Milton Friedman: there’s no need to throw the bums out

He was quite right, on reflection. Politicians are whores who will vote in any way that they think will get them re-elected. So we have to change the electorate, not the cast of criminal currently in place.


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15 Responses to Milton Friedman: there’s no need to throw the bums out

  1. Retired IB'er

    Brilliant, no wonder he won a Nobel. Unfortunately based upon his conclusion, which makes sense, we are all doomed!

  2. Anonymous

    no representation without taxation.

    if you don’t pay taxes, you don’t vote.

  3. Anonymous

    One man/one vote entails a more misguided electorate than one tax dollar paid/one vote awarded, or some other economic productivity-based democracy

    Most voters (and community organizers) don’t understand basic economics, personal finance or statistics

    And suspect voting rates among US’ biggest taxpayers are fairly low, as far more efficient to donate to whichever politicians needed for any business interests, rather than wasting one’s valuable time with one man/one vote

  4. If you (and, before you, MF) reached the conclusion that it’s not the bums we elect but the bums who elected them, I agree. But if “all we have to do” is change the electorate, it ain’t gonna happen. Voters aren’t suddenly gullible, manipulable, ill-informed, irrational, and self-destructive. They’ve always been that way.

  5. just_looking

    TERM LIMITS is the only viable option that has a chance. I like the # of votes based on taxes paid but it will never happen. Term limits has a chance and it will change the landscape and then some other changes might be made.

  6. just_looking

    It is ALWAYS about the incentives. “Get the wrong people to do the right thing.” Everyone should always do the right thing, yet there seems to be less and less right thing done by less and less people.

    So then, Mr Smart Guy, HOW DO you get the wrong people to do the right thing?

  7. Peg

    I’m an enormous Milton Friedman fan (and coincidentally, his daughter is a bridge buddy of mine.) But, although some of the time I think he is surely correct about this, unfortunately I do believe it is not true of some number of “true believers.” I’m specifically thinking of THIS congress.

    Lots of polling has shown that some of Obama’s plan for America is not popular with people, and that if enacted, would end up with “the bums being thrown out.” Yet, Democrats went ahead and passed this crap anyway – with “Obamacare” being the crown jewel. Seems to me that a lot of ’em really thought that this was what was best for us – irrespective of what “us” thought.

    Then again, perhaps Dr. Friedman was correct all along. Maybe what they misjudged was what we believed and wanted and how we would vote – not what was really superior for the people.

  8. gajim

    Awesome clip. Thanks for pointing it out.

  9. Jimbo

    So we reelect the bums, and find some other way to make their stupidity “unprofitable” for them so they quit acting stupidly. But all they really care about is getting reelected as Freidman concedes…

    I’m sorry I just can’t follow the thinking on any of these threads — this or the P&Z ones, in particular. I guess I’m out of step. I’ll take a break from this website and maybe return in a few weeks.

  10. Fred2

    We’re doomed.

    Or we need to restrict the voting franchise.

    Starting to restrict on those who pay in, NET to the gov might be good start.

  11. Walt

    Dude –
    If I was a “Professional” Real Estate Agent, I think I would consider buying a tin cup and lot’s of pencils:

    Just saying.
    Your pal,

  12. Now it makes sense that one certain political party can only say one thing….tax cut!!! We can never elect anyone with a backbone.

  13. HG

    The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. (A. de Tocqueville)

    It is easy to be pessimistic and basically everyone (including Uncle Milton) looks around at the electorate and says to their friends: everyone is crazy except you and me, and I ain’t too sure about you. But the American electorate is a great moderating force. We have survived periods where the liberal wing of the electorate was MUCH more socialistic than today. Friedman was great (and his greatness transcends a mere Nobel Prize) but look how wrong even he could be…if everyone had voted the way he did, we might still be waiting for the market to remove apartheid in America (he opposed Brown vs Board of Ed, etc).

  14. JRH as Anonymous

    Brown v Board of Ed showed no knowledge of economics/statistics

    Suspect I am smartest person ever on earth

    Average person doesn’t know anything near what I know

    Poll tax good idea, Civil War bad idea, slavery = lower marginal labor costs, increase productivity of cotton industry

  15. (suppressing chortle over JRH’s latest)