Thursday, December 3, 2020

887: How it went wrong.....

 The influence of the ideas of Milton Friedman (1912 - 2006) on how our society is organized today, has been enormous.

 The markets and market forces were embraced as THE solution for everything. With Reagan in the US and Thatcher in England, the deregulation began.


Friedman was convinced that the role of the government in the economic field should be smaller instead of bigger, a plea in which he runs counter to the common opinion of that time.


Since 1945 all European countries had invested in the development of the welfare state, based on ideas like equality, equal chances, solidarity, redistribution of wealth.


All these concepts were regarded as necessary in politics with a social face because capitalism had only one thing in mind: money.

Compare these concepts with the conviction of Friedman, that a company had only ONE goal, one target, and that is the maximization of profits.

This policy in fact made all ethics disappear out of companies. It even led to the attitude: if it is not forbidden by law, then it is allowed, even when it is questionable from a moral perspective.


I ran into an example quite recently. Our environment is overloaded with all kinds of agricultural pesticides. To save our ecosystem we have to reduce it.


Thence the government has forbidden all municipalities to use agricultural pesticides by law in 2016. The municipalities now use fire or steam to remove weeds from pavements.


To my surprise, I had to read that there was a lawsuit started against this decision. Guess who was suing the government, two producers of pesticides.


Nevertheless, Friedman's ideas rumbled on. He advocates a broad program of privatization in which the government should abandon numerous regulatory tasks, 


such as exchange rate control, price regulation, the pursuit of a minimum wage, taxing companies, and so on.


Just look at the present situation regarding PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and vaccines. The market forces will do the job. Government, don't meddle with it.


The consequences are obvious and prove how fundamentally dishonest and unjust this belief in free markets has become.


There is no process based on equality, equal chances, solidarity, redistribution of wealth to protect the health of millions of people. 


The rich countries buy everything and the poor countries are left behind. People have deprived of aid there thanks to market forces.


But in the eyes of Friedman, this is ok. Markets are a-moral.  For him, the main functions of a government were the following: 


1.the enforcement of law and order, 

2.the determination of property rights, 

3.the possible amendment of economic rules, 

4.assistance in the interpretation of those rules, 


5.enforcing compliance with contracts, 

6 forming and safeguarding a sound monetary system, 

7. fighting monopoly formation, 

8. supporting families or charities.


This is not a laissez-faire economy as in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but a state that actively acts in constituting a modern market economy and has no other function. 


A notable example of this is the fight against discrimination based on ethnicity or religion. Friedman recognizes, of course, that these kinds of problems exist, 


but he believes they will disappear over time if the impersonal dynamics of the market can do its job.


After all, a businessman who attaches more importance to a skin color or religion than to the skills of his employees will lose out to the businessman who does not discriminate.


How beneficial can market forces be .......


Thank you for your attention again.....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020


The Discussion

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the usual firm belief that everything can be fixed with money

[13:22] herman Bergson: I have to study Friedman in detail to understand his 8. supporting families or charities.....

[13:23] herman Bergson: You can't fix a broken heart with money Bejiita ^_^

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and u cant buy friends

[13:23] herman Bergson: That is what Michael Sandel says too, Bejiita

[13:23] Laila Schuman: Trump gave huge tax cuts to the wealthy..... how does that sit with Friedman's way of doing things?

[13:23] CB Axel: There have been 528 years since white men have been on the American continents. How long do we have to wait for that equality to happen?

[13:23] Ciska Riverstone is online.

[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes CB....this belief of Friedman is naive and unrealistic

[13:24] CB Axel: Money many not fix a broken heart, but it's a lot more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than a Chevy.

[13:24] herman Bergson: ^_^

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): are u sure

[13:25] herman Bergson: I agree :-))

[13:25] herman Bergson: The tax cuts are a kind of deregulation Laila....

[13:25] herman Bergson: That is what they will argue

[13:26] Laila Schuman: seems like economic favoritism to me

[13:26] herman Bergson: In fact it was Trump guying friends ^_^

[13:26] herman Bergson: buying

[13:26] Laila Schuman: i believe that

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Trump is indeed one who think u can buy everything but also his friends are as corrupt and yucky rich

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he gain them with the taxcuts

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): his own "race"

[13:28] herman Bergson: A sidetrack.....

[13:28] Laila Schuman: Ann Rand... any comparison??

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the corrupt and greedy race

[13:29] herman Bergson: How fits Ayn Rand in here....don't know...

