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August 23, 2007

Web Assignment 7: Milton Friedman's Challenge

A whole host of writers we have read so far in the course--Keynes and Polanyi most strikingly--have strongly argued that the market needs to be tamed or guide or muzzled or regulated or controlled if anything like a free, wealthy, and peaceful civilization is to exist. Milton Friedman says not: Milton Friedman says that the government is not the corrector of the defects and evils of the market and the guardian of freedom and prosperity, but is instead our enemy. The right policy, Friedman says, is to let the market rip. This is a powerful challenge to my conventional social-democratic reflexes.

Surf over to http://delong.typepad.com/pe101/virtual_discussions/ and then to http://delong.typepad.com/pe101/2007/08/web-assignmen-7.html. Write a comment of at least 200 words on what you think the biggest flaw in his--attractive, but for his day completely wrong--argument is. Contribute to the discussion that is ongoing at http://delong.typepad.com/pe101/2007/08/web-assignmen-7.html--that is, react and respond to not just Friedman but, to the extent it is appropriate, the earlier posters and commenters on the webpage.

Do this by 11 AM on October 16.


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