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Libertad de Elegir
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Libertad de Elegir

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  3,322 ratings  ·  230 reviews
In this classic about economics, freedom, and the relationship between the two, Milton and Rose Friedman explain how our freedom has been eroded and our prosperity undermined through the explosion of laws, regulations, agencies, and spending in Washington, and how good intentions often produce deplorable results when government is the middleman. The Friedmans also provide ...more
Hardcover, Large print, 485 pages
Published 2008 by Fundacion FAES, S.L.U. (first published January 1st 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Dort
Written in 1979, one of the libertarian economist(s) Friedmans' most accessible works, the clear-written and thought-provoking work does not require the reader to agree with Mr. Friedman's assertions to enjoy it. Rather, it requires the reader to ferociously wrack their brain for a counter argument or alternative solution to their assertions that governmental controls over economic freedoms (by regulation, price and wage controls, nationalization of industries, printing money, adding programs, b ...more
Brent
It's very frustrating to read a decades old book on socioeconomic problems and realize that those problems have only gotten worse in the interim. Especially when that book predicted the consequences of continuing along the current path and presented solutions to dig ourselves out of the worst of the results.

Milton Friedman is a giant in economics and it is our great tragedy that we have ignored his advice. Just as a man who denies law of gravity demonstrates it when he jumps off a cliff, the wes
...more
Jeremy
I really enjoyed this book, and it confirmed some of my fears that I am really a libertarian at heart.

The basic premise is that people should be free to make their own choices whenever possible, and that government's role is to protect us from each other, and not to protect us from ourselves.

The Friedmans argue from a pragmatic standpoint more than from a philosophical standpoint. Generally, government does a poor job with what it touches. We have this idea in our head that government is a sort
...more
Clinton
Free to Choose posits the efficacy of subduing government intervention in a free enterprise market economy by rendering theoretical remedies that would alleviate government failures through more competition and personal freedom; ultimately, it would eliminate gratuitous taxes.
Freidman addresses some of the most problematic issues facing our nation that are unfortunately still prevalent today such as inflation, bad school systems, Social Security, economic equity, and consumer and worker protecti
...more
David
Even though I am not completely convinced that Mr. Friedman is correct in all of his assertions, I must give this book four stars as work of literature.

First the positives: Milton Friedman once again proves his skill with words and logic in this brilliantly articulated book. It is hard to read through his arguments and not become all but convinced that he is correct in almost every subject. He carefully lays out the often unforeseen chains of events that follow from particular actions of individ
...more
Adam
While some of his arguments could be stronger, this book is important because there aren't enough books that make those arguments—that free markets and capitalism have value.

Many people look at equality and fairness as one of two things: as an outcome, or as a process. Both equality of outcome and equality of process cannot be simultaneously achieved. That is an unrealizable and utopian vision. Equality of outcome and equality of process are in fact mutually exclusive—something few people reali
...more
Aaron
Wow! It took me a month to read this book!!! I suppose it does take longer to read a book for learning and (not) enjoyment reasons. Funny thing is, I actually enjoyed reading this book too! There are even occasional bits of humor that sneak up on you. (This is illustrated by a reference to Cognac during an explanation on historical forms of currency). Literally, every page of this book had a quote you’d want to slap on Facebook. It was that good. There were things I’d thought about for a long ti ...more
Erik Graff
Dec 03, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Erik by: David Schweickart
This book was assigned for Capitalism, Democracy, Socialism taught at Loyola University Chicago during the first semester of 1981/82 by David Schweickart. It infuriated me at the time, appearing to be an intellectually dishonest apologetic for the existing class divisions in the United States. I was more impressed by the author during a subsequent reading of his Capitalism and Freedom.
JP
A very effective conveyance of the meaning of free market economics and its value to the consumer. The opening quote is from Justice Louis Brandeis' opinion in Olmstead v. United States: "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greater dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but wi ...more
Jenny
It can be disconcerting to find that you have finished a book but can't really explain what it was about much. That is how I feel about Free to Choose. Yes, this is an economics book, so I can say that it is about economics. I can tell you that the main point here seemed to be that the free market is good, but America is (was, it was written in 1980) at a turning point and will soon have to make a decision about which economic policy it should adopt. I actually read the whole book, cover to cove ...more
Davidmcdonnell
Common sense. This book makes a clear, rational case for the free market. Friedman dedicates a chapter to each of the major issues facing our country, including education, energy, taxes, and the environmental movement (the book was written in 1979 but the arguments on both sides of the issues still resonate today). Similar to Thomas Sowell, Ayn Rand, or Thomas Dilorenzo, Friedman champions the individual over the group, arguing that when people have the opportunity to choose for themselves, soci ...more
Alvaro Berrios
Although this book was written in 1979, it is still one of the best books anyone can read and the information is still completely relevant to what is going on today in our country. If you hate big government you will love it as it will support many of your beliefs. If you love big government you should read it regardless because many of your pre-held ideas can be dispelled as what is often blamed on the free market is, in reality, the fault of misleading big government policies.

