Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Hayek on Friedman

David Gordon writes:
When Friedrich Hayek was a Visiting Professor at UCLA in 1969, I asked him what he thought of Milton Friedman's proposal for a negative income tax. He said that he was strongly against it. He did not offer a detailed criticism himself but said that Henry Hazlitt had done an excellent refutation of it.
Peter Klein reminds us of a Hayek comment of Friedman's "dangerous book":
Hayek's opinion of Friedman's positivism is less well known, though quite startling. Here's Hayek, speaking to Bill Bartley in the mid-1980s (Hayek on Hayek, p. 145):
Friedman has this magnificent expository power. He is on most things, general market problems, sound. I want him on my side. You know, one of the things I often have publicly said is that one of the things I most regret is not having returned to a criticism of Keynes's treatise, but it is as much true of not having criticized Milton's [Essays in] Positive Economics, which in a way is quite as dangerous a book


  1. 10 years later he had nicer things to say about Friedman's negative income tax idea.

    "I believe, on the whole, that Friedman's proposal is a solution. I never specialized on the questions of public finance, but I think that Friedman's proposal can be made compatible with a flat tax rate. It need not be really progressive. Below a certain level of income you supplement people's income, and, above a certain point, you deduct on a constant basis. With this qualification, I would accept Friedman's proposal. My disagreement with him on monetary policy obscures the fact that on most other issues I very much agree with him. Things like his idea of establishing coupons for education and the negative income tax are brilliant."

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/44dcpo3 (google books)

  2. Why did Friedman write the introduction to the 50-year anniversary of "The Road to Serfdom"?

  3. Uh-oh. More cognitive dissonance for the Hayek/Friedman/Adam Smith crew.

  4. friedman never claimed it to be the best solution.he just proposed an alternative, 'better' tax system to the current time...a viable proposal...au contraire ''let's blow up the irs right now