Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Wisdom of Milton Friedman

Here, he is commenting on JFK's famous statement: "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
"It is a striking sign of the temper of our times that the controversy about this passage centered on its origin and not on its content. Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic "what your government can do for you" implies that the government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own destiny. The organismic, "what you can do for your country" implies that government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary. To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshiped and served. He recognizes no national goal except as it is the consensus of the goals that the citizens severally serve. He recognizes no national purpose except as it is the consensus of the purposes for which the citizens severally strive."
Hat tip to David Henderson.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Scots Favour Free Trade: Adam Smith would be Proud

YouGov's Antony Wells of UK Polling Report links to a new Scottish poll conducted by Panelbase for the Sunday Times.

Asking about free trade and immigration in the context of the UK having left the EU, by 65% to 11% (20% were neutral and 4% didn't know) Scots were overwhelmingly in favour of companies in other EU countries remaining free to sell goods as easily in Scotland as in their own countries.

The view isn't quite as rosy for immigration, with people favouring free immigration from other EU countries by just 40% to 36% against (19% were neutral and 4% didn't know).  Still, that's a net +4% approval rating for a free movement policy.

I hope Holyrood are paying attention.