Free or Equal

ECON-1740
Fall 2014

1. Professor Milton Friedman’s research led him to believe in the power of free market and
economic freedom.
2. If the government gives everybody the same freedom to work . . . some will do better
than others. The result will be equality of opportunity, but not equality of outcome.
3. Hong Kong became an economic powerhouse because:
a. The British government couldn’t be bothered with local Hong Kong affairs.
b. The Governor here happened to favor free markets.
c. Hong Kong never introduced all those policies that other governments did: no
tariffs, no regulations or government interventions.
d. So the economy could evolve in a natural way.
4. The free market enables people to go into any industry they want; to trade with
whomever they want; to buy in the cheapest market around the world; to eel in the
dearest market around the world. But most important of all, if they fail, they bear the
cost. If they succeed, they get the benefit.
5. Define “voluntary association” as described in the video. What we do together of our
own free will. When this person and this person buy and sell to each other and no one is
subjected to force or fraud. Anything that is going on between consenting adults.
6. In the example of the lead pencil, what conclusion did Professor Friedman reach in the
context of “invisible hands?” Not only to promote productive efficiency but even more
to foster harmony and peace among the peoples of the world.

7. The Founding Fathers had learned the lesson of history. The great danger to freedom is
the concentration of power, especially in the hands of a government.
8. In the last 100 years with relatively free markets, we have created more wealth than in the
100,000 years before.
9. As Milton Friedman said, “The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with
neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure
of both.”
10. Professor Friedman compares the concept of “equality of opportunity” to a race where
everyone begins at the starting line at the same time. In contrast, “equality of outcome”
guarantees that everyone finishes at the same time. Today “equality of outcome” is
referred to as “fair shares for all.”
If we applied the “fair shares for all” concept in this class, all students would receive an
average grade of “C.” This would be accomplished by taking points away from students
earning A’s and B’s to give to students earning D’s and E’s. Distributing points equally
would result in “fair grades for all.”
 Would you approve of this method in calculating your final grade? Why
or why not?
 How would this differ from “fair shares for all” economically?
For example, what’s the difference between a successful student being
required to give up some of his/her hard-earned grade and a successful
person being expected to give more of his/her hard-earned income? If you
support “redistribution of income and wealth,” shouldn’t you also be
willing to redistribute academic grades? After all, many of your fellow

students may not have had the advantages in education and upbringing
that you’ve had.
I would not approve of this method of calculating my final grade. For one, I should be
given the grade I worked for. The effort I put into it, is the grade I should receive and more
importantly deserve. I taught my son that he should be able to get A’s and B’s from every class
and that C’s are not desired, because I know he has it in him to receive the A’s and B’s; but if he
put in all the effort and time that was required to get an A or a B and only comes out with a C
then that is an acceptable grade because I know he worked his butt off for that C. Sometimes we
don’t “get” a concept the first time around and believe me I completely understand that since
starting school all over again!
There have been times when I have gotten a grade that I wasn’t happy with. I wish I had
a higher grade but I also know that I got the grade I deserved. The hardest grades to accept
though are the ones in where I didn’t put in the effort that I knew I should have. Sometimes it
would be nice to be able to take a grade from someone else but how is that fair. If that person
worked their butt off for their “A”, who am I to take it from them so I can get a higher grade. I
know I didn’t put as much effort into it that I should have. I should get the grade I worked for!
Economically I guess I never really thought about it in these terms. I do believe that
sometimes everybody needs a little help to get ahead, but to me that doesn’t mean sitting on your
butt and doing nothing for it. You actually need to get out there and work. Work on getting
yourself to a better place financially where you can support yourself and your family. I actually
find myself in a predicament where I will need assistance from the State and to be honest with
you I’m struggling with this concept because I don’t want to think of myself as a “freeloader”,
but I also need to remind myself that I don’t plan on using this assistance for the rest of my life.

I have been going to school so I can get my degree and then become financially independent but
in the meantime I will need help.
I don’t mind helping people out as long as I know they are giving it their all, but just to
give them “free” help is not a good idea. There is no pride in yourself in that instance. Everyone
needs to work for their money or grades, whatever the case may be. The saying “what you put
into it is what you get out of it” is very true. No one deserves to have something handed to them,
even if they have had a rough life, there are opportunities for everyone. Sometimes you just
have to work a little harder and it might take a lot more time than anticipated to achieve your
goals, but it is possible.
Reflective Writing
I believe completing this assignment helped me achieve the following SLCC Learning
Outcomes:
Communicate effectively: By answering question #10 I believe I had to put into words exactly
how I feel about the given topic. I believe anyone reading my answer will be able to understand
my point of view and be able to agree with or disagree with me and be able to cite my words to
come up with an agreement or a counterargument.
Develop Computer & Information Literacy: Completing this assignment is helping me become
more computer literate because I am using skills I am not very familiar or comfortable with. I
am using my ePortfolio which is something I feel I am not very proficient at and every time I am
required to use my ePortfolio I become more and more proficient.