Milton Friedman on Big Business vs. Freedom
By Arnold Kling
In the context of Wal-Mart’s joining the crowd that wants government to fix health care, Don Boudreaux reminds us of this quote from Milton Friedman.
The two chief enemies of the free society or free enterprise are intellectuals on the one hand and businessmen on the other, for opposite reasons. Every intellectual believes in freedom for himself, but he’s opposed to freedom for others.…He thinks…there ought to be a central planning board that will establish social priorities.…The businessmen are just the opposite—every businessman is in favor of freedom for everybody else, but when it comes to himself that’s a different question. He’s always the special case. He ought to get special privileges from the government, a tariff, this, that, and the other thing…
[Reason Magazine gives the attribution: “An Interview With Milton Friedman,” December 1974, conducted by Tibor Machan, Joe Cobb, and Ralph Raico.]