In 1993, at the grand opening of the Cato Institute’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., Dr Milton Friedman gave a talk. It is worth listening to even after 28 years. He was introduced as “the Nobel Prize winner, economic trailblazer, author, scholar, statesman, champion of political freedom and economic liberty, Dr. Milton Friedman.”
Friedman was awarded the Nobel Memorial prize in economic sciences in 1976. He died in 2006 at the age of 94.
Although the substance of his talk at the Cato Institute relates to the US, it is relevant in a much larger contemporary context of what is going on around the world and in the US. Understanding Friedman’s points helps us make sense of the world. Besides being informative, he is as always delightfully funny and entertaining. Here’s the .mp3 audio of the talk. Continue reading “Friedman on Free Lunch”
Bringing you lower quality and fewer choices since the 16th Century, reads the caption to the image of capitalism. The grim image of the evils of capitalism is captured in William Blake’s evocative phrase “the dark satanic mills.” Is it true that because capitalism rests on selfishness and greed that we don’t have a heaven on earth?
In human society in all ages the number of angels devoid of any greed and selfishness is astonishingly low. Most people are self-interested at least, if not outright selfish; and most people want more of the good stuff for themselves and their loved ones, if not outright greedy. That’s the truth about the human condition. That’s what we have to work with, and bemoaning that fact, or worse ignoring that fact, is not going to help at all. Continue reading “Capitalism is based on Selfishness and Greed”
The economic growth of any economy depends on how much is invested in creating productive assets in it. Factories, buildings, ports, the transportation network, natural resource extraction, manpower training, the use of modern methods of manufacturing, energy production and distribution networks — all require investment. Part of the investment arises from domestic savings, part from foreign borrowings, and part from foreign direct investment (FDI.) Let’s look at how India does in FDI compared to other countries.
Here I will not address what kind of changes need to happen for India to attract, say, 10 times as much FDI as it currently does. That’s feasible but not with the current policies and leadership. Anyway, here are the facts.
Continue reading “India and Foreign Direct Investment”
A little while ago, I saw this tweet — which I append below. It relates to the mainstream media’s response to Shri Mohan Bhagwat’s comment that “Mother” Teresa was motivated by her desire to convert people to Christianity. That seems really odd to me. I would have surmised that the fact that Teresa was basically in the business of proselytizing and converting would be as unremarkable as the fact that the Pope is a Catholic. Whatever she did — and she was remarkably candid about it — she maintained was because she was serving her lord and savior Jesus Christ. Christ wanted everyone to be saved through him. So what’s so bloody remarkable about noting that she was primarily motivated by what she admitted to: saving souls?
Anyway, here’s the tweet by @rvaidya2000:
Continue reading “Criticizing Modern Indian Holy Cows Considered Dangerous”
Today is the 101st birthday of Prof Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006). His erudition, eloquence and dedicated struggle for human freedom and dignity have helped advance civilization. Here he is on Phil Donohue’s show in 1979. In this 2-minute extract, Donohue asks him about capitalism and greed. The response is classic Friedman — devastating but funny, profound and based entirely on common sense. Happy 101st birthday, Milton Friedman. May your tribe increase. Your eloquence has illuminated the world.