Let’s use that knowledge gained when crafting immigration policy.

        1. Ron H. says:

          Paul

          I see that morganovich has already made some of the arguments I would make about homogeneous cultures and internal conflict, so I won’t repeat them.

          you can’t refer to an “Iraqi culture”, because there’s no such thing. There are are several distinctive groups within the arbitrarily drawn boundary of what we call Iraq.

          What we CAN predict with some accuracy is that as Uncle Sam travels the globe picking off despicable tyrants, and unpopular regimes, chaos fills the vacuum. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya…where else can you think of?

          Would you deny entry to ALL Iraqis, or would you admit those with high IQs?

          Different time. Different cirucmstances, as we have discussed numerous times.

          Yes, and the major difference is still the welfare state.

          None of those previous groups of immigrants were forced to assimilate, they *chose* to do so, as they recognized the superiority of their new home over the one they had come from.

          How’s Puerto Rico doing after 100 yrs of Americanization?

          I’m still not sure what you mean by that question. PR is doing better than 90% of other SA and CA countries. Puerto Ricans must be doing as well as they would like to do, because they can easily travel to any other point in the US if they choose to do so.

          Let’s use that knowledge gained when crafting immigration policy.

          What would your version of Iraqi immigration policy look like?

          1. Paul says:

            Ron,

            I see that morganovich has already made some of the arguments I would make about homogeneous cultures and internal conflict, so I won’t repeat them.

            So why import them onto our soil?

            “you can’t refer to an “Iraqi culture”, because there’s no such thing. There are are several distinctive groups within the arbitrarily drawn boundary of what we call Iraq.”

            Yep. The Kurds, for example, seem to be somewhat civilized. A buddy of mine spent a lot of time in Baghdad during his deployments. He showed me pictures of a Christian village. Looked poor, but very tidy. The pictures of the Islamic villages showed garbage and sewage everywhere.

            “What we CAN predict with some accuracy is that as Uncle Sam travels the globe picking off despicable tyrants, and unpopular regimes, chaos fills the vacuum. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya

            Sure. See any common denominator there?

            “Yes, and the major difference is still the welfare state.”

            Well, that and automation, the closing of the frontier, the rise of high tech media, modern travel, Cultural Marxism, etc.

            But anyway, it’s nice to see you agree with me that there is at least one big difference between now and the previous eras of mass immigration open borders advocates are always heralding.

            PR is doing better than 90% of other SA and CA countries.

            Rather low bar to clear, Ron. However, that wasn’t Morganovich’s point. He brought up ethnic groups that converged into the melting pot. So how is PR doing in assimilation to the norm after a century? Piss poor. 1/2 the median income of our poorest state, Mississippi. Massive debt load. Sky high unemployment. 45% live below the poverty line. All this even though the island has been given all kinds of tax breaks to promote manufacturing.

            “Puerto Ricans must be doing as well as they would like to do, because they can easily travel to any other point in the US if they choose to do so.

            Well, good for them. Meanwhile, PR is an anchor around the necks of the taxpayers.

            What would your version of Iraqi immigration policy look like?

            Probably like the one we have for inhabitants of the planet Neptune.

          2. Ron H. says:

            Paul

            So why import them onto our soil?

            The issue was and is invading and conquering a country and then occupying it for many years, trying to impose a single alien form of central government on several different groups of people, and then wondering why the mess you’ve made doesn’t look like Japan or Germany.

            Then, worst of all, having killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians during that invasion and occupation, wondering why so many hate Americans.

            “Duh, we only had their best interests at heart, why do they want to kill us?”

            Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya

            Sure. See any common denominator there?

            Of course. They are all poor, predominantly Muslim countries whose borders have been defined by outside invaders and foreign rulers for centuries, and more recently by despots and extremists, and were unlucky enough to catch the eye of some Presidents who thought it would be great fun to bomb the shit out of them, relying on laughably lame pretenses of one form and another, when none of them posed the slightest military threat to the US.

            Talk about unintended consequences!

            A good way to consolidate American support would be for future Pres. Clinton to invade Syria. Or maybe Lithuania.

            Well, that and automation, the closing of the frontier, the rise of high tech media, modern travel, Cultural Marxism, etc.

            Oh, and of course the US being orders of magnitude wealthier than in those bad old days.

