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Why Government Is the Problem (Essays in Public Policy) Paperback – February 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Series: Essays in Public Policy (Book 39)
  • Paperback: 18 pages
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press; 1st Edition edition (February 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817954422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817954420
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science, was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006. He passed away on Nov. 16, 2006. He was also the Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946 to 1976, and a member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.

Customer Reviews

Excellent thought provoking book.
A. S. Wattson
Every High School graduate should be required to read this!
James H. Gardner
Hope many people read this and soon.
g. miner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on August 13, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this very short piece, Friedman tries to make a brief argument on why government is in fact the main obstacle to development. Given the very limited space (18 pages), it is impossible to make a very strong argument on such a broad topic. Friedman makes some good points, but most of them do not provide supporting evidence, so it leaves a hesitant reader unconvinced. It seems to me that this book is sufficient for good argument over cocktail conversation.

For a more thorough analysis of the same arguments presented in this short book, I would recommend either Capital and Freedom or Free to Choose by Friedman as well.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Donna Nowland on August 10, 2013
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If I believed in mandates, this would be required reading in all high schools and colleges, as well as a prerequisite to voter registrations. Americans have lost their way and the content of this book would help them find their way back. Milton Friedman is right-on!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ronald L Carpenter on September 13, 2013
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In an era where our government believes we are too dumb or lazy to solve our problems, Friedman clearly spells out the truth about government...it is the problem. Without getting into the weeds Friedman explains and documents the argument that diverting capital to a bigger government reduces the availability and ability of private sector and individuals to use that capital goods, services, and prosperity. It's a great read and as an essay it's short and to the point. The document also include bibliography and source information.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tom Christman on February 13, 2013
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I wanted to read what Mr. Friedman had to say about government.
To the point.
A must read for anyone wanting to understand our country's current condition.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By mh on December 14, 2013
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Milton Friedman is the Einstein of Economics. Recommend this for everyone...especially people who believe that big government is the solution. For those of us who know...well this is eloquent reinforcement!!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By AAA on October 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
Re-Read this book recently after finding the business papers of my dad, born in 1900, died in 1969.

Why was it that my dad came to America in 1915, and because he worked two jobs, one as a bus-boy then waiter plus unloading ships in the port of Philadelphia, by late 1919-early 1920 he had slightly more than $6,000 saved up, with which he could buy a business with 8 employees?

A business that eventually supported those 8 employees with their families plus our family of six. And all six of us ended up going to well known universities and we have a collection of Masters and PhD's between us.

To put that in perspective $6,000 then has the purchasing power of roughly $125,000 today (2013)

The difference was that for all intents and purposes in 1919, there was no government, as progressives today want it.

No "safety net" no welfare, no "Affordable Care Act: no nothing other than the government running a Post Office, the Armed Services and US Customs.

And you got to keep you money that you made, yourself, because taxes were non existent.

You had equality of access, not attempts via an intrusive government to try to create equality of outcome.

I have to agree with a line attributed to Margret Thatcher..."Government Drives Out Good" because with the extreme intervention of government into our lives today, which makes for equality of outcome, I don't think that any of us, are able to save up $125,000 in today's dollars to use to go create a simple business.

And that is the point of this book.

Through simple, clear examples, Mr. Friedman shows us how the Government, wanting to "help us," ends up negatively helping us in some unexpected way.
Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peggy on December 16, 2012
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Phenomenal quick read of some highlights from Friedman's essays. Excellent insight that applies to what ails our country today. If politicians and policy makers applied only a few of his ideas it would be beneficial.....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Seagrave on November 23, 2013
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If only the Obama Administration, and all the hopeful ignorami who elected him, had read this. You don't need much more than a brain and the ability to read to understand essential economics when you read Friedman.
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More About the Author

Milton Friedman is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the Paul Snowden Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago. In 1976 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. He has written a number of books, including two with his wife, Rose D. Friedman---the bestselling Free to Choose and Two Lucky People: Memoirs, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Why Government Is the Problem (Essays in Public Policy)
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