We as human beings don't have a responsibility, but I hope we have a compassion and an interest in the bottom twenty percent. And I only want to say to you that the capitalist system, the private enterprise system in the nineteenth century did a far better job of expressing that sense of compassion than the governmental welfare programs are today. The nineteenth century, the period which people denigrate as a high tide of capitalism had the-- was the period of the greatest out pouring of eleemosynary and charitable activity that the world has ever known. And one of the things I hold against the welfare system, most seriously, is that it has destroyed private charitable arrangements which are far more effective, far more compassionate, far more person-to-person in helping people who are really, for no fault of their own, in disadvantaged situations.What I love about Friedman is his ability to articulate his position so clearly and with such conviction.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Here, the X is Milton Friedman in "From Cradle to Grave", the fourth episode in his 1980 series Free To Choose