Zitate von Milton Friedman

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Milton Friedman

Geburtstag: 31. Juli 1912
Todesdatum: 16. November 2006

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Milton Friedman war ein US-amerikanischer Wirtschaftswissenschaftler, der fundamentale Arbeiten auf den Gebieten der Makroökonomie, der Mikroökonomie, der Wirtschaftsgeschichte und der Statistik verfasste. Er erhielt 1976 den Alfred-Nobel-Gedächtnispreis für Wirtschaftswissenschaften für seine Leistungen auf dem Gebiet der Analyse des Konsums, der Geschichte und der Theorie des Geldes und für seine Demonstration der Komplexität der Stabilitätspolitik. Friedman wird neben John Maynard Keynes als der einflussreichste Ökonom des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts angesehen.

Friedman, der sich selbst als klassischen Liberalen betrachtete, hob besonders die Vorteile eines freien Marktes und die Nachteile staatlicher Eingriffe hervor. Seine Grundhaltung kommt in seinem Bestseller Kapitalismus und Freiheit zum Ausdruck. Darin forderte er die Minimierung der Rolle des Staates, um politische und gesellschaftliche Freiheit zu fördern. In seiner Fernsehserie Free to Choose, die PBS im Jahre 1980 sendete, erklärte Friedman die Funktionsweisen des freien Marktes und unterstrich besonders, dass andere wirtschaftliche Systeme die sozialen und politischen Probleme einer Gesellschaft nicht adäquat lösen könnten.

Friedman war Professor an der University of Chicago. Er war Schüler von Frank Knight. Der Rechtswissenschaftler David D. Friedman ist sein Sohn, Patri Friedman sein Enkel.

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Zitate Milton Friedman

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„Mit einigen rühmlichen Ausnahmen, sind Geschäftsleute für die freie Marktwirtschaft im allgemeinen, aber dagegen wenn es um sie selbst geht.“

—  Milton Friedman
Lecture "The Suicidal Impulse of the Business Community" (1983); cited in Filters Against Folly (1985) by Garrett Hardin ISBN 067080410X

„I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. … because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. I believe our government is too large and intrusive, that we do not get our money's worth for the roughly 40 percent of our income that is spent by government … How can we ever cut government down to size? I believe there is one and only one way: the way parents control spendthrift children, cutting their allowance. For government, that means cutting taxes. As quoted in Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and other big government Republicans hijacked the conservative cause (2006) by Richard A Viguerie, p. 46 <!-- similar to statement previously dated (16 September 2003) — but linked page indicates "interview" by John Hawkins dated 25 February 2012 http://www.rightwingnews.com/interviews/friedman.php : I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. … because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. The question is, "How do you hold down government spending?" Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up. The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes. -->

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„On the level of political principle, the imposition of taxes and the expenditure of tax proceeds are governmental functions.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: On the level of political principle, the imposition of taxes and the expenditure of tax proceeds are governmental functions. We have established elaborate constitutional, parliamentary and judicial provisions to control these functions, to assure that taxes are imposed so far as possible in accordance with the preferences and desires of the public — after all, "taxation without representation" was one of the battle cries of the American Revolution. We have a system of checks and balances to separate the legislative function of imposing taxes and enacting expenditures from the executive function of collecting taxes and administering expenditure programs and from the judicial function of mediating disputes and interpreting the law. Here the businessman — self-selected or appointed directly or indirectly by stockholders — is to be simultaneously legislator, executive and, jurist. He is to decide whom to tax by how much and for what purpose, and he is to spend the proceeds — all this guided only by general exhortations from on high to restrain inflation, improve the environment, fight poverty and so on and on. "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits" in The New York Times Magazine (13 September 1970) http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html

„Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income. Fox News interview (May 2004)

„In my opinion the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved value of land, the Henry George argument of many, many years ago.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: There's a sense in which all taxes are antagonistic to free enterprise … and yet we need taxes. We have to recognize that we must not hope for a Utopia that is unattainable. I would like to see a great deal less government activity than we have now, but I do not believe that we can have a situation in which we don't need government at all. We do need to provide for certain essential government functions — the national defense function, the police function, preserving law and order, maintaining a judiciary. So the question is, which are the least bad taxes? In my opinion the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved value of land, the Henry George argument of many, many years ago. As quoted in The Times Herald, Norristown, Pennsylvania (1 December 1978)

„There's a sense in which all taxes are antagonistic to free enterprise … and yet we need taxes.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: There's a sense in which all taxes are antagonistic to free enterprise … and yet we need taxes. We have to recognize that we must not hope for a Utopia that is unattainable. I would like to see a great deal less government activity than we have now, but I do not believe that we can have a situation in which we don't need government at all. We do need to provide for certain essential government functions — the national defense function, the police function, preserving law and order, maintaining a judiciary. So the question is, which are the least bad taxes? In my opinion the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved value of land, the Henry George argument of many, many years ago. As quoted in The Times Herald, Norristown, Pennsylvania (1 December 1978)

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„The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: It's nice to elect the right people, but that isn't the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things. About changing congress http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac9j15eig_w (c. 1977)

„To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshipped and served. Introduction

„Unfortunately, unanimity is not always feasible.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: The political principle that underlies the is unanimity. In an ideal free market resting on private property, no individual can coerce any other, all cooperation is voluntary, all parties to such cooperation benefit or they need not participate. There are no values, no "social" responsibilities in any sense other than the shared values and responsibilities of individuals. Society is a collection of individuals and of the various groups they voluntarily form. The political principle that underlies the political mechanism is conformity. The individual must serve a more general social interest — whether that be determined by a church or a dictator or a majority. The individual may have a vote and say in what is to be done, but if he is overruled, he must conform. It is appropriate for some to require others to contribute to a general whether they wish to or not. Unfortunately, unanimity is not always feasible. There are some respects in which conformity appears unavoidable, so I do not see how one can avoid the use of the political mechanism altogether. "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits" in The New York Times Magazine (13 September 1970)

„The existence of a free market does not of course eliminate the need for government.“

—  Milton Friedman
Context: The existence of a free market does not of course eliminate the need for government. On the contrary, government is essential both as a forum for determining the "rule of the game" and as an umpire to interpret and enforce the rules decided on. Ch. 1 The Relation Between Economic Freedom and Political Freedom, 2002 edition, page 15

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