Ep. 474: Freedom with Michael Covel on Trend Following

Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman

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Michael takes the podcast back to the 1960’s with a talk from Milton Friedman. Throughout the presentation Friedman outlines the role of government in a free society. He emphasizes the different variations of “free”. The first is freedom with the absence of coercion. The second is free in the sense of a “free lunch”. They have two very different very different meanings and Friedman goes in depth on the two.

Michael wraps the podcast up summarizing Friedman’s talk with a slightly more pessimistic view. Michael thinks that politics and government will never be straightened out. He loves Friedman’s thinking but has a hard time thinking that human nature will ever change. “I have a hard time imagining, with the irrationality of human nature, that anything will ever change. As long as we keep dying and keep replenishing with a whole new group of useful idiots and sheep…we can have our fantastic view of change, but…” Michael stresses that the key thing that’s important is building capital and the only person you can count on is yourself.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Unanimity in government vs. Majority rule
  • Principles vs. Expedients
  • Government conformity
  • Government autonomy
  • The meaning of property
  • Responsible individuals vs. Irresponsible individuals
  • Human rights
  • Freedom of speech
  • Government failure on a large scale
  • Market failures
  • 3rd party benefits for society
  • Government failure vs. Market failure

“With a little market and a free enterprise sector it is hard to do good. But by the same token it is hard to do evil. In a society of imperfect human beings, with the experience we have had, it is worth paying a big price. Reducing the chances of doing good in order to avoid the chances of doing evil especially when one mans good is another mans evil.” – Milton Friedman

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