            All of those things except cultural Marxism being things that would make it easier for immigrants to assimilate.

            But anyway, it’s nice to see you agree with me that there is at least one big difference between now and the previous eras of mass immigration open borders advocates are always heralding.

            I guess we shouldn’t let that big thing cloud our view of immigrants, as there’s nothing to be done about it.

            [PR] Rather low bar to clear, Ron. However, that wasn’t Morganovich’s point. He brought up ethnic groups that converged into the melting pot. So how is PR doing in assimilation to the norm after a century?

            As well as can be expected for an island colony under foreign rule.

            1/2 the median income of our poorest state, Mississippi. Massive debt load. Sky high unemployment. 45% live below the poverty line.

            Those who have moved to the mainland have assimilated and done quite well. would you recommend mass migration as a way to lift the rest of those still on the poverty out of poverty?

            It’s probably hard to assimilate from 1000 miles away, and it’s very likely that being under US rule and being knights of the realm citizens doesn’t confer much benefit from that distance.

            If it did, we could just confer citizenship on huge numbers poor people anywhere in the world, and they would suddenly begin to prosper. It would only take a single executive order.

            All this even though the island has been given all kinds of tax breaks to promote manufacturing.

            Maybe government welfare isn’t the magic elixer some people believe it is.

            Well, good for them. Meanwhile, PR is an anchor around the necks of the taxpayers.

            LOL! Whose fault is that? I’m pretty sure they didn’t force US protectorship on themselves.

            Probably like the one we have for inhabitants of the planet Neptune.

            So, no Iraqis? None? Not even those with high IQs and valuable skills? “)

            Not even Iraqi doctors? I expect there will be a shortage of doctors in the US soon enough.

          3. Ron H. says:

            that would be…

            ” …would you recommend mass migration as a way to lift the rest of those still on the poverty island out of poverty?”

          4. Paul says:

            Ron,

            The issue was and is invading and conquering a country and then occupying it for many years..

            RIght. Like in Japan and Germany. And for me the issue for me always comes back to, “do we want this in our country and how can we avoid it?”
            “trying to impose a single alien form of central government on several different groups of people..”

            Yeah, a much freer, more inclusive form of govt than the mass murdering tyranny that was imposed on several different groups of people before that. How awful! Naturally, the response should be to murder everyone who isn’t part of your tribe, including groups like the Christians who never did a f’ing thing to the Sunnis or Shiites.

            Hence my original statement: Problem is we are learning some groups do not handle freedom well.

            “Then, worst of all, having killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians during that invasion and occupation, wondering why so many hate Americans.”

            Good thing we didn’t bomb the shit out Japan and Germany.

            “Duh, we only had their best interests at heart, why do they want to kill us?”

            Ron, now you sound just like a liberal who fast forwards to the part where the US strikes back and then pretends that’s the beginning.

            “Of course. They are all poor, predominantly Muslim countries whose borders have been defined by outside invaders and foreign rulers for centuries, and more recently by despots and extremists..

            Gee, sounds like that culture is a perfect fit for American citizenship. Would you like them to move in next door to you?

            “.. and were unlucky enough to catch the eye of some Presidents who thought it would be great fun to bomb the shit out of them, relying on laughably lame pretenses of one form and another, when none of them posed the slightest military threat to the US.”

            Yes, Bush just thought it would be fun to bomb the shit out of Afghanistan. That’s a fair assessment, Ron…

            Oh, and of course the US being orders of magnitude wealthier than in those bad old days.

            That is bled out when high school drop-outs from third world nations show up here and start cranking out anchor babies.

            “All of those things except cultural Marxism being things that would make it easier for immigrants to assimilate.”

            You don’t see how the existence of, say, Univision makes it easier to remain culturally isolated?

            “I guess we shouldn’t let that big thing cloud our view of immigrants, as there’s nothing to be done about it.”

            Other than enforcing existing immigration laws, securing the border, and ending current legal immigration customs like chain migration. Those things, for example, would do quite a bit to make sure we aren’t being ransacked.

            As well as can be expected for an island colony under foreign rule.

            Umm, Hong Kong?

            “Those who have moved to the mainland have assimilated and done quite well.”

            Define “quite well” as a group. Don’t give me famous names.

            “would you recommend mass migration as a way to lift the rest of those still on the poverty out of poverty?”

