"The unions might be good for the people who are in the unions but it doesn't do a thing for the people who are unemployed. Because the union keeps down the number of jobs, it doesn't do a thing for them."
Milton Friedman
(1912-2006) Nobel Prize-winning economist, economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, "ultimate guru of the free-market system"
Interview with Brian Lamb, In Depth Book TV (2000)
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
The main function of unions is to keep out competition. Texas is a right to work state and we have probably the best economy in the country now. We also have no state income tax , thank goodness.
 -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx      
    I'm with you Jim K
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Unions are for people who need one more layer of heirarchy to tell them what they can and can't do...as if the government wasn't enough...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    What do public an union have in common: u and i who pay for them so they can charge dues to have the money to choose who they want to be in power. This does nothing good for you and I.
     -- Abigail, Newport     
    unions promote equity not billionaires, that lie about trickledown.
     -- gtheo, portage,michigan     
    gtheo, I guess then you wouldn't use as an example for your statement, the unconstitutional, unlawful, contrary to centuries old legal precedence and fiscal law violation, that being a union becoming the criminal boss, as well as the dues taker, in a multi / mega billion dollar nationalization - trickling down to its members promotion. hmm
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    What the great Milton Friedman does not mention here is the gift of the unions that just keeps on giving...the minimum wage law. According to Dr. John Silber, in his book "Straight Shooting" he discusses the purpose of the minimum wage - 1909 a union of fireman on the railroad, fearful of having to work alongside black men, came up with the minimum wage, set higher than the blacks could hope to earn, The point was not to create a living wage as socialists love to claim - it was to keep blacks from garnering any type of career employment. Today this is an entry level job killer - especially for black teens.
     -- Margot, Glen Ellyn Illinois     
    Margot is right. Unionization is the monopolization of labor -- it is a form of racketeering. Just like the communists, unions act as if their employer is undeserving of profiting from the business, that the company belongs to the 'workers' rather than the investors. Most liberals I know are all for unions because they are anti-corporation, but few would sully their hands with hard labor -- they prefer the seats of power that dictate to the rest.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    This is but one of Friedmans great quotes. We that support freedom find Milton's quotes more valued as Socialism undermines more of America.
     -- G Bennett, Lubbock Texas     
    It is unreasonable for a system to not provide employment for everyone. Only a Socialist approach realizes this and is prepared for the provision of full employment and involvement to the benefit of all. Socialism is the vision of social abilities to create.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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