The inefficiencie
...more
Jonathan S
Really a good book, which gives the insight of economy, free market, trade unions, education, bureaucracy, policies etc.,

Also gives us the idea why we require above subjects into consideration.
Greg Powers
I learned that Milton Friedman was a genius! Yet I also learned that he's not infallible, his focus on monetarism and seeming disregard for fiscal policy didn't work out. Also he likes the Fed and just thinks they're not being used properly (eg. the great depression would have been prevented if only we would have used the correct type of government interference...) The most interesting and compelling part was his argument for free trade. This is a pretty easy-to-understand book that nearly anyon ...more
Tyler Hooper
Amazing how timeless many of the economic and social issues of the last decade are. This book has been around a while, but it touches on nearly every poignant topic we face as a nation today. I admit that I subscribe to his (in my opinion) common sense, economically motivated, and sometimes socially unpopular ideas, on how to right the course of our country and maintain the world power status we have come to take for granted.
Warren
A Nobel Prize dose of reality! If time is a true test, then 32 years has proven that the Friedman's perspective of the effect of freedom (or lack thereof) on our nation and it's economy, was not a theory. Sadly, many of the potential pitfalls mentioned in 1979, are 2011 realities. The only bright spot is that almost all states now have some form of balance budget amendments, where only 8 states had them in 1979!

Stanley Arthur
This is arguably viewed as the best work of the two legendary free market economists from the University of Chicago "Chicago School" of economic theory, Milton and Rose Friedman. The so called "freshwater" approach to economics has been contrasted with the "saltwater" views of Stanford, Harvard and MIT.
Ok, so it was written and published in 1980. But the free market approach to managing the economy is even more relevant today as we watch the failed Keynesian experiment being carried out in both
...more
Patrick Peterson
Very good book, but not great. Excellent companion to the TV series of the same name that exposed Milton and free market ideas (mostly) to many, many people.

Read Ludwig von Mises or Murray Rothbard to compare and contrast the Chicagoan/monetarist/positivist methodology vs. the Austrian/free market ideas.
Rex Fuller
Absolutely a must read to consider oneself educated. I have read it at least twice and will read it several more, I'm sure.
Bryan
This book is takes the principles espoused in Atlas Shrugged and backs them up with data and real life examples. Where Ayn Rand offers compelling fictional stories to demonstrate the virtue of free market capitalism and the vice of Marxist central planning, Milton and Rose Friedman share compelling true stories and easy to understand analogies to add strength to these arguments.

Written at the end of Jimmy Carter's presidency, it is easy to see why Reagan was such a successful president and why R
...more
Martin
Great book. Lays out a dozen basic macroeconomic truths with data and examples and reasoning so that even the non-economist can understand. Although written in 1980, the chapters on minimum wage, growth of government, and bureaucracy remain dead on.

The book covers much of the same material as Capitalism and Freedom, but here it is better written, more sharply defined, and brought down a notch or two in terms of technical detail, making it easier for the non-economist to enjoy.

My only criticism o
...more
Jenna
A theorem asserting that voluntary free trade in our society will work best. He gives some examples of successes due to Capitalism that happened in the past. Friedman, likewise discussed Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nation" invisible hand......how a simple exchange between two individuals (the buyer, and sellers)could coordinate the activity of millions of people seeking each its own interest to make everybody having an advantageous position in our institution.

