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on 5 February 2015
very nice product and delivery
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 September 2008
This book, printed in various formats and languages, is some indication of the fact that Milton Friedman's arguments have not lost currency in the 21st century, even though many people hotly contest their rights and wrongs. The old master of economics hardly wastes time in triggering a debate by stating in the very first chapter: "History suggests only that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition."

Capitalism and Freedom has been derided, criticised and lauded in equal measure and for Friedmanites it remains the bible. Love him or hate him, the author himself was never one to shy away from controversy. In this book he has pened his thoughts on issues such as the control of money, fiscal policy, role of government in educating the masses, distribution of income, social welfare measures and alleviation of poverty, among others.

Some of his one-liners and thoughts here are hugely engaging. Despite being vehemently opposed to Government intervention in free market economies, he writes that "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."

The book is also packed with what some might interpret as below the belt remarks, if not properly contextualised. For instance, he writes, "With respect to teachers' salaries .... Poor teachers are grossly overpaid and good teachers grossly underpaid. Salary schedules tend to be uniform and determined far more by seniority." (Chapter 6: Role of Education in Government).

Overall, Friedman has made a case for what he construed as competitive and constructive capitalism and I immensely enjoyed reading the Nobel laureate's thoughts. The longevity of his chain of thought is perhaps what makes this book a valuable reference point. That aside, it has been written is an easy to read format which still fans its popularity over forty years after the first edition went to press.
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on 6 May 2015
Essential reading.
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on 24 October 2015
Excellent product
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2009
This is the work of classical liberal considering how a free society should operate and what role the state has in a free society. To do this he considers some of the cases where the automatic assumption among many is that the government has to regulate, ban or provide services and argues, usually persuasively, that government intervention causes more problems than it can hope to solve.

There are instances where he proposes an idea that seems so extraordinary that it appears that only a madman, an ideologue or someone living in a fantasy world could even consider it, such as the case that abolishing medical licences for doctors would improve patient care, but then after examining the case it great detail the underlying assumptions believing in a need for licensing are demonstrated to be much weaker than initially believed.

The fact that it was written in a time when the intellectual climate was very hostile to classical liberal ideals is reflected in the manner in which he writes to persuade those who disagree with him rather than simply to preach to the converted, as so many current authors do.

As the title suggests capitalism is inextricably intertwined with democracy and that despite the sincere desires of those who wish otherwise, political freedom cannot survive without

This edition of Milton Friedman's seminal advocacy of classical liberalism includes two additional prefaces, one from 1982 and from 2002, in which Friedman discusses how his ideas have developed over the course of the previous 30 and 50 years. When the book was first published the ideas had no takers on the political stage, the age of free markets had died after the Great Depression. Yet by 1982 a few countries had elected government's sympathetic to his ideas and by 2002 some of his policies had been implemented with great success throughout the world. Whilst Friedman credits most of that to the experience of thestatist experiment rather than his advocacy of freedom he is being modest.
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on 25 April 2015
100% satisfied
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2005
It is surprising how relevant this book is to the present state of affairs having been written originally in the 60s.
Friedman goes through the issues of capitalism, freedom and related issues on an easy to understand manner; with a few exceptions where he gets a bit too technical for the general public (e.g. monetary policies). Nevertheless a very enlightening text by the Noble price.
A must read for anyone interested in liberalism, economy and politics.
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on 3 February 2015
v good
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10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2005
Friedman is a very intuative economist, of this there can be no doubt. However, his correct intuition, in my opinion, stretches no further than economics. His chapter on political freedom for instance, has many holes in it, and although he raises some very thought-provoking ideas, in the end I felt it impossible not to disagree on many counts.
This said, I would strongly advise this book to anyone, beginner or advanced; it's simple style that presents challenging ideas will suit almost all readers.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2009
This is a small book so I thought it would be a quick read. However it took me quite a while to get through. There are a lot of concepts and logical arguments that demand you go back and reread.

Free speech, free press, these are the things people think about when talking about freedom. You don't really think about the concept of economic/financial freedom and how limits placed on these by government policy can affect individual freedom. You don't see people protesting for financial freedom but the two are closely tied.

Capitalism and Freedom, written in the early 60's by the famous economist Milton Friedman, provides a novice like me a history on how capitalism has worked in the past and how it is working now. It mainly covers US policy but these are relevant to other capitalist systems. After reading this book you realise that the problems that are around now are the same problems that existed in the past. In the media when you see stories of parents complaining about which state run schools they can send their kids to and the problems with the National Health System for example, you see that freedom encompasses a whole lot more than just freedom of speech. If you're ill, it can prevent you from choosing which hospital you are treated in or the treatment itself, if you have kids which school you are allowed to send them to. Recently in Britain (2009), a parent was in criminal court over fraud charges related to the address she used to register her child in a school (in an attempt to get her child into a good school). Luckily for her the case was dropped.

The book is littered with interesting financial facts from the past; for instance there was prohibition on owning gold bullion in the US and after World War II Brits were not allowed to vacation in the US because of exchange control.

I recommend this book but be warned that it's not an easy read. It is rewarding when you actually understand what is being talked about on the news and you can have an informed opinion about it.
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