            I’d recommend donating money to the PR Independence Party.

            It’s probably hard to assimilate from 1000 miles away, and it’s very likely that being under US rule and being knights of the realm citizens doesn’t confer much benefit from that distance.

            1/3 of the island is on food stamps, for just one example. For another, residents of the island are exempt from federal income taxes. Sound like nice bennies to you, Ron?

            “If it did, we could just confer citizenship on huge numbers poor people anywhere in the world, and they would suddenly begin to prosper. It would only take a single executive order.”

            Or we could let them flood our borders like the libertarians recommend. That’s certainly working out well.

            “LOL! Whose fault is that? I’m pretty sure they didn’t force US protectorship on themselves.”

            Sure, but are they oars or anchors, Ron? They can’t be both.

            So, no Iraqis? None? Not even those with high IQs and valuable skills? “)

            There are hundreds of millions from that category in nations around the world where sawing Christian heads off and 1st cousin marriage isn’t a national pastime.

          5. Ron H. says:

            Paul

            RIght. Like in Japan and Germany.

            I guess you missed all the arguments about mono-cultures and long time familiarity with home-grown central government.

            Come on, Paul, You have picked one example that was successful before WW1 and then Hitler, and another that is about as pure a monoculture as you will find.

            Will you claim that invasion and occupation is the surest route to forcing a country to be prosperous?

            And for me the issue for me always comes back to, “do we want this in our country and how can we avoid it?”

            “I’ve got mine.” sez Paul.

            “trying to impose a single alien form of central government on several different groups of people..”

            Yeah, a much freer, more inclusive form of govt than the mass murdering tyranny that was imposed on several different groups of people before that.

            “I will spread my preferred ideology by the sword, and I will stay until you accept it. You will not choose for yourself.”

            How awful! Naturally, the response should be to murder everyone who isn’t part of your tribe, including groups like the Christians who never did a f’ing thing to the Sunnis or Shiites.

            Talk about unintended consequences!

            Hence my original statement: Problem is we are learning some groups do not handle freedom well.

            How, then, do you justify forcing them to accept freedom by invading and killing them?

            Ron, now you sound just like a liberal who fast forwards to the part where the US strikes back and then pretends that’s the beginning.

            Refresh my memory. Why was the US “striking back” against Libya and Iraq? And now Syria?

            I totally agree with striking back against OBL and al Qaeda, but if that effort required occupying an entire country, why not invade Saudi Arabia? after all that’s where OBL came from, as well as most of those involved in 9/11, and it was OBLs claim that his strike on the US was to show his disapproval of US presence in SA.

            Gee, sounds like that culture is a perfect fit for American citizenship. Would you like them to move in next door to you?

            I have no reason to believe they want to move in next door to me. Was Iraqi, Afghani and Libyan mass immigration to the US a problem I’m not aware of?

            Seems like those folks were happy to stay where they were.

            Yes, Bush just thought it would be fun to bomb the shit out of Afghanistan. That’s a fair assessment, Ron…

            What about Iraq? What about Libya?

            That is bled out when high school drop-outs from third world nations show up here and start cranking out anchor babies.

            At your urging.

            And do you really not believe we are all far richer than we were in the 19th and early 20th century?

            You don’t see how the existence of, say, Univision makes it easier to remain culturally isolated?

            I’m not sure very many Iraqis or Libyans watch Univision.

            Slow down, Paul, I’m getting dizzy from these abrupt subject changes.

            What, would you force immigrants to watch only ABC or Discovery Channel?

            Perhaps Mexican immigrants could more easily assimilate if Mexican food was outlawed, or if speaking Spanish in the home was forbidden.

            It’s an interesting thought, though I wonder if watching the Golf channel isolates some folks from mainstream discussion of football or baseball? Perhaps watching Nickelodeon prevents children from growing up.

            Choice is good, Paul, Univision is just another choice in a mind-boggling array of viewing choices, and an indicator of our increased wealth.

            Other than enforcing existing immigration laws, securing the border, and ending current legal immigration customs like chain migration.

            Heh! You might as well wish for a unicorn. The southern border cannot be closed. There is insufficient political will to do so, and a great deal of interest in keeping it open.

            Now, if you want to discuss this issue in terms of private property, then it becomes very simple.

            Define “quite well” as a group. Don’t give me famous names.

