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Free To Choose was an award winning PBS television series featuring the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. 10 films make up the series, each featuring a short documentary where Milton Friedman presents his views on a given topic followed by a discussion and debate with various participants including politicians, academics, business people, et al.
|S01E01||The Power of the Market||30/10/1979||America's freedom and prosperity derive from the combination of the idea of human liberty in America's Declaration of Independence with the idea of economic freedom in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Friedman explains how markets and voluntary exchange organize activity and enable people to improve their lives. He also explains the price system. Friedman visits Hong Kong, U.S. and Scotland.|
|S01E02||The Tyranny of Control||30/11/1979||Government planning and detailed control of economic activity lessens productive innovation, and consumer choice. Good, better, best, are replaced by "approved" or "authorized." Friedman shows how "established" industries or methods, seek government protection or subsidization in their attempts to stop or limit product improvements which they don't control. Friedman visits India, Japan and U.S.|
|S01E03||Anatomy of a Crisis||30/11/1979||The Great Depression has been popularly viewed as a failure of capitalism. The stock market crash, the failure of the Bank of the United States, loss of personal savings, were visible symbols supporting this belief. As Friedman explains, the real cause was the unseen failure of government policy and action. Yet this crisis resulting from government failure leads to decades of government expansion.|
|S01E04||From Cradle to Grave||30/11/1979||El Estado del Bienestar nace del intento de hacer el bien con el dinero de los demás. Estos esfuerzos siempre fracasan porque nadie gasta el dinero de otros con tanto cuidado como el suyo propio. Aquellos que gastan el dinero usan la fuerza para recolectarlo y para asegurarse de que quienes lo reciben lo usan para los objetivos que consideran correctos. Las buenas intenciones acaban siendo corrompidas por los equivocados medios empleados. Friedman visits U.S. and Britain.|
|S01E05||Created Equal||30/11/1979||The Declaration of Independence says, "all men are created equal." Friedman explains that this did not mean all persons should or will have equal talents or income. Equal opportunity to better one's self, and the right to personally benefit from the gains realized, are consistent with freedom. Equality of results requires force. Taking from some to give to others destroys freedom and removes the incentive for creating new wealth. Friedman visits India, U.S. and Britain.|
|S01E06||What's Wrong with our Schools||30/11/1979||Parental choice and parental responsibility in the education of children is the U.S. tradition and is consistent with a free society. Centralized government control has eroded freedom and adversely affected the quality of education. The poor help pay for education for the future rich. Friedman has long advocated using vouchers to solve the problem. He explains why. Friedman visits U.S. and Britain.|
|S01E07||Who Protects the Consumer?||30/11/1979||Various government agencies have been created on the claim that they will protect the consumer. These agencies restrict freedom, stifle beneficial innovation, and become agents for the industries or groups they are intended to regulate. Friedman explains how the apparent chaos of the market place, the competition of many suppliers for business, is the best protection of consumer interests.|
|S01E08||Who Protects the Worker?||30/11/1979||Unions sometimes protect some workers - their members - but usually at the expense of other workers. Government protects its employees and special groups of workers at the expense of other workers. Both unions and government restrict freedom. Friedman explains how the competition of employers for the talents of workers leads to the highest wages and best working conditions.|
|S01E09||How to Cure Inflation||30/11/1979||Inflation results when the amount of money printed or coined increases faster than the creation of new goods and services. Money is a "token" of the wealth of a nation. If more tokens are created than new wealth, it takes more tokens to buy the same goods. Friedman explains why politicians like inflation, and why wage and price controls are not solutions to the problem. Friedman visits Japan, U.S. and Britain.|
|S01E10||How to Stay Free||30/11/1979||Democracies have only recently been considered desirable. Historically, it was feared that democracies always self destruct when citizens, forgetting that you cannot remove want and misery through legislation, insist on government actions that physically and morally bankrupt their nation. Friedman explains why the United States has so far avoided this outcome and how we can continue to do so. This program includes an interview of Dr. Friedman by Lawrence E. Spivak.|
|S02E01||The Power of the Market||00/00/0000||America's freedom and prosperity derive from the combination of the idea of human liberty in America's Declaration of Independence with the idea of economic freedom in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Friedman explains how markets and voluntary exchange organize activity and enable people to improve their lives. He also explains the price system. Friedman visits Hong Kong, U.S. and Scotland. Rebroadcast version from 1990 with Linda Chavez moderating the episodes. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, Steve Allen and others give personal introductions for each episode in the series. This time, after the documentary part, Friedman sits down with a single opponent to debate the issues raised in the episode.|
|S02E02||The Tyranny of Control||00/00/0000||Government planning and detailed control of economic activity lessens productive innovation, and consumer choice. Good, better, best, are replaced by "approved" or "authorized." Friedman shows how "established" industries or methods, seek government protection or subsidization in their attempts to stop or limit product improvements which they don't control. Friedman visits India, Japan and U.S. Rebroadcast version from 1990 with Linda Chavez moderating the episodes. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, Steve Allen and others give personal introductions for each episode in the series. This time, after the documentary part, Friedman sits down with a single opponent to debate the issues raised in the episode.|
|S02E03||Freedom and Prosperity||00/00/0000||Milton says "Everybody knows what needs to be done. The property that is now in the hands of the state, needs to be gotten into the hands of private people who can use it in accordance with their own interests and values." Eastern Europe has observed the history of free markets in the United States and wants to copy our success. Ironically, we seem unable to turn away from the temptations of socialism despite its long history of bankrupting economies. Introduced by Ronald Reagan. Discussion with Gary Becker, University of Chicago and Sam Bowles, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. ©1990 50 min.|
|S02E04||The Failure of Socialism||00/00/0000||"Parental choice, parents choosing the teachers, parents monitoring the schooling," is Friedman's answer to the problem. In almost every case, giving individuals the power to choose, to set their own course, will lead to better results than centrally planned activity. That applies to schooling and every other activity in a modern society. Introduced by David Friedman. Discussion with Gordon Tullock, University of Arizona and Henry Levin, Stanford University. ©1990 48 min. Volume 4 was previously titled "What's Wrong With Our Schools?"|
|S02E05||Created Equal||00/00/0000||"The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both." The desire to have more, to have what those who are better off have, is a powerful emotion. Friedman points out that the most governments can do is provide all citizens with equal opportunity to use their time and abilities as they best see fit, in pursuit of a better life. Introduced by Steve Allen. Discussion with Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institution and Michael Kinsley, New Republic. ©1990 49 min|