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Friedman's on the Military Industrial Complex

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Uploaded on Feb 14, 2010

I've been pondering over the seemingly contradictory attitudes of Milton Friedman, as shown in this video, and President Eisenhower, as demonstrated by the following excerpts from his farewell speech:

"We yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

"Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.

"We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

"We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

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