[13:29] Laila Schuman: money

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): selfishness

[13:30] herman Bergson: Except that the US has ben run by the successful businessmen, just like Atlas Shrugged suggested....THHAT would be heaven on earth

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to just want to have more and more for yourself

[13:31] Dien (djdien.bailey) is offline.

[13:31] herman Bergson: No...I have some idea about Trump and his obsessive belief that he has won....

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hes still not giving in!

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sigh

[13:31] herman Bergson: In 2016 he got 62 million 2020 he got 72 million he WON.....

[13:32] CB Axel: That just means he beat himself.

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even Biden got some millions more

[13:32] herman Bergson: he can not get it in his system that the other candidate got 80 million votes....

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true cb

[13:32] herman Bergson: HE WON...more votes than in 2016!

[13:32] herman Bergson: HE WON....

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and voting was more intense now because of everryone that knew that the gigant baby had to go

[13:33] herman Bergson: ok except that Biden fellow....with his 82 million votes...can only be fraud

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so many more voted in total

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed he says its fraud

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): BUAAAAAAHH BUAAAAAAHHH!

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): uugh

[13:33] CB Axel: He can't believe he lost. The Republicans gerrymandered voting districts, closed polling places in gerrymandered Democratic areas, slowed down the postal service, and spent millions on advertising. How could they lose?

[13:34] herman Bergson: I think I understand his limitations :-)

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa that he is the worst looser on theplanet!

[13:34] CB Axel: It's interesting that the fraud only occurred for the presidential election. Other Republicans on the same ballots for other offices won.

[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes CB....isn't it amazing what they all did to frustrate the elections

[13:35] CB Axel: And still lost the presidency.

[13:35] herman Bergson: YEs...that is the fun part of the story :-)

[13:36] herman Bergson: Anyway....Friedman is the cause of everything we are in now.....

[13:36] herman Bergson: He could explain almost everything in terms of market forces....even education

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a huge privatization mess where only the rich have right to a good life

[13:37] Laila Schuman: right

[13:37] CB Axel: Friedman and everyone who found that his ideas helped them to the detriment of everyone else.

[13:37] herman Bergson: It was in my professional days that I all of a sudden was delivering a product and students became customers

[13:37] herman Bergson: His ideas corrupted the basics of education....

[13:38] Laila Schuman: yes

[13:38] herman Bergson: the relation between teacher and student...

[13:38] CB Axel: That's a backwards way of looking at it. The students were paying the wages of the teachers, so the students should be able to demand a good product. :)

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and healthcare

[13:38] herman Bergson: RIGHT, CB! :-)

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well that should indeed also be true

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least there should be a win win situation

[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) is online.

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like when i make my stuff at the factory im not just interested in us making money but also to deliver something of good quality to make better more fun to play golf

[13:40] herman Bergson: Yet  lots of politicians believed in this neoliberal Friedman dream....

[13:40] herman Bergson: It was convenient and a nice argument to justify cut backs and break down the welfare state

[13:41] herman Bergson: Maybe Sweden is a country that kept some of it alive

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well

[13:43] herman Bergson: well ...the biggest promise of Friedman's ideas was lower prices and more efficiency caused by competition....

[13:44] herman Bergson: nothing has come true in that respect.....

[13:44] theo Velde is online.

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): opposite is true

[13:44] herman Bergson: yes...

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and then we have companies like Apple that try kill all competition with patent trolling

[13:45] herman Bergson: Let's continue complaining about this next Thursday ^_^

[13:45] CB Axel: Don't forget about price fixing.

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i bet there are more patent troll lawyers then engineers working at Apple

[13:45] CB Axel: We need regulations to control capitalism.

[13:45] Laila Schuman: !!!

[13:45] herman Bergson: Friedman was against monopolies.....

[13:46] herman Bergson: he believed in a free market

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wel thats at least 1 god thing then

[13:46] herman Bergson: which would even solve the problem of discrimination ......

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with him

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well this is complex stuff but indeed a dilemma

[13:47] herman Bergson: We'll torture our brain with it next Thursday Bejiita :-))

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because money is as said not everything and cant solve everything

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lets torture some turtles a bit then instead

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:47] herman Bergson: Unless you have that final question.......

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and celebrate 1st dec

[13:48] herman Bergson: Thank you all again.....

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:48] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:48] herman Bergson: Happy December.....class dismissed :-)

[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:48] CB Axel: I'll see you all on Thursday. Have a good week. :)

[13:48] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Herman and class

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu CB

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

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