Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman guides the viewer through ten documentary-style lectures on the workings of the market and its relation to human liberty. Each is followed by a critical response and discussion. [Dir: David Filkin/ Journalist: Milton Friedman/ 10 programs @ 50 min each/ Documentary-Educational/ Libertarian Compendium]
This is a persuasive and entertaining series. The ideas discussed in these tapes are dear to the hearts of libertarians, and it’s a pleasure to see them presented with such clarity and charm. It’s a testament to the power of Friedman’s “radical” proposals-and perhaps this series itself-that some have already been implemented and others have become common subjects for discussion. Nonetheless, most viewers will not find the series excessively dated. The underlying theme of liberty versus state control is everlasting. Note: This series is recommended for outreach material.
The subjects covered in the ten tapes are as follows: 1) “The Power of the Market”: Examines the logic and results of a properly functioning free-market, with some emphasis on Hong Kong as an example of a relatively free economy. 2) “The Tyranny of Control”: Demonstrated the pernicious effects of government intervention in the economy. 3) “Anatomy of a Crisis”: Explains how the Great Depression was a product of Federal Reserve mismanagement. 4) “From Cradle to Grave”: Illustrates how good intentions can lead to bad results in the area of public assistance. Suggests a negative income tax as a solution. 5) “Created Equal”: Counters demands for material equality with the argument that “pursuits of equality before freedom will achieve neither; pursuit of freedom before equality will produce a large measure of both.” 6) “What’s Wrong with Our Schools”: Demonstrates that voluntary educational efforts are superior to government schools. Proposes vouchers as one solution to the current mess. 7) “Who Protects the Consumer?”: Examines the increasing role of regulation in the economy. Shows how well-intended regulations can have perverse effects. 8) “Who Protects the Worker?”: Discusses the role of unions and protective legislation in the lives of ordinary workers. 9) “How to Cure Inflation”: Debunks myths regarding the causes of inflation and lays the blames for it firmly at the doorstep of the Federal Reserve. 10) “How to Stay Free”: Argues the need for further constitutional limits on government powers and for a popular understanding of and appreciation for liberty. Emphasizes the dangers inherit in the concentration of power.
This article was reprinted from Jon Osborne's Miss Liberty's Guide to Film and Video: Movies for the Libertarian Millenium, available in the Advocates Liberty Store.