Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on October 25, 2015

in History, Politics

… is from pages 5-6 of Milton and Rose Friedman’s essential 1962 volume, Capitalism and Freedom:

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, and especially after 1930 in the United States, the term liberalism came to be associated with a very different emphasis, particularly in economic policy.  It came to be associated with a readiness to rely primarily on the state rather than on private voluntary arrangements to achieve objectives regarded as desirable.  The catchwords became welfare and equality rather than freedom.  The nineteenth-century liberal regarded the extension of freedom as the most effective way to promote welfare and equality; the twentieth-century liberal regards welfare and equality as either prerequisites of or alternatives to freedom.  In the name of welfare and equality, the twentieth-century liberal has come to favor a revival of the very policies of state intervention and paternalism against which classical liberalism fought.  In the very act of turning the clock back to seventeenth-century mercantilism, he is fond of castigating true liberals as reactionary!


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