История на икономическата мисъл

Capitalism and Freedom

Автор(и) : Milton Friedman

Издател : The University of Chicago Press

Място на издаване : Chicago, USA

Година на издаване : 2002

ISBN : 978-0-226-26421-9

Брой страници : 208

Език : английски


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Capitalism and Freedom is published in 1962 by the University of Chicago Press which discusses the role of economic capitalism in liberal society. It has sold over 400,000 copies in 18 years and more than half a million since 1962. It has been translated into 18 languages. In accessible, jargon-free language, Friedman makes the case for economic freedom as a precondition for political freedom. He defines liberal in European Enlightenment terms, contrasting with an American usage that he believes has been corrupted since the Great Depression. Many North Americans usually categorized as conservative or libertarian have adopted some of his views. The book finds several realistic places in which a free market can be promoted for both philosophical and practical reasons, with several surprising conclusions. Among other concepts, Friedman advocates ending the mandatory licensing of doctors and introducing a system of vouchers for school education.
Capitalism and Freedom is written from the perspective of the United States. It was published nearly two decades after World War II, a time when the Great Depression was still in collective memory and the Cold War had just begun. Under the Kennedy and preceding Eisenhower administrations, federal expenditures were growing at a quick pace in the areas of national defense, social welfare and infrastructure. Both major parties, Democratic and Republican, supported increased spending in different ways. This, as well as the New Deal, was supported by most intellectuals with the justification of Keynesian economics.
The effects of Capitalism and Freedom were great yet varied in the realm of political economics. Some of Friedman's suggestions are being tested and implemented in many places, such as the flat income tax in Slovakia, a floating exchange rate which has almost fully replaced the Bretton Woods system, and national school voucher systems in Chile (since 1981) and Sweden (since 1992), to cite a few prominent examples. However, many other ideas have scarcely been considered, such as the end of licensing, and the abolition of corporate income tax (in favor of an income tax on the stock holder). Though politicians often claim that they are working towards ""free trade,"" an idea the book supports, no one has considered taking his suggestion of phasing out all tariffs in 10 years. Nevertheless, Friedman popularized many ideas previously unknown to most outside economics. This and other works helped Milton Friedman to become a household name.
Capitalism and Freedom made the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's 50 Best Books of the Twentieth Century and also was placed tenth on the list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the twentieth century compiled by National Review.

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