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Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom: A Binary Economic Critique


  • Robert Ashford


This article presents a binary economic critique of Milton Friedman's thesis that a competitive, free market, private enterprise, capitalist system is an essential condition for freedom. After identifying deficiencies in Friedman's understanding of private property and economics, this article explains how a market economy based on Friedman's flawed understanding concentrates economic power in a plutocracy, perpetuates chronic underemployment of labor and capital, and suppresses the freedom of most people. It advances a "binary economic approach" to create a more productive and democratic market system characterized by greater, more sustainable, and more widely-distributed prosperity, economic power, and individual freedom than prevails in any existing capitalist economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Ashford, 2010. "Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom: A Binary Economic Critique," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(2), pages 533-542.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:2:p:533-542
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624440226

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