In honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Milton Freidman’s Capitalism and Freedom the Liberty Law website has organized a symposium of reflections on the book’s legacy. The introduction to the symposium is here. My essay, which takes off on the coincidence of the publication of Capitalism and Freedom and Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty just two years apart, is here.
One thing that struck me is how relevant many of Friedman’s arguments remain because even though it seems apparent that he has won the war of ideas on many of the issues he discusses, policies in many areas (most notably occupational licensing) have gotten worse, rather than better, in the meantime. Which unfortunately suggests that interest groups and public choice dynamics may be more proximately important than ideas (although bad ideas, of course, create the environment for interest groups and political opportunists to prosper).
This was the first time in years that I read Capitalism and Freedom all the way through cover to cover, which was very edifying. So I want to thank Richard Reinsch at Liberty Fund for inviting me to participate in the symposium.