            Let me turn that around: are you aware of something indicating that Puerto Ricans – as a group – are NOT doing well? Don’t give me isolated examples.

            I’d recommend donating money to the PR Independence Party.

            Now there’s a truly libertarian idea. Putting one’s money where one’s mouth is. I agree 100%.

            1/3 of the island is on food stamps, for just one example. For another, residents of the island are exempt from federal income taxes. Sound like nice bennies to you, Ron?

            Sounds like perverse incentives to me. Good old welfare state.

            If you give a mouse a cookie…

            Or we could let them flood our borders like the libertarians recommend. That’s certainly working out well.

            There’s that fixed pie notion again. Or is it that cultural fear thing?

            Sure, but are they oars or anchors, Ron? They can’t be both.

            Hard to tell, as they didn’t ask to be allowed in the boat.

            There are hundreds of millions from that category in nations around the world where sawing Christian heads off and 1st cousin marriage isn’t a national pastime.

            I’m not fond of the practice of sawing off
            Christian’s heads, but what’s wrong with 1st cousin marriages? I understand it’s not considered a problem genetically.

            And of course sawing Christian’s heads off is illegal in the US. A law with which I agree. Do you think that might change in the future?

          6. Paul says:

            Ron,

            “I guess you missed all the arguments about mono-cultures and long time familiarity with home-grown central government.”

            Once again: “Problem is we are learning some groups do not handle freedom well.”

            “Will you claim that invasion and occupation is the surest route to forcing a country to be prosperous?”

            No. Like I said, it depends on the culture. I originally thought liberating Iraq from Saddam’s tyranny would be a good thing for the Iraqi people and they would embrace their freedom. I based that on my interactions with low level Iraqi soldiers in ’91 in eastern Iraq. They seemed like decent guys who could make a go of it if given the chance. Turns out I was wrong, as were most of the people who supported the invasion.

            “I’ve got mine.” sez Paul.

            “Bring on the rapists!” sez Ron.

            http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/can-we-have-some-sort-of-pamphlet-telling-muslims-not-to-rape/

            “I will spread my preferred ideology by the sword, and I will stay until you accept it. You will not choose for yourself.”

            Right. Because Saddam was a real choosey kind of leader.

            In any case, the “preferred ideology” was more freedom. (I thought libertarians were big on that. ) We know now that *cough* not everybody handles freedom well.

            Talk about unintended consequences!

            Talk about a savage culture! “Let’s let them all in!” says the libertarians.

            How, then, do you justify forcing them to accept freedom by invading and killing them?

            “Them” was originally the tyrant Saddam’s army. They chose not to accept the gift that was given to them.

            “Refresh my memory. Why was the US “striking back” against Libya and Iraq? And now Syria?”

            Long time supporters and orchestrators of terrorism, for one. I don’t think you really need a history lesson, Ron. And I don’t really want to swerve off into Saddam’s ties to Zawahiri, or Pan Am 103, for example.

            That doesn’t mean I support regime change in the countries you mentioned. But you act like they don’t have it coming.

            I totally agree with striking back against OBL and al Qaeda, but if that effort required occupying an entire country, why not invade Saudi Arabia? after all that’s where OBL came from, as well as most of those involved in 9/11, and it was OBLs claim that his strike on the US was to show his disapproval of US presence in SA.

            Probably because Afghanistan was the HQ of Al Qaeda at the time. Also, SA is where Mecca and Medina are. And do you really take bin Laden’s claims at face value? They will use any excuse, and do, to justify murdering. Zawahiri blamed the mere presence of tourists in Egypt for his Luxor massacre.

            I have no reason to believe they want to move in next door to me.

            Cop out!

            Was Iraqi, Afghani and Libyan mass immigration to the US a problem I’m not aware of?

            It is becoming one in Europe. And if it becomes one here, the liberals and libertarians will welcome them in by the boatloads.

            What about Iraq? What about Libya?

            Now you suddenly want to itemize your sweeping generalizations.

            At your urging.

            Huh?

            And do you really not believe we are all far richer than we were in the 19th and early 20th century?

            I guess we can thank third world illiterates on welfare for that?

            I’m not sure very many Iraqis or Libyans watch Univision.

            A complete dodge from your claim that the differences I named make it easier to assimilate.

