Tuesday, July 4, 2006

"I think it's Big Brother that has to be looked after, not the people".

Open your mind for 30 minutes and listen to Milton Friedman on the subject of limited government. HT to The Agitator.

One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions, rather than their results. We all know, the famous road that is paved with good intentions. The people who go around talking about their soft heart ... I admire them for the softness of their heart, but unfortunately, it very often extends to their head as well. Because the fact is that the programs that are labeled as being for the poor, for the needy, almost always have effects exactly the opposite of those which their well intentioned sponsors intend them to have.

[..] There are always in these cases two groups of sponsors. There are the well-meaning sponsors and there are the special interests who are using the well-meaning sponsors as front men. You almost always, when you have bad programs, have an unholy coalition of the do gooders on the one hand and the special interests on the other.
Later, Mr.Friedman identifies "the underlying basic fallacy in this whole set of social security and welfare measures":
The fallacy that it is feasible and possible to do good with other people's money ... That view has two flaws: if I'm going to do good with other people's money I first have to take it away from them. That means, that the welfare state philosophy of doing good with other people's money, at its very bottom, is a philosophy of violence and coercion. It's against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money. In the second place, very few people spend other people's money as carefully as they spend their own.
Crossposted over at Darcey's place.

7 comments:

Honey Pot said...

"One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions, rather than their results."

That statement made me think of the missle attack by North Korea. I am sure their intention was to make a big bang in the USA, the results are laughable. Couldn't get more embarrassing than that could it? They couldn't get the mother off the ground. Hahahahaha

On a more serious note. Only social programs that work should be pursued. When you start having more social workers than people who need help, you got a big problem. I think it is called sucking off the tit of government.

rhebner said...

"Only social programs that work should be pursued."

How exactly does one define 'programs that work'. All social programs are introduced to do some good and hopefully 'work', but very few of them ever acheive their goals and almost all of them fail to see the unintended results of their actions.

A year ago I bought a copy of the tv series "Free to Choose". For a economic numbskull like myself, it is a powerful and amazing series.

The Mayor said...

Yak Yak, Blah Blah.

There are people suffering and in pain out there. Use your emotions to reason with.

How can you listen to someone who wears a tie?

Anonymous said...

Honey - Please give some examples of "social programs that work".

Pietr said...

I can think of one.
It was called 'The Final Solution'.

Honey Pot said...

Annoy, one of the better ones that I have observed is the Ontario Early Year centre's. It was a tory initiative, giving me pause to think....they aren't all bad. They were suppose to put one in every hood, but of course they missed their target. Gathering places for parent's, children and caregivers are good things. All kinds of information on early childhood well-being is the focus of these centers. Parks and recreation for children is another excellent social program. A public library is a good social program. There you go...there's a few of them. There are many more that work to enhance the well-being of children. Women shelters are a good thing. Good to have places for women and children to go when they are getting the shit kicked out of them.

Pietr said...

I can think of an even greater social programme.
It still works.
It's called the US Constitution.