In this Newsweek column from August 1981, the economist Milton Friedman explains that people cannot get rich at the expense of others only by committing theft or fraud themselves, but also by enlisting the coercive power of government. Those who bash the wealthy ought to consider how they got they got that wealth.

Milton Friedman: Good wealth, bad wealth – American Experiment

Generally, the rich got that way by catering to the demands of other people in a reasonably free market. They did not get rich by making people poor, but by selling them what they wanted. There are, of course, cases where someone has got rich by stealing from another by force or fraud. But there the…


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