GEBTest1 - Petteruti 1 Ryan Petteruti [email protected] 1...

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Petteruti1 Ryan Petteruti [email protected] 1. “Ironically, the very success of economic and political freedom reduced its appeal to later thinkers, people took the favorable developments for granted. They forgot the danger to freedom from strong government." This statement, made by Milton Friedman, implies that people living in socialistic and tighter governed countries tend to appreciate the fact that economic freedom gives way to a higher standard of living. Alternatively, Friedman is also saying that people living in freer countries take success and high standards of living for granted. Today, more than ever, more and more Americans are showing less and less confidence in free markets and looking to government to solve the problem(s). Many think that is unfair that there is such a huge disparity between the rich and the poor and want it to be eliminated. In recent surveys conducted by the PEW, American’s have shown that they have taken high standards of living for granted by voting 68 percent in favor of the question “Are people better off in a free market economy?” This is an 8 percent decline from 2009. And Americans got what they asked for: Government spending as a share of U.S. gross domestic product has grown from 35 percent to 45 percent over the past three years and the U.S. experienced the largest decline in the when compared to the 20 largest global economies (Statistics provided by the Heritage Foundation’s 2010 Index of Economic Freedom). But what has this led to? Nothing except a bigger deficit and ironically, distrust in government, which proves the fact that in desperate times and needs, most people look for a quick fix and an easy way out. Friedman couldn’t of said it any better: “Competition is not an essential part of human society, it is human society. To try and refute this is simply idealism.”
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Petteruti2 Although current economies are experiencing difficult times, Friedman would time and time again state his belief that “free markets lead to personal freedom” and that "A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. A society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality” (Free to Choose). He believed that the every individual had a destiny to fulfill in life and that it could only be achieved if there was individual freedom and free markets. Friedman and his wife did a lot of traveling, observing the economies of different nations: "Wherever we found any large element of individual freedom, some beauty in the ordinary life of man, some measure of real progress in material comforts at his disposal, and a life with hope of further progress in the future – there we found that the private market was the main device being used to organize economic activity." 2. In a speech Friedman gave concerning the role of government, he quoted John Stewart Mills: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical
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