Thursday, July 14, 2011

Friedman on the proper role of government

This is circa 1999, but it is an interesting interview of Milton Friedman by Peter Robinson.  The full 'Uncommon Knowledge' interview is here.

In part 5 of the 5-part interview (link), Friedman provides his definition of the proper role of government (federal and local): 
            1. Preserve the peace / defend the country
            2. Provide a mechanism whereby individuals can adjudicate their disputes
            3. Prevent individuals from being coerced by other individuals

Robinson then provides a checklist of 14 federal government cabinet departments and Friedman says which should stay and which should go away:
  1. Agriculture:  Eliminate
  2. CommerceEliminate
  3. Defense:  Keep
  4. EducationEliminate
  5. EnergyEliminate
  6. Health & Human ServicesCut by 1/2
  7. Housing &Urban DevelopmentEliminate
  8. InteriorEliminate
  9. JusticeKeep
  10. LaborEliminate
  11. StateKeep
  12. TransportationEliminate
  13. TreasuryKeep
  14. Veterans AffairsEliminate(* replace core functions)

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