Milton Friedman on Carbon Tax – 1979

February 10, 2021

Interesting clip I stumbled over, posted by the “eco-right” RepublicEn group.

Here, in a 1979 interview, Free Market DemiGod Milton Friedman, in the course of explaining his approach to government regulation (he doesn’t like it) demonstrates a weaselly, sophomoric attitude towards mandatory airbags that sounds ludicrous and utterly callous, in light of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives that those devices have now saved. (without leading us into a socialist hellscape)
He also, intriguingly, makes the case for a carbon tax to curb particulate pollution.
Truly though, he makes me think of the most infuriatingly punchable, obnoxious, pseudo intellectually phony freshman on the floor in your dorm.

4 Responses to “Milton Friedman on Carbon Tax – 1979”

  1. mboli Says:

    This stuff drives me nuts. Has done so since I was a a student at U of Chicago, which had many snotty young libertarians as described.

    No, we would not be better off as a society if there were no building codes, no licensing of medical providers, no safety standards for vehicles. Those libertarian paradises, every country where the government doesn’t have much presence and very little ability to affect these everyday standards, is dirt poor and dangerous.

    I haven’t met any libertarian followers of Friedman who are inclined to relocate to what are, by their definition, the freest countries on Earth.

  2. BL Brown Says:

    The background assumption seems to be that no one cares about anyone else, everyone is rational and fully informed and has the means/ security to take ‘rational’ risks (including a lot of backup money in case all their ‘rational’ bets go sour). A more absurd account of human beings and societies is hard to imagine.


  3. Just consider he is still thought of as one of the leading right wing intellectuals. I’d laugh it it wasn’t so damn sad and infuriating that pseudo intellectuals like him still get airtime.


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