There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

By Milton Friedman | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter Fourteen
Central Planning vs. Free Enterprise

This chapter covers a wide range of specific issues--from the mode of governing the West Bank of the Jordan to federal relief to individuals damaged by floods. Their common theme is the widespread bias against the free market and in favor of central planning, despite the dearly superior performance of the market. This theme has been present in many of the earlier chapters of this book, but in most of these it has been a minor theme. In these columns, it is the major theme.

This general bias against the free market is a puzzling phenomenon, particularly on the part of intellectuals. I have often noted that the two groups that threaten the free market most are businessmen and intellectuals, but for opposite reasons. The businessman is in favor of free enterprise for everyone else but not for himself--he's always a special case, urging that governmental assistance, protection, and subsidy for him are necessary to serve the national interest. The intellectual is just the other way. He is strongly in favor of free enterprise for himself but not for anyone else. He wants no central government planning bureau to tell him what to write, what research to engage in, what to teach. No, he believes in free speech, a free press, and academic freedom. But when it comes to other people, that's a different story. Then he will tell you about the necessity of having central direction to avoid the wastes of competition and duplication of effort and to assure that resources are employed in accordance with the "right" social priorities.

Why is it that intellectuals do not see the inconsistency? Is it only their expectation (which, incidentally is doomed to be disappointed) that in a centrally planned society they will be in the driver's seat? Is it their tendency to overestimate the power of deliberate direction because cerebra

-293-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 324

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?