Milton Friedman Teaches Phil Donahue

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Here’s a classic smash from Milton Friedman on the Phil Donahue show. Donahue is left speechless by Friedman’s response to his questions about the free market system. Yes, Friedman, in many aspects, went wrong in his career, but this clip shows Friedman as the brilliant and tough teacher as he takes Donahue to the woodshed. Particularly striking is his comment to Donahue’s question about “greed”: “Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?”

Sure, Donahue was a boob, even when he was right (such as war), but just 30 years later, can you imagine any television talk show host bringing on an intellectual with the caliber of Milton Friedman? Compare Oprah or Sally Jesse Raphael. Donahue also interviewed Ayn Rand. In light of that, I have many fond memories of the Phil Donahue show. My Mom had his show on all the time, so I watched it, whenever possible, from the time I was about ten years old. I learned much from the debate/discussion on his show.

7:15 pm on April 14, 2010