Capitalism and Freedom is a book by Milton Friedman originally published in 1962 by the University of Chicago Press which discusses the role of economic capitalism in liberal society. It sold over 400,000 copies in the first eighteen years and more than half a million since 1962. It has been translated into eighteen languages.
Capitalism and Freedom was published nearly two decades after World War II, a time when the Great Depression was still in collective memory. Under the Kennedy and preceding Eisenhower administrations, federal expenditures were growing at a quick pace in the areas of national defense, social welfare, and infrastructure. Both major parties, Democratic and Republican, supported increased spending in different ways. This, as well as the New Deal, was supported by most intellectuals with the justification of Keynesian economics. Capitalism and Freedom introduces the idea of how competitive capitalism can help to achieve economic freedom.
Friedman defines "liberal" in European Enlightenment terms, contrasting with an American usage that he believes has been corrupted since the Great Depression. Many North Americans usually categorized as conservative or libertarian have adopted some of his views.
The book identifies several places in which a free market can be promoted for both philosophical and practical reasons. Among other concepts, Friedman advocates ending the mandatory licensing of doctors and introducing a system of vouchers for school education.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy. With George Stigler and others, Friedman was among the intellectual leaders of the second generation of Chicago price theory, a methodological movement at the University of Chicago's Department of Economics, Law School, and Graduate School of Business from the 1940s onward. Several students and young professors that were recruited or mentored by Friedman at Chicago went on to become leading economists; they include Gary Becker, Robert Fogel, Thomas Sowell, and Robert Lucas, Jr.