You know, I was influenced by Phil Donahue to ask questions and it is really sad that my children and the younger generation had only reality shows or fluff talk shows to turn their minds to jelly. Well, not jelly, because that would discredit their brainpower…but they do not have the stimulation that I did.
Here is a youtube I found with Milton Friedman on the Donahue Show. It was not one of Phil’s greatest moments as Friedman gets away with so much crap. Friedman is a master at throwing crap on the wall to see what sticks. He clearly is Libertarian in being anti-government “regulation”. I think the audience is stacked with Friedman fans, by the way.
When he talks about de-regulating the oil industry, he neglects to tell Donahue or the audience that the oil industry has been using public lands to drill for oil with paying only 12% of profits for it. According to this, they have made over $1 Trillion over the past decade. Yep. And here’s an example of them avoiding paying taxes by spreading manure over the public airwaves.
Back to the video — we have Friedman then say that the reason the truckers were fighting (this is 1979, folks, when the oil crises was in full swing…and we were in a downward economic spiral) was because they were being regulated.
The problem with this insane thinking is that there is a reason that regulations were put into place — because business owners were taking advantage of the situation and creating dangerous work conditions for their workers and/or the public. Regulations came about because the business owners (the shady ones, at least) refused to do the right thing.
At 19:45, Friedman makes the outrageous statement that “there have been studies…that the biggies have not eaten up the smallies…” A lie, as we have seen since about that time — the free-for-all began when Wall Street traders such as Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, Michael Milken, and Dennis Levine began a feeding frenzy of the bigger corporations eating up the smaller, more vulnerable companies, called corporate raids. There were companies contracting with traders such as Martin Siegel, to protect them against a takeover…but he would collect fees after the takeover.
From the book, Den of Thieves (James B. Stewart):
Siegel found his most effective tactic was to let Goldman makes its presentation, which typically emphasized that Goldman could get the best price if the target company were sold.
Siegel is also responsible for the “Golden Parachute” where an executive can run a company into the ground, and still get $$$ in severance pay when that company was taken over.
Boesky, Milken, and Levine were convicted of insider trading when they were caught using their knowledge of impending mergers to buy stock of a company. The stock would inevitably go up in price after news of the merger was made public, and then they would sell for a nice profit. They made millions this way.
Back to the video — at 30:00, they are discussing “everybody wants growth” and Donahue makes the case that an individual builds a better mousetrap, and along comes a bigger corporation that swallows it up. Of course, Friedman is shaking his head “no”, and goes on to say that another company will come along and build an even better mousetrap…but that isn’t what we’re seeing, is it? Now we begin to see why our Antitrust law, the Sherman Act, is being ignored and mergers are allowed even though the public is not being served, not getting lower prices, not getting better service, not getting a quality product, and being made to pay when the Too Big Too Fails are bailed out.
They make the example of little old men owning shoe shops…and Friedman again asserts that they will be down “temporarily” and then come back….
…how many shoe shops do you see around…? There were two downtown and two in the mall in the town I grew up in…they are gone. And they’re not coming back.
Friedman talks about the poor old oil companies not being able to make a buck, using the example that stockholders could sell their stock if they didn’t like what Exxon was doing.
Next, a woman in the audience asks if the public can do anything against inflation. Friedman emphatically says “no” and then he says that you can do something, if you demand the government reduce spending.
Doesn’t this go against what happened to the economy when Roosevelt started the New Deal? He put people to work for a $1 a day, providing housing and clothing and in the process, taught them a new trade, so they could go out in the world and use that trade to support themselves. I mean, they always point to WWII as the reason the economy turned around, but isn’t it because of teaching new trades to the poor, and by the G.I. Bill, that paid for college educations? Why not just skip the war and do the above — wouldn’t it had the same effect?
It gets really interesting at the end of the video when Friedman is asked a question on real life circumstances –why Sears was faltering while Kmart was growing. He couldn’t answer the question! Stunning. Is anybody else wondering why he was given the Nobel Prize? And if that influenced people into accepting his b.s. and not questioning his sociopathic thoughts?
And when the lady asks about why there is so much money at the top while poor people can’t support themselves in a decent living…Friedman goes into Libertarian mode saying, in so many words, that they have a right to be greedy and it’s just tough sh*t that the poor aren’t doing so well….ignoring that low and stagnant wages has everything to do with people being unable to take care of their basic needs. Note during the conversation how Friedman manipulates what the Lady says about the investing away from what is going on. Fast forward to present times — and the economic gap is even greater than 1979 — and they are not investing in factories that are creating livable wage jobs.
Friedman also makes the assertion that productivity is related to all of this, when we have seen that American productivity has gone up while wages have stagnated. He also states a fallacy that people were better off with industrialization. As we’ve seen with the posts on self-sufficiency by cottage farming, just the opposite is true. People are happier with less “stuff” when they can control their own destiny and autonomy, as the lady stated in the video of the couple who were self-sufficient in Los Angeles. Money makes people who are greedy happy. For most of us, it is just a way to provide for ourselves and our families.
…wait for the racist comment at 37:02. Yep. Incredible that he blames schools for that instead of racism of employers that would not hire black folk. And then he says they could work for low wages so they could get skills and rise up among the ranks. bwahahahahahaha…..I don’t know how he kept a straight face when he said that. Yeah, because *everybody* who works for low wages eventually learns better skills and then is promoted and then makes really good wages. bwahahahahaha…*snort*
And then we get to the source of all the talk about how minimum wage is hurting businesses who want to hire more teenagers…so they can pay next to nothing for workers. Incredibly, Friedman says that these jobs will lead to better paying jobs because of the skills acquired and lift everyone out of poverty….tralalala. What a load of garbage.
If businesses are not forced to pay a minimum wage…all wages are lowered because they will have no incentive to pay good wages. As we are seeing now in Indiana, with the Koch Party/ALEC trying to take away the prevailing construction wage law so that they can pay low wages. Hoosier Hardhats has a webpage protesting it. And as I said before, I want to know what buildings, bridges, and roads are constructed by these minimum wage workers, because I will avoid them like the plague.
Friedman then states that parents should be free to choose about the busing ( of suburban kids to the city schools and vice versa), and if you recall about the recent issue in South Carolina (?) where the Koch Party won seats on the school board using the coded racism of stopping busing so parents could choose which school, they were outed and the parents and kids protested, and eventually recalled those newly elected members.
When asked about inflation again, Friedman tells folks that there is no way to protect themselves against inflation. When that is not true — as with the above about the self-sufficiency, there are a number of ways to insulate oneself if one is willing to do without some things. But Friedman advocates them buying more schtuff. Hmmm…