Monday, September 7, 2009

What if Milton Friedman was addressing America's schoolchildren?

Although a President making an address to schoolchildren should not seem controversial, President Barack Obama has managed to arouse a great deal of resistance and opposition to his planned address.

The controversy isn't so much about the remarks of the address (which, being pitched to children, is relatively mild and uncontroversial in of itself), but the larger context of how the administration operates in general and the crude and ill conceived "learning package" that was planned to go with the speech, a package for America's schoolchildren which has all the hallmarks of indoctrination.

Perhaps it would be better if schoolchildren everywhere were to hear from notables like Milton Friedman. I pulled this gem from "Dr Helen":

I would rather think that the words of Milton Friedman from his book Capitalism and Freedom make more sense:

"The paternalistic 'what your country can do for you' implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for 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 worshipped and served.

Now there is a lesson we can all get behind

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