According to Mr. Friedman our freedom ha
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 12, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone Who Doesn't Foam at the Mouth at Free-market Thinking
This book published in 1979 by a Nobel-Prize-winning economist and his wife is still relevant (and in print) over 30 years later. The Preface tells us the book had "two parents;" Friedman's 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom where he argued free markets make for free societies, and the ten-part 1980 PBS TV series Free to Choose. (The ten episodes of the series are mirrored in the ten chapters of the book.) The book based on the series is "less abstract and more concrete." Having read the first boo ...more
Mark D.
This was a re-read; it's been nearly 20 years since I first read this book. It's interesting to look back over the 30 years since the book was originally written and see where Friedman's guesses about how certain things might happen came true and where they didn't. By and large, Friedman was eerily prophetic about the dangers of improper meddling in the economy.



Some of Friedman's critics like to claim that he believed that the free market could do no wrong. This is a horrid mischaracterization o
...more
Dale
A prototype of the current crop of approachable books on economics

12.5 hours
10 CDs
Read by James Adams

Free To Choose: A Personal Statement is the manifesto on the power of capitalism and freedom (and how they go hand in hand) that was designed to be read, digested and discussed by the common man, not the economist. In fact, this is the book that was designed as a follow-up companion to a 10 part PBS mini-series that fleshed out the ideas in the series and addressed issues and further questions t
...more
Omar Halabieh
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom. By enabling people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction, it reduces the area over which political power is exercised. In addition, by dispersing power, the free market provides an offset to whatever concentration of political power may arise. The combination of economic and political power in the same hands is a sure recipe
...more
Stephen Hines
Milton Friedman is well known in economic circles. He was a leader in the Chicago school of economics, and argued hard that the market would do just fine if left alone. That is basically the point of this book, co-written with his wife Rose.

The Friedmans argue that most bad things happen because of government. The Great Depression? Government’s fault. This book presents the view that government should stay the hell out of the market.

An early example the authors point to is 19th century Britain.
...more
Sam
May 19, 2008 Sam rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends who aren't skeptical of their government
Recommended to Sam by: Ryan Giles
I was surprised at how readable this was. Several major takeaways for me that have altered my views: International trade- I'm convinced that restricting free trade is not the answer to globalization. Protectionism of our domestic unions and industries hurts more of us (as consumers) than it helps (as workers). That is a major turn around for me. Also, while reading this book, it became clear to me that by restricting free trade we are stifling the economic progress of other nations who are going ...more
Kruip
Is it possible I've got or read an earlier print of this book? The one I own is from the 90's, writer and editors all the same, title as well? Or did Friedman rephrase? That might be interesting, certainly in this day and age. Where the principles of his Chicago school of economics, is proven dead wrong. There is this thing in economy, of wanting, yearning to be a "hard" science. Well sometimes things tend to work for a while, and then they stagnate, for instance because choice has been met. Why ...more
stupidus
The fact that Friedman even considered basic income (or in this case negative income tax) a worthwhile experiment (which bureaucracy of course messed up royally), proves that
a) Friedman wasn't the evil, heartless boogey man hippies always want to portray him as, and that
b) the so-called free market economy just wasn't/isn't working (in an imperfect world).

Friedman was probably more liberal than most hippies are intolerant. Basically he just wanted to make things work better (as they all do).

Can
...more
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5001
Milton Friedman was an American Nobel Laureate economist and public intellectual. He made major contributions to the fields of economics and statistics. In 1976, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy. He was an advocate of economic freed ...more
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Capitalism and Freedom Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960 Why Government Is the Problem Price Theory

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“When unions get higher wages for their members by restricting entry into an occupation, those higher wages are at the expense of other workers who find their opportunities reduced. When government pays its employees higher wages, those higher wages are at the expense of the taxpayer. But when workers get higher wages and better working conditions through the free market, when they get raises by firm competing with one another for the best workers, by workers competing with one another for the best jobs, those higher wages are at nobody's expense. They can only come from higher productivity, greater capital investment, more widely diffused skills. The whole pie is bigger - there's more for the worker, but there's also more for the employer, the investor, the consumer, and even the tax collector.

That's the way the free market system distributes the fruits of economic progress among all people. That's the secret of the enormous improvements in the conditions of the working person over the past two centuries.”
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“For example, the supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number--for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs--jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.” 24 likes
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