Economic Freedom and Political Freedom- Milton Friedman

Economic Freedom and Political Freedom

Famous encomiast Milton Friedman argues that “capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom.” In other words to obtain a total democracy, capitalism should be a key element. Although Freidman’s argument is agreeable, it lacks important characteristics that are used to create a strong argument. Arguments have rules and regulations that should be followed to make them creditable, logical, and understood by the audience. Milton Friedman ideas can be agreed with, but his argument is not convictable. Friedman’s argument is missing important qualities of a good argument these include failure to have the proper thought organization, only arguing to support his claim, and lack of solid evidence.

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To start with, Friedman’s failure to organize his thoughts weaken his argument that “capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom.” When arguing an idea, one must capture their audience’s attention. Friedman had agreeable ideas, however his thoughts were unorganized, making it challenging for his audience to stay focused. Friedman gives an example to support his theory that capitalism is essential to have total freedom using the Amish. He explains that the Amish “regarded compulsory federal old age programs as an infringement of their individual freedom and refused to pay taxes or accept benefits.” He goes on to explain the result of their refusal, but then changes from the injustice of social programs and talks about laws that put restrictions on economic affairs. These two ideas are different, therefore they should not be expected to flow together.

To make a good argument, ideas should be complete and link back to the question that is being argued. Secondly, Friedman only argues to support his claim that capitalism is required to obtain political freedom. These action are considered “stacking the deck”, one of the many logical fallacies. Logical Fallacies should be avoided at all cost to make a convincing argument. Again using the example of the Amish to display the “stacking the deck” fallacy. Freidman talks about social programs or “old age programs” interfering with the idea of capitalism, therefore conflicting the idea of total freedom. Although his point that people should not be forced to pay into social programs because it is a violation of the freedom, he fails to debunk the idea that the social program are positive. Not acknowledging the opposing side of an idea make the audience doubt the worthiness of the idea. A convincing argument should include a counterargument to help to connect with readers who may hold differing opinions. Counterargument are in academic arguments to prevent the audience from becoming hostile or losing total interest. Lastly, Freidman’s argument is lacking creditability due to the absence of evidence. To make a logical argument, it should include statistics, supporting evidence, citations, etc. All these factors should be included in order to conduct a convincing argument. Freidman simply state his personal extended knowledge with little or no supporting evidence. Going back to the Amish example, he say that the results of the Amish not paying into social program and taxes is their “…livestock was sold by auction….”

Even though this might be valid, nowhere does he supply solid evidence of this. This can make his argument unconvincing, because it seem as though this is his thoughts rather than proven information. He has made a “hasty generalization”, another logical fallacy, arriving at a conclusion using insufficient evidence to support his ideas. In an argument common knowledge should be assumed rather supported. Milton Friedman is well known and incredibly intelligent, this sometimes is why people rather believe his ideas rather than have supporting details. People might say that he is unorganized because he is intelligent that his ideas are overwhelming. Although all these point are acceptable, people that do not know Friedman and his intelligence, his writing can be overpowering and confusing. In order to ensure that an argument appeals to all audiences’ he must stray away from fallacies and unorganized thought processing.

Milton Friedman is a well-known and respected man. His ideas are understandable and convincing to people whom are knowledgeable on the subject. People that do not know Friedman work will be confused and easily distracted. He argues that “capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom.” Although his thoughts make perfect sense to him, to others the argument can get lost due to the lack of thought organization, only arguing to support his claim, and lack of solid evidence. Including organization, opposing arguments, and evidence would make Friedman’s argument convincing. Freidman has the ability to validate and understand his argument, but in order to make a convincing argument for all audiences,
there should not be any assumptions.

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