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PBS TV Series “Free to Choose” by Economist Milton Friedman
The legendary PBS TV series “Free to Choose” (1980) by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman is now available on Google Video for free (by courtesy of the Palmer R. Chitester Fund).
More from this morning’s email (and you’re getting the benefit!)
Many of you, especially you Glenn Beck fans, are familiar with the “Cloward-Piven Strategy”, the leftist-intellectual-couple’s 1966 method of overwhelming the system as a way to replace the federal welfare system with a guaranteed annual “salary”.
National Review Online yesterday posted a clip from a TV series that Milton Friedman produced in 1980, which was part documentary and part intellectual discussion on free enterprise vs. centralization called “Free to Choose”. In one of the discussion clips, Friedman debates Frances Fox Piven (when she was a professor at Boston University) and other academic intellectuals.
There’s also a clip that includes a debate with Thomas Sowell, who becomes extremely agitated with Piven, as does Friedman. These are two of the Right’s greatest intellectuals going up against one of the Left’s most radical and influential intellectuals. (In my opinion, Friedman and Sowell make mince meat of Piven, and Sowell’s attack on her is cheer-worthy.) Substance of the arguments aside, I found it interesting that throughout the discussion, Piven appears to be in a state of constant anger, with an irremovable scowl, which contrasts with both Friedman’s and Sowell’s more relaxed body language and frequent smiles. Just a telling observation.
These short clips, which I thoroughly enjoyed, led me to begin watching the entire “Free to Choose” series. I watched the first two episodes last night, and they were brilliant. (A young CEO named Donald Rumsfeld appears in one of the discussions, along with politicians, business leaders, academics, and other Ruling Class types.)
In my view, there’s no better debater and teacher of free market principles than Friedman. He’s more than an economist, he’s a big picture guy who understands human nature. I certainly relate to the way he thinks, even while he’s 10 times more intelligent and knowledgeable than I am.
This show is 31 years old now, but everything here is just as relevant today. These are timeless principles, and it shows that some things never change.
Watching this also made me long for a period where the discussions on these topics were more reasoned and more informed than what we see today on the cable talk shows. These were intellectual giants who were able to make a coherent argument and carry on a civilized discussion without constant interruption and a desire for sound bites.
So if you have a nerdy streak, like me, I think you’ll really enjoy this.
Here’s a 9 min clip of Friedman and Sowell taking on Piven:
Here’s a clip of Sowell slamming Piven over equality of outcome:
Here is the first of 10 hour-long episodes (I’m confident you can find the other 9 without my help):
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