Milton Friedman answers Phil Donahue on Greed

Current attacks on capitalism are troubling, not because capitalism is without its own flaws, but because any alternative is so much worse.

Palm Coast, Florida – March 3, 2009 – The U.S. economy is in turmoil, perhaps the worst since the great depression. Some would argue since the Carter years. There is enough blame to go around. It is clear that the government played a large role by encouraging lenders to make ever riskier loans available to marginal home buyers. It’s also clear that Wall Street was culpable. Where else can someone earn millions upon millions by simply moving money around while not actually creating anything? The present administration seems bent upon solving the crisis through an aggressive move toward socialism and increased government control. Margaret Thatcher warned us, "The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money."
My background, from growing up in a small agricultural community too small to have a football team, through school and multiple careers has hard-wired me to reject Socialism and big government. Instead of asking, "Why can’t we just share and get along?" I ask, "Why can’t we all carry the load of which we are capable?" A reader recently emailed a Phil Donahue interview of Milton Friedman about greed. Friedman is able to express my thoughts so much better than can I. I thought I would share the video clip with you. (click here)
5 replies
  1. Dan Bozza
    Dan Bozza says:

    Intimidated NOT encouraged

    Thanks again for your comments and particularly the Donahue/Friedman clip.

    In your first paragraph you say "It is clear that the government played a large role by encouraging lenders to make ever riskier loans available to marginal home buyers" when in fact some of our so called’ leaders in Washington such as Chris Dodd, Barney Franks and Maxine Waters threatened lenders with federal investigations and possible suits for discriminatory lending practices if they DIDN’T make loans to people who couldn’t ever pay them off.

    Let’s tell it like it is!

  2. Keith Cooper
    Keith Cooper says:

    The Friedman Video Clip


    Another excellent piece you have written. Now if only we can get this interview in the hands of every golden parachute CEO, the entire financial industry – banks, stock brokers, mortgage brokers – college presidents and their entire faculty and student body. How about Congress, The President and the entire White House staff,and how about all real estate developers. What a novel idea! Friedman was a genius and eloquently expressed how greed works no matter what country or regime exists anywhere in the world. If I could quote from the movie "Wall Street", where Michael Douglas who portrayed Gordon Gecko said it best – "Greed for the lack of a better word is good!" That describes how corporate CEO’s got us in the economic mess we are in today.

  3. troy sarkozy
    troy sarkozy says:


    ever since the begining of the exchange of things of value-was greed,thats why GOD made it a sin. It was always their,and will be till it destroys us

  4. David
    David says:

    Greed is bad, but there is good

    First, great article. I enjoyed the clip with Milton. It’s always good to see Donahue get take down a few notches.

    The desire to accumulate wealth/matierals is an incentive and not inherintly evil. It is by this virtue that the world progresses regardless of nationality.

    The abuse of this desire whereby persons of position/power choose what’s easy or selfish over what is right is greed.

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