viernes, 3 de octubre de 2008

Capitalismo y libertad

Sí, ya sé que no tengo mucha vergüenza por reconocer que hasta este verano no me he leído "Capitalismo y libertad" de Friedman, pero...más vale tarde que nunca. Y la verdad, me ha parecido absolutamente espectacular, lectura obligada para todos los que trabajamos directa o indirectamente en políticas públicas. Algunas perlas escogidas (atención a la primera, curiosamente actual, aunque fue escrita hace 46 años):

There is still a tendency to regard any existing government intervention as desirable, to attribute all evils to the market and to evaluate new proposals for government control in their ideal form, as they might work if run by able, disinterested men, free from the pressure of special interest groups.

Government can never duplicate the variety and diversity of individual actions.

If one were to seek deliberately to devise a system of recruiting and paying teachers, calculated to repel the imaginative and daring and self-confident and to attract the dull and mediocre and uninspiring, he could hardly to better than imitate the system of requiring teaching certificates and enforcing standard salary structures. (Fácilmente aplicable a la Universidad...).

We are much more specialized and devote a much larger fraction of our attention to our activity as a producer than as a consumer. In consequence, in the absence of any general arrangements to offset the pressure of special interests, producer groups will invariably have a much stronger influence on the legislative action and the power that be than will the diverse, widely spread consumer interest.

Much of the actual inequality derives from imperfections of the market. Many of these have themselves been created by government action or could be removed by government action.

One of the strongest and most creative forces known to man – the attempt by millions of individuals to promote their own interests, to live their lives by their own values. These interests are not simply narrow self-regarding interests. On the contrary, they include the whole range of values that men hold dear and for which they are willing to spend their fortunes and sacrifice their lives (or devote great effort and time to charitable, educational and religious activities).

The beneficial effect of state intervention, specially in the form of legislation, is direct, immediate and visible, whilst its evil effects are gradual and indirect, and lie out of sight.

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