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Milton Friedman on Social Policy - Dictionary of Arguments

Brocker I 408
Social Policy/Friedman: ultimately, the norm of individual choice also shapes ideas about the welfare state. In Friedman's free capitalism there is certainly a place for social, tax and distribution policy (1). However, poverty should not be combated in a paternalistic way by giving the lower income groups free state benefits and thus restricting their free choice of consumption. The existing welfare state is less criticised for its objectives than for its patronising and inefficient instruments.
Friedman's proposal is to cancel all individual social and distributional measures and replace them with a negative income tax. This saves a lot of bureaucracy and the idea of self-determination of individual lifestyles is given an economic basis(2). See Taxation/Friedman.


1. Breul, Frank R., »Capitalism and Freedom: An Essay Review«, in: Social Service Review 37/2, 1963, 201-207.
2. Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago 1962. German: Milton Friedman, Kapitalismus und Freiheit, München 2004.


Peter Spahn, „Milton Friedman, Kapitalismus und Freiheit“, in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Econ Fried I
Milton Friedman
The role of monetary policy 1968

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-07-27
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