Opinion

We Are The Better Angels We Are Looking For

capitalism-economyBy Diana Erbio – “Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us.” That was the challenge Milton Friedman posed to Phil Donahue in response to Donahue’s question to him about whether he ever had doubts about capitalism due to its “greediness” factor.

Milton Friedman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1976, explained in that 1979 interview and throughout his long career how free market capitalism, although not perfect, had lifted more people from poverty than any other system. Friedman also recognized and spoke out about the necessity of personal responsibility. He warned that government could not and would not bear responsibility. Individuals bear responsibility.

People engaging in free market capitalism do have ethical responsibilities, and kindness should have an important role. George W. Bush campaigned under the banner of  “compassionate conservatism”; however, I believe adding “compassionate” gave credence to the false narrative that conservatism is somehow not compassionate. How is individual freedom not compassionate? How is the natural born right to pursue one’s happiness not compassionate? What is compassionate about government bureaucratic agencies making choices for the individual? Milton Friedman correctly pointed out to Phil Donahue that greed also existed in other systems like communism and socialism. Greed is based in human nature, not inherent to any particular economic system. That is why the outcome of economic systems must be measured by the results, not the intentions. After all, isn’t the road to hell said to be paved with good intentions?

The free market system, coupled with the insistence that all players adhere to the same rules, has proven to have had the best economic outcomes for societies that followed that path. Social scientist, Alexis de Tocqueville noted that in 1830’s America, if something needed to be done, the Americans simply did it. They did not wait for the government to attend to it.  He wrote this observation of centralized government, “It excels in preventing, not doing.”

Today it seems that too many Americans expect that their problems be solved by some faceless bureaucracy. They look for answers in yet another unaccountable government agency. We must once again realize that we are the solution.

We must cultivate both persistence and moral values in the next generation. We must teach by example to never give up, and put forth the truth that Milton Friedman spoke to Phil Donahue, which was that angelic leaders will not magically appear and organize a problem-free Utopia for all to live in. We must encourage tomorrow’s adults to look to themselves for solutions to societal problems, and pass on the idea that we are the better angels we are looking for.

Author’s Note: I am proud to announce that my book, “Coming to America: A Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World”, is available in paperback and e-book format at Amazon! The book is based on my mother’s move to America from Switzerland in 1949. Readers of all ages can join 13-year-old Rosalie on this journey to a new world and will identify with the young teen’s struggle to fit in. Rosalie’s never give up attitude is an inspiration to all of us, no matter the challenges that confront us in life.

My book is also available at the Conservative Children’s Books website www.conservativechildrensbooks.com  where many other children’s books that strive to instill values and rekindle the patriotic spirit in young Americans can be purchased.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1530314402/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1458649387&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=diana+erbio

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Sign Up Today
Read more articles by Diana Erbio

20
Leave a Reply

8 Comment threads
12 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
PaulE

Excellent article as always Diana. The lesson that “we are the solution” if we want a better, more prosperous and free society is lost on far too many people today. Instead far too many people want a quick, painless (at least they think it will be at the time) fix by simply abdicating their personal responsibilities to some nameless, faceless bureaucrat in the hope their lives will magically be made better accounts for much of the lure of both socialism and communism. The old “we will make everything fair” argument with “fair” being always left largely undefined and open to individual interpretation of the “useful idiots”.

Rik

Thank you Diana, for reminding all of us of what a national treasure Milton Friedman was to America. Perhaps, if students were exposed to his commentary America wouldn’t be in such a mess today. I think it’s time that every parent, grandparent should start teaching their children by pulling up past interviews of Mr. Friedman available on the Internet to all of us. (at least while the govt doesn’t yet control it) … Milton Friedman should become standard reading for ALL Americans!

Gabriele Molyneux

The people with christian values have always been the angels, but our government has been brainwashing the people of this great nation to believe we don’t want God anymore but we want our government to be our source. Our country was established by God loving men and women. This country has not been perfect, but Friedman had it right about capitalism working the best for the most people. We need to get back to individual responsibility and to continue informing and teaching our youth the true meaning of freedom, and it isn’t free handouts from our government.

Ivan Berry

Diana, this as is usual from you a very apt read. Much more said with less words than what’s in the weekly newsletter. Thanks for alerting us to it, and keep up your most likely lonely journey of enlightenment.

Clifford E Baker

Friedman said it beautifully. Capitalism was the way our nation became so wealthy and it is the way of the future.

Diana Erbio

In the spirit of our free market system, I hope you won’t mind this shameless self-promotion post. I don’t know if any of you noticed I recently published a book. I placed a small note about it at the end of my column above. I also just set up a Diana Erbio, Writer Page. The plan for the page is for it to be a place for a potpourri of posts that will include my writings, history, crafts, and assorted topics I find interesting and hope you will too! If you have a chance, please visit it and give me a like. Thanks for putting up with that announcement, AMAC and readers.

Diana Erbio

In the spirit of our free market system, I hope you won’t mind this shameless self-promotion post. I don’t know if any of you noticed I recently published a book. I placed a small note about it at the end of my column above. I also just set up a Diana Erbio, Writer FaceBook Page. The plan for the page is for it to be a place for a potpourri of posts that will include my writings, history, crafts, and assorted topics I find interesting and hope you will too! If you have a chance, please visit it and give me a like. Thanks for putting up with that announcement, AMAC and readers. :-)

PaulO

My conservative friends are compassionate individuals. They acknowledge that most children born into poverty won’t have access to a support system that encourages a good education, and achievement throughout their life. Nor will everyone have the money, connections or luck it sometimes takes to realize the American dream.

However they believe all lives have equal value so they give generously of their time and money helping to improve someone’s situation who may need it. They listen to their better angels.

But that still doesn’t dismiss the fact that so few (.1%) have as much wealth as the bottom 90% in the US. This just didn’t happen overnight. Income and inequality has been rapidly increasing since the 1980’s.

No one who works full time should have to live in poverty.