Milton Friedman On Free Trade

I always like watching Milton Friedman, not because I like him but for something totally opposite. It helps in knowing what the exact position of economists is. Milton Friedman has been hugely influential on how economists think. Almost everyone is just rambling what Friedman said, so why not listen to their master?

This is a lecture given in 1978 on free trade.

Milton Friedman Lecture On Free Trade

click the picture to watch the video on YouTube

A claim made by Friedman in the video is that market mechanisms work to resolve balance of payments problems. “Balance of payments is not a problem”, says Friedman. Of course that’s all wrong but economists continue to believe in such things.

Another claim made by Friedman is that protectionism is because few industries lobby for it. While that is certainly true, how about “free trade” itself? Producers with market share in international markets influence their governments to push for free trade internationally. Why didn’t he talk of those things?

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