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Video Description

Volume 1 - The Power of the Market

Abstract:
Finding examples in his visits to Hong Kong, the U.S. and Scotland, Dr. Friedman says that free markets are the fundamental engines of economic progress. In free markets, individuals can go into any business they want, trade with whomever they want, buy as cheap as they can, and sell at the highest price they can get. In truly free markets, governments do not interfere with any of these privileges. Individuals are free to enter the marketplace to do business, and they, and they alone, enjoy the fruits of their successes and the consequences of their failures. In free markets, producers of goods and services respond to signals they receive from buyers in the marketplace. They key production to their understanding of what people are buying and, apparently, wish to continue to buy. Using this information, they decide what to produce and in what quantity. Competitive forces in free markets promote efficiency. Because there is free entry of new producers into the market, individual producers must keep costs down in order to price their products at competitive levels. This means the resources they consume tend to be used efficiently. If they are not, costs of production rise, selling prices go up, and the producer may not be able to sell his product because it is not priced competitively. Free markets promote voluntary cooperation among a great diversity of people. As Milton Friedman points out, even making something as simple as a pencil requires the cooperation of thousands of people largely unknown to one another. Because the pencil manufacturer needs paint, graphite, wood, glue, and other components, widely separated groups of individuals have an incentive to produce these items and ship them to the pencil plant. This cooperation is not accomplished by any government. Individual freedom and economic freedom are tightly linked. It is difficult to conceive of personal freedom existing in isolation from economic freedom. Thus, the free market system not only promotes economic progress, but also buttresses our cherished individual freedoms.

Documentary Description


Milton Friedman: Free To Choose



Free To Choose® is the ground-breaking PBS television series featuring Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist. These programs, filmed on location around the world, have helped millions of people understand the close relationship between the ideas of human freedom and economic freedom. The interaction between those ideas has created in the U.S. the richest and freest society the world has ever known. Milton Friedman sees this success threatened by the tendency in the last few decades to assume that government intervention is the answer to all problems. In these programs, which first aired on January 11, 1980, Dr. Friedman focuses on basic principles. How do markets work? Why has socialism failed? Can government help economic development? The 1980 version consists of 10 one-hour programs.



Producer and links to original media: Free to Choose Media, http://www.freetochoosemedia.org/freetochoose/media_ftc1980....

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