            Think the pro-terrorist Al Jazeera helps with assimilation?

            “Slow down, Paul, I’m getting dizzy from these abrupt subject changes.”

            I thought the subject was immigration.

            What, would you force immigrants to watch only ABC or Discovery Channel?

            Go back to my original point.

            Perhaps Mexican immigrants could more easily assimilate if Mexican food was outlawed, or if speaking Spanish in the home was forbidden.

            I’m just pointing out why assimilation doesn’t work like it used to, and perhaps that explains the well documented failure of certain immigrant groups to “close the gap.” You’re not even trying to address the rightness or wrongness of it here.

            Choice is good, Paul, Univision is just another choice in a mind-boggling array of viewing choices, and an indicator of our increased wealth.

            But does it help with assimilation, especially given the politics of the channel? I don’t see how. It might be one of the reasons we don’t see assimilation like we did pre-1924.

            Ron is not even trying to stay on point.

            Heh! You might as well wish for a unicorn.

            Suddenly, Ron wants to talk about reality. A welcome change!

            The southern border cannot be closed. There is insufficient political will to do so, and a great deal of interest in keeping it open.

            “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 77% of Likely U.S. Voters now consider illegal immigration a serious problem in America today, with 51% who say it is Very Serious.”

            As they have for years, most voters (63%) think gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States. While that’s up just two points from January, it is the highest level of support for border control since December 2011.

            http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/immigration

            “Let me turn that around: are you aware of something indicating that Puerto Ricans – as a group – are NOT doing well? Don’t give me isolated examples.”

            I’m short on time. You made the “quite well” claim.

            Sounds like perverse incentives to me. Good old welfare state.

            If you give a mouse a cookie…

            Except the cookies are available to all, but not all the mice are eating the cookies. Only certain groups.

            There’s that fixed pie notion again. Or is it that cultural fear thing?

            No, it’s just reality. Data.

            Hard to tell, as they didn’t ask to be allowed in the boat.

            And yet they’ve had several referendums about getting out of it. Turns out they like it just fine.

            m not fond of the practice of sawing off
            Christian’s heads, but what’s wrong with 1st cousin marriages? I understand it’s not considered a problem genetically.

            I find that hard to believe. And yuck.

            And of course sawing Christian’s heads off is illegal in the US. A law with which I agree. Do you think that might change in the future?

            And we all know that if something is illegal, it won’t happen.

          7. Paul says:

            Ron,

            Don’t take any of my comments with a flavor of hostility. I think we both do some smartassery that may be hard to convey in the spirit intended when written.

          8. Ron H. says:

            Paul

            New thread at bottom.

      2. Citizen Buddy says:

        Ron, here is the Consitution of Iraq, dated 30 January 2006, which coincided with the elected Prime Minister taking office.

        One obvious problem is the conflict of Article 2 with Article 5.

        On 18 August 2010 the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq.

        1. morganovich says:

          well, the other problem is that iraq has never been a country in a real sense. the lines in the middle east were drawn up by exiting colonial powers specifically to make the countries weak and internally fractious as well as keep them in conflict with one another.

          you take a group like the kurds, deny them a homeland, then divide their geographically concentrated population into 4 countries.

          let the games begin.

          you take a sunni sate and let the shia run it. then you do the obverse.

          freedom take a while to reach equilibrium. this has never been allowed to happen in the middle east, and there is an incredible amount of pent up tension as a result.

          iraq has barely been “free” for 5 minutes and is doing so under some extremely odious constraints of circumstance.

          some cultures do suck. but cultures change too. pre ww2, the Japanese sucked. it took utter devastation and decades upon decades for that to change, and they had a simple situation with a homogeneous group and little border conflict or struggle from internal groups seeking independence etc.

          this is not as simple as paul is making out.

          it’s also worth remembering that the US has THRIVED by taking in people others thought “sucked” from the irish to the jews to the armenians etc.

          that said, to do that, you need a melting pot. that model worked. the “multiculturalism” model shows no evidence of working. it’s ripping the eu to bits and driving tension and nationalist backlash.

          people need to integrate or a society fragments and begins to tear at itself. i do not stink it’s a viable long term strategy.

          1. Paul says:

            Morg,

            “some cultures do suck. but cultures change too.”

