"Government power must be dispersed. If government is to exercise power, better in the county than in the state, better in the state than in Washington. If I do not like what my local community does, be it in sewage disposal, or zoning, or schools, I can move to another local community, and though few may take this step, the mere possibility acts as a check. If I do not like what Washington imposes, I have few alternatives in this world of jealous nations."
Milton Friedman
(1912-2006) Nobel Prize-winning economist, economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, "ultimate guru of the free-market system"
"Capitalism and Freedom"
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Reader comments about this quote:
In the de jure States united, it is the individual that is sovereign (the king / queen, czar, Caesar) to all structured organizations. In that expression of self, called government, the individual exercise autonomous authority, unalienable rights, and the power that comes therefrom. Said individual, united with other like sovereigns hires third parties to represent them in and to society (micro to macro, small to large, etc.) The representative can NOT lawfully or legitimately do that with the individual sovereign (individually or in concert) can do or not do lawfully for himself. Dispersing authority, right and power to the sovereign's servants is done best as described by the quote. Does anyone reading this blog know of a land or nation, anywhere on earth, that does not operate outside natural - being lawfully contrary to the noble being - man? I do not.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 5
    In a true 'republican' form of government, power is distributed starting with the individual, then the county, then the state, then the nation -- not the other way around. Centralized power and control benefits a ruling class and subjugates the individual. This is absolutely incompatible with liberty and personal responsibility.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 5
    Absolutely True. What is introduced by our State, county, or community representatives the individual and the people have a far greater voice and ability to express their disdain or praise and if needed the ability to take action and redress. Too often as in "Obamacare" the people have unlawful and egregious laws foisted on them by the "SERVE US UP" crowd in the Washington.
     -- Mary - MI     
  • 4
    What an asinine comment! T-H-I-N-K about it! Inferentially, Friedman is saying that there should be no Constitution because localities states AND the federal government are bound by it and there is no escape -- unless you want to move to another country, which "mere possibility acts as a check". It is a bogus argument, made for small, uncritical minds.
     -- Chittyof CA, Earth     
  • 3 2
    Under all circumstances, on this profoundly beset by imperfection planet, is the perfection of government the
    noble self government of the Sovereign Individual.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 1
    "Few alternatives in this world of Jealous nations" does this explain why so few Americans have passports?
     -- Mick, Manchester     
     -- jim k, Austin      
    I humbly apologize but my limitations can only interrupt this quote as an insubstantial pointless nonsensical waste of my time. I guess I'll never be a Heisman trophy winner or Noble prize winner like whatever the title this fellow possesses. Whatever the differences of the two "prizes" I'm not sure, for they both appear to employ the same violent political strategies.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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