Economy & Budget

Quote Wars: Milton Friedman vs. Hillary Clinton

A few weeks ago I gathered some quotes of Ronald Reagan and Hillary Clinton, on the same subject. It was a very illustrative exercise, as it allowed me to see how a conservative on one hand, and a liberal on the other, can have a different outlook on the same thing. Recently I read snippets of columns of the late economist Milton Friedman, all of which appeared in the Wall Street Journal over the years. I thought it would be interesting to do a compare and contrast between a champion of the free market versus a champion of government. And once again I’ll let you, the American people, choose the political philosophy you prefer. (Unless otherwise noted, all of the Hillary Clinton statements appear in my book, I’ve Always Been a Yankees Fan: Hillary Clinton In Her Own Words, available from World Ahead Publishing, Inc.)

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The Free Market

"The unfettered free market has been the most radically destructive force in American life in the last generation."

– First Lady Hillary Clinton on C-Span in 1996 stating her troubles
with the free market

"What most people really object to when they object to a free market is that it is so hard for them to shape it to their own will. The market gives people what the people want instead of what other people think they ought to want. At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself."

– Milton Friedman, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 1961

Social Security

"We can’t afford to have that money go to the private sector. The money has to go to the federal government because the federal government will spend that money better than the private sector will spend it."

– First Lady Hillary Clinton in a disagreement with a Republican congressman

"I have long been a critic of Social Security, basically because I believe that it is not the business of government to tell people what fraction of their incomes they should devote to providing for their own or someone else’s old age."

– Milton Friedman, WSJ, March 15, 1988

Health Care

"I had a few ideas about health care, and I’ve learned a few lessons since then, but I haven’t given up the goal, and that’s why we kept working step-by-step to insure millions of children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program."

– First Lady Hillary Clinton at the 2000 Democratic Convention,
still wanting socialized medicine in the United States

"It is taken for granted that workers should receive their pay partly in kind, in the form of medical care provided by the employer. How come? Why single out medical care? Surely food is no less essential to life than medical care. Why is it not at least as logical for workers to be required to buy their food at the company store as to be required to buy their medical care at the company store?"

– Milton Friedman writes against Hillary’s health care plan;
WSJ, Feb.13, 1993

Government Spending & Taxes

"Other developed countries…are more committed to social stability than we have been, and they tailor their economic policies to maintain it."

– First Lady Hillary Clinton writes her affinity for Europe’s
cradle-to-grave welfare policies

"Cutting government spending and government intrusion in the economy will almost surely involve immediate gain for the many, short-term pain for the few, and long-term gain for all."

– Milton Friedman, WSJ, June 15, 1995

Free Trade vs. Fair Trade

"Too many people have made too much money."

– First Lady Hillary Clinton condemns the insurance industry, feeling it’s not fair that certain businesses are making ‘too much money’

"’Fair’ is in the eye of the beholder; free is the verdict of the market. (The word ‘free’ is used three times in the Declaration of Independence and once in the First Amendment to the Constitution, along with ‘freedom.’ The word ‘fair’ is not used in either of our founding documents.)"

– Milton Friedman, WSJ, Mar. 7, 1996

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