            Ok, let’s revisit their visa status once they have had time to unsuck.

            it’s also worth remembering that the US has THRIVED by taking in people others thought “sucked” from the irish to the jews to the armenians etc.

            Different time. Different cirucmstances, as we have discussed numerous times.

            How’s Puerto Rico doing after 100 yrs of Americanization?

          2. Paul says:

            “that said, to do that, you need a melting pot. that model worked.”

            But if you don’t have a melting pot, the libertarian model says it’s perfectly ok for hostile cultures to flood into your society and live they way they like. Who are we to tell them they can’t?

            “the “multiculturalism” model shows no evidence of working. it’s ripping the eu to bits and driving tension and nationalist backlash”

            Well, multiculturalism and the savage cultures they are importing.

          3. Givemefreedom says:

            Morg ,

            Canada is a multi cultural society, definitely not a melting pot. Seems to have worked well up to now.

        2. Ron H. says:

          Cit

          Thanks for the link. That’s an interesting document, and you’re right, the conflict between A2 and A5 would seem to be a showstopper.

          Article 7 is also in conflict with article 2.

          Article 8 could be read as: “Do as I say, Not as I do.” as regards non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

          That “constitution” establishes a central authority and outlaws most of the civil rights we in the US enjoy, besides being internally inconsistent.. It’s easy to understand why it isn’t working well.

          On 18 August 2010 the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq.

          Leaving how many noncombat troops? I can amend my statement to read: “military occupation for more than 7 years”, and still make the same point.

          Was there an overwhelming clamor among the Iraqi people for the establishment of some form of democratic government? I don’t remember hearing about it.

          1. Citizen Buddy says:

            “Was there an overwhelming clamor among the Iraqi people for the establishment of some form of democratic government?”

            No. It was audacious concept for a society that worships a strongman. The Arab Springs that followed don’t seem to have the organic strength to push that worship aside.

  4. danite says:

    The great thing about these quotes is the high percentage that are taken, not from Friedman’s writings or prepared speeches, but from answers to unscripted questions from an often hostile audience member. His ability to craft memorable phrases from a mind well-stocked with statistics and analytical tools was exceptional.

  5. Ron H. says:

    Paul

    Don’t take any of my comments with a flavor of hostility. I think we both do some smartassery that may be hard to convey in the spirit intended when written.

    0You’re absolutely right, and I consider our discussions to be “spirited exchanges of ideas”. 🙂

    I think we know each other well enough to not be offended by each other’s snarkiness.

    I enjoy these “exchanges” and respect your views as being honest ones that I just don’t happen to agree with. The subjects contain a lot of moving parts,, and aren’t necessarily amenable to simple, one-size-fits all answers. Just like most subjects that involve people.

  6. Ron H. says:

    AARRRRGH! 30 minutes doen the drain. I’m bl;ocked

    I’ll try again tomorrow.

  7. Ron H. says:

    Paul

    Hopefully it’s not too late to respond to some of your previous comment. That “blocked” BS just knocked the wind out of my sails. It’s frustrating to spend long time on a comment that just gets flushed down the toilet.

    Except the cookies are available to all, but not all the mice are eating the cookies. Only certain groups.

    The cookies are offered to low income mice. If you have something to indicate that brown mice sneaking across the border are eating cookies at a higher rate than mice who already live here, let’s see it.

    And we all know that if something is illegal, it won’t happen.

    No, We know something WILL happen, or it would be pointless to make it illegal.

    Some things that violate other people’s rights to life, liberty, and property, and which have been forbidden by common law for centuries such as murder, rape, theft, kidnapping, and other acts of violence against persons and property, are rightfully unlawful, and it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t agree. I’m confident those laws will continue to be enforced in the US no matter what “cultural threats” you envision.

    Again, I can’t explain Europe, where it appears in some cases that existing laws aren’t being enforced for fear of annoying someone. Luckily, Europe isn’t my problem to solve. Those are big kids who will have to take care of themselves.

    Hopefully your President won’t decide to start bombing Islamic hotspots in France.

    Then there are laws that make some actions illegal by statute, not because there are victims, but because “we say this is a crime”,

    Those would include prohibitions on drugs, prostitution, gambling, buying alcohol on Sunday, and jay-walking, as well as mandatory seat belt and helmet laws.

    It’s much harder to maintain respect for such laws as it’s not clear there is any harm to anyone except possibly one’s self.

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