Milton Friedman always wanted to make the welfare state slightly less perverse.
He wanted to make education slightly less statist. He proposed vouchers. Supposedly, this was going to lead to greater parental choice. The scheme was nuts from the beginning. No school district ever adopted it. It was fantasy economics, politically speaking. It was designed to make the fascist system slightly more efficient, slightly less overbearing. It was never a serious proposal to restore liberty in education.
It always involved stealing money from taxpayers in order to transfer it to educational bureaucrats. There is no way to make that system just. That is theft from day one. There is no way to make a system based on theft into something favorable to freedom.
I said this from the beginning. I wrote about this in 1976. Friedman didn’t respond until 1993. But I got to answer his response. It is posted here.
We don’t need vouchers to fix the educational system. We need profit-seeking education, or free online education. We don’t need federal loans for education. We should let the monstrosity sink into the tar pits of bankruptcy.
Friedman spent his whole career devising schemes to make the fascist state slightly more efficient.
He was the great promoter of the earned income tax credit. It was just another form of welfare.
We should never try to make the welfare state slightly more efficient. Our goal should be to let the monstrosity die in full public view, and stink up the environment.
We don’t need to make Medicare more efficient. We need to let it go bankrupt in full public view. We should tell people why it is going bankrupt. We should show people why it cannot be reformed. We should tell them not to become dependent on it. Above all, we should not try to fix it. Anything that could be done to fix it is simply a way to extend the life of the fascist state.
We have had too much of Friedman’s approach. The only time that politicians ever adopted what he recommended was to make the system worse.
Floating exchange rates made the system worse. The abolition of the gold standard made the system worse.
Every time that Friedman recommended a way to make the fascist state less of an oppressive burden, he betrayed liberty. He spent his whole life doing this. He wanted to make the income tax less burdensome, so he provided justification for income tax withholding. As a result, the public wound up paying four times as much to the government as it did before withholding began.
The way to fight the fascist state is to show that it is inherently morally corrupt and that any attempt to make it slightly less corrupt is simply putting the monstrosity on life support. Let it go belly-up as soon as possible.
Anything that cuts its funding is a good idea. Anything that embarrasses it is a good idea.
We should never try to reform the welfare state. We should seek only